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Ice Age: Continental Drift - Arctic Games Review

Ice Age: Continental Drift Logo - We Know Gamers

With the excitement of the 2012 Olympics in London this year, everyone is in the competitive spirit. One particular series that seems to be on a high from this is Ice Age as they looked to hold their own games in Ice Age: Continental Drift - Arctic Games.

A title for the Kinect looks to keep people in active shape, however does this particular title claim the gold medal or will it fall at the first hurdle?

Ice Age: Arctic Games is based around 10 or so mini-games in which your favourite Ice Age characters face off against a gang of pirates. The game allows you to pick between these two teams and in which things begin to kick off! Being a Kinect title, these aren’t your run of the mill mini-games. The games are all based around you using your body to control the characters, whether it’s from running and jumping on the spot to making Diego the saber-toothed tiger jump over gaps in icebergs. Or even pump your arms on the spot to fire Scrat out of a cannon and onto targets. Admittedly some of the mini-games do work quite well, such as prehistoric plumber and shell slide, however most of the games don’t work very well with the Kinect sensor. I spent most of my time performing the actions on screen only to have it ignored or do something completely different. Compared to how other Kinect titles function, this one definitely needed a lot of tweaking before release.
Woah... that's a long way down.
The game can also be played with 2 players, though this would require a lot more room and would probably still result in you shouting in frustration when you accidentally throw a dud shot in shell sliding due to the sensor not picking you up correctly.

The graphics and animation are fit for purpose but at times cannot keep up with what is going on. There were a number of times where I experience a slowed frame rate due to the amount of action on-screen. At times the visuals also looked very outdated. When the game loads up your favourite Ice Age characters walk onto the screen and the general presentation of it all leave a lot to be desired. That said there are occasions in some mini-games where some of the environments look quite impressive though that doesn’t excuse the rest of the game. To sum it all up, the visuals in Arctic Games aren’t really anything to write home about.
It's an ice age right? So what's with all this water!?
Sound is not as bad as the graphics but still not great. Foley and sound effects are as you would expect in a mini-game based title and that’s fine. They do their jobs. The voice acting however is at times irritating, as characters will repeat the same 3 or 4 sentences throughout a 10-minute game. There’s only so many times you can hear “I know you didn’t mean to hit that one!” before it starts to annoy you. The music also gets repetitive and generally plays the few songs included in the game over and over again.

The game itself has been designed to be easily navigated, probably for children since that’s the target audience of the film franchise. In this aspect the game is well designed, menus are simple to navigate through and it’s easy to access all of the different game types through the free-play option. On menus the Kinect sensor is also surprisingly good considering it’s so touchy when it comes to playing the actual game types. Another point where the design excels is the instructions for each game type. The instructions are clear and easy to understand, especially helpful if a child were playing this game. Although an easy navigation and clear instructions aren't enough to save this game.

Final Verdict
Ice Age: Continental Drift – Arctic Games seems like a typical film tie-in game, which has been thrown together quickly and not perfected. The game doesn’t work as it should a lot of the time due to the touchy Kinect sensor controls. The graphics are pretty subpar and the terrible voice acting doesn’t improve the experience either. If you were looking to buy a title for your Kinect, I would definitely recommend giving Ice Age a miss.

Gameplay: 4/10
Graphics: 4/10
Design: 5/10

Final We Know Gamers Score: 4.5/10
Had a chance to play the game? Tell us what you thought in the comments section below!
Ice Age: Continental Drift - Arctic Games Review
Reviewed by Citizen Cyanide
on Aug 11 2012

Rating: 4.5/10

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