|Play Time:||30 Minutes|
|Our Recommended Age:||4+ (with help...and patience)|
|Contents:||4 plastic penguins; 5 carboard boxes — rooms; 16 wooden Fish tokens (12 fish in 4 player colors and 4 fish in white color); 45 Fish cards (each showing 1, 2 or 3 victory points); 4 color reminder cards; 4 penguin ID cards; Rules|
Brain Games is behind a new Family Game Night favorite, Ice Cool. Everyone is a Penguin in a fun game of tag for points…the catch is you have to flick the Penguin! Flick your Penguin in a straight line or so it rounds a corner. You can even flick it over a wall!
Ice Cool is a fun and challenging game of…well Penguin Tag. Each person is “It” once during a game and your goal is to flick your Penguin so that it hits another Penguin. This sounds easier than it is…
The box is…well brilliant actually. A simple lift top lid but underneath that is sheer brilliance..and fun…in a box…The lid is the only non-game piece to the WHOLE box….yes you read that right.
The bottom of the box houses another box, which has another box, which also has a box which has a smaller box and the penguins, cards and wooden fish.
The largest box is a piece of the game board which you assemble using the other boxes that all fit inside the larger one and each other. There are 5 total…for now. The Fish are wooden and good quality. There are colored ones for points for players and the natural ones are used to keep the boxes or game boards together.
I’ll explain how to do this later…but it is pretty cool. The Penguins…these are more brilliant than the game board…They are made out of plastic and have a weighted bottom which make them kind of wobble around. It also makes them slide, stay upright, always land on their bottom and make them able to curve if you flick them just right.
The cards are standard card material that are slightly textured and the artwork is a perfect fit for the theme of the game. The Penguins are cute and each has their own style…I like the Red one with the mohawk. The VP cards have Fish on them…cause Penguins…but again the artwork is spot on for the style and theme of the game.
I love the attention to detail with the boxes or Rooms though. Each one looks primarily icy blue and white with a Red Line (this makes it easier to see) and an occasional color item here or there actually works wonderfully for this game.
You can see the detail in the extras in each room but the color doesn’t make anything stand out over another except the Red Line and Red Circle starting area…and the one or two things here and there. Very cleverly designed.
The whole game is very good quality and my only real complaint is the boxes don’t go flush 100% against each other. This could be user error though, I can admit that…and it hasn’t interfered with the game at all so far so not really a complaint…
My other complaint isn’t really a complaint either…it is hard to master these skills…I have managed to flick a Penguin over the wall one time…and it hurt my finger nail. The people behind this game are geniuses…simple as that..check out their video and see for yourself!
The kids seem to be better than me at this…which doesn’t actually surprise me anymore and they LOVE this game. In part because they can flick Penguins and in part because they are playing tag with their parents and have a very good chance of “Catching” us…also..it is super fun. Now let’s see how to play!
Have the most VP (Victory Points) at the end of the game.
Setting Ice Cool up is pretty easy. Take all the boxes out of the main box and where you see the “doors” there is also a half circle with a color dot in it. Match those up in each spot. The half circle become full circles with the same color dot inside and the smallest box should be in the center.
Use the natural colored Fish to clip the boards together but put them on spots that a half circle with a bottom half of an H…or white pants…is what it looks like to me anyway. Put the Fish, mouth side down, on those marks and they will clamp the rooms…boxes together.
Now everyone gets to choose a color of Penguin, take that Penguin, the ID card for them and put your color Fish on the markers with a Fish symbol on the rooms…they clamp on just like the ones holding the rooms together. By clamp I mean put them on mouth side down and the mouths fit over both boxes….not a real clamp.
Each fish symbol should have one fish for every player on it. Put the colors not being used back in the box and then shuffle the Fish cards and put them face down in a pile where everyone can reach it. The person who saw a Penguin most recently is the Catcher first…we determined that Penguins in movies count…they just wanted me to be it first for a bit I think.
If this is your first time playing I would highly recommend checking the Flicking Techniques section in the instructions and practicing…a lot. Take turns practicing though so it’s fair. We still haven’t mastered the curving flick yet…that one is hard…well for any of us it seems like it is. Once you’ve had a chance to practice let the game begin!
Each game is played in rounds which is determined by how many people are playing…or up to 4. If you are playing with 4 people you will play 4 rounds. I am going to explain as if there were 4 people playing…cause when we play it is 99% of the time all 4 of us…we really enjoy this game for our Family Game Nights…so 4 Rounds. (2 Player games have special rules so check those out in the instructions if you are playing with just 2 people)
The Catcher starts in the Kitchen (Box 2) and can be put anywhere within the red line in that room. Everyone else is NOT in a room yet. One at a time, starting with the player to the Left of the Catcher, put your Penguin on the Red Circle in the Classroom (Box 1) and flick it. One time only! You get ONE flick per turn…make it count.
The game does give you a second flick IF it is your first flick of the game and you fail to actually move away from the Red Circle…it is possible to flick the Penguin so it goes away and circles back around to land on or near the Red Circle again..we’ve all done that…it’s kind of funny.
If you are not the Catcher then you are a Runner. All Runners will go before the Catcher…so I’d get far away or at least out of line of…flick…You only get one flick as the Catcher as well. Just ONE flick per Penguin per turn…you will grumble about that a time or two. I think I can honestly say my kids grumble about it less than the adults…they just sort of giggle…
Once your next turn comes around you have to Flick your Penguin from the place it stopped from your last turn.
If you are NOT inside the Red Line in a room OR if you are stuck in between two doors you may move your Penguin either to the nearest spot on a Red Line or in the case of the doors you can move to the room you are in more. If you are dead center you can choose a room from the two. The best way to determine this is to look at it from the top.
There are a few other things that can happen besides just sliding, hopping or spinning around after a Flick. Remember the Fish above the doors? Well if you manage to flick your Penguin through a door with a Fish that is yours on it you get that Fish. This is how you get points…not from the Fish though. You get the Fish but then you get to Draw a card from the Fish deck. By the way, if another player flicks their Penguin into yours and yours gets pushed through a door..that counts and you get your Fish!
Each Fish Card has a number on it and you get that many VP. Look at it, enjoy your new VP but put it face down so no one else knows how many points you have. You do have to go completely through the door though, not get stuck partway through so Flick carefully. Also, it doesn’t count if you go OVER the door…you have to go THROUGH it to get the Fish…yeah…that one time I went over a wall…was in this case…so I learned that rule quickly…it was still cool jumping over a wall though.
On the other hand it IS possible to get more than one fish per turn if you can curve it! I can’t….and haven’t seen it done other than the video for this game but it looks cool…and is a goal for all of us…and our friends. If at any point the Catcher touches a Runner they get their ID cards. This is the same if the Runner accidentally touches the Catcher too so Flick carefully…make that a game motto…or don’t really…just get it in your head.
You are not out of the Round if your ID card is taken so have no fear…it does mean the Catcher gets a Fish card for every ID they have though..which leads to more points. More on this is a second. If you have 2 Fish cards with a 1 on them you can turn them face up after your turn is over and take another turn right then..which means another Flick! You don’t lose the cards…or the points for them but they stay face up now and you can’t use them again. You can do this trick as many times as you have pairs of 1’s so if you have 4 cards and all are 1’s you can take 2 extra turns!
I’ve seen and taken an extra turn but so far not two in a row yet…it will happen though…not to me most likely but will still be interesting. Oh and either the Catcher or the Runner can do this on their turn…so…watch out if it is the Catcher!
The Round is over when a Runner has collected all 3 of their color of Fish OR the Catcher has collected all the other players ID cards. The Catcher now gets to draw a Fish card for every ID card they have collected including their own. This just means they will always get 1 but could end up getting 4!
Each Runner then draws a Fish card ONLY if they were not caught…hehe. My son LOVED getting 4 cards the last game we played…the Diva was pretty happy with 3..she didn’t catch her brother. Now everyone takes back their ID cards and sets up the Fish tokens BUT the player to the Left of the Catcher is the new Catcher! Tag your it!
Set up the game accordingly. Catcher in the Kitchen and Runners start in the Classroom and their Fish are on the Doors. Continue with all 4 rounds so everyone gets to be the Catcher one time.
The game is over after everyone gets to be the Catcher once. In other words however many players you have is how many rounds you play…in our case 4. Everyone counts up their VP and the Penguin with the most wins! If there is a tie then whoever has the most cards wins but if there is still a tie you have to share the victory…or do a quick game of real tag to see who wins.
I’m kidding, the instructions don’t say that…but that’s how I feel a tie should be settled..well a double tie anyway…house rules I’m thinking. One thing to remember…and we’ve done it…if you flick a Penguin out of the box…and the game obviously, just put it back where it was but that was your ONE flick…unless you use Ice Skates (playing 2 1’s for another turn).
Check out this quick video I put together.
Ice Cool is one of those rare games that is challenging, engaging on many levels, gets you OUT of your chair to play and is so fun you really won’t mind playing over and over…although your fingers might if you don’t flick carefully…like me.
Not only perfect for Game Nights but perfect for the WHOLE family. I would say the recommended age of 6+ is perfect, however, younger kids could play…but you might give them extra flicks or not worry about the cards just yet and keep it more like an actual game of Tag. Watch out for kids who put things in their mouth though. Kids of all ages can play this game and will love it…mastering the skill of Flicking Penguins will take time but will be worth it..especially for bragging purposes.
Show us your Flicking skills! With the Penguins… @MyGeeklings #IceCool @braingames_int
Here is your chance to win a copy of Ice Cool! Must be 18+ and live in North America.