Ice Age 2: The Meltdown

Format: PS2
Vivendi Universal Games

3 348542 202238
Age Restrictions: 7+
31 March 2006

The Ice Age is ending and our subzero heroes return in this action adventure video game set in a melting paradise of water parks, geysers and tar pits. Manny the Mammoth, Sid the Sloth and Diego the Sabre-toothed Tiger are back and realise that the melting glaciers will soon flood their valley. With the help of everyone's favourite sabre-toothed squirrel from the first movie, Scrat, help your big friends cross the perilous landscape to safety. Scrat will dig, swim, sniff, spin and roll his in his never-ending quest to collect acorns. In the process, he serves as the unwitting hero in the quest to save the land from a giant flood...

In Ice Age 2: The Meltdown you play Scrat, a prehistoric sabre-toothed squirrel who must run around his environment collecting items and progressing through the levels. To be honest you never feel as though you are doing anything of importance other than collecting nuts and acorns but, apparently, you are supposed to be helping your other friends find a safe place to live - far away from the melting ice.

But that doesn't really matter. Who cares why you are roaming around the icy environments? The fact is that this game is not half bad. This is a slice of console action for the under 11's, and with that in mind this is quite an impressive game. Usually games based on movies are almost guaranteed to be next to useless, but this is a rare game in the genre - one that has been well produced.

Aside from the usual jumping, hitting, and swimming, The Meltdown offers a few neat moves for your character. You can sniff the air to find hidden objects that are nearby. And there are a number of mini games. For example, early on you have to play dead every time Diego turns around. When he looks away you can jump up and continue to collect items in your path. Another mini game sees you having to choose the wind power of a flatulent bear. If you gage it correctly you go soaring off into the air to land in a gap in the rocks. If you time it wrong you end up squished against the cliff face. You also get to control other Ice Age characters briefly - Sid the Sloth on a sort of toboggan run is quite entertaining.

The game looks great and plays like any other platformer - although there's very little to challenge most seasoned gamers. The humour of the movies is reflected well in this game and the majority of gags should go down just as well with adults as they will this their offspring.

At the end of the day this is a job well done. But don't expect anything new or exciting, nor anything to taxing. This is a young kid's game, and a pretty impressive one at that.

Nick Smithson

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