Ice Climber NES

The box art for Ice Climber on the NES (although I'm not sure why Popo's parka is red here...)

Ice Climber is a classic platformer that was developed and published by Nintendo in 1985, although no formal sequel was made (though it was ported a whole lot). The game follows two little ice climbing twins named Popo and Nana who use their climbing skills to retrieve the different vegetables that were stolen from them by a giant condor. Along the way, all sorts of strange animals walk along and try to keep them from progressing.

I just think that this game is adorable in so many ways. Not just because of the fact that the Popo and Nana are cute as buttons, but also the way the enemies waddle around, and there are all sorts of polar bears and birds, and the little kids are on this mission so that they can get their healthy veggies back from the big, bad condor. No wonder this game is on the e-Reader.

Anyway, my point is that this is a very kid-friendly game as far as content goes; it would even make a nice bedtime story to tell now and then. Does that mean it's easy for little kids to play?

NO. This game is incredibly hard. The reason for this is that you continually have to jump through small gaps, and after you start jumping, despite the fact that you jump really high, you can barely move in the air at all. This can especially make it a pain trying to get onto a moving platform, and even more of a pain when you're trying to jump to the next platform while on a moving platform. Confused at all?

Plus, the bonus stages at the end of the levels are unbelievably hard, because it follows what I like to call the Kid Icarus Gravitational Principle. It's always in old games. Basically, you fall below the screen, you're done for. Not only that, but you have to jump across pretty big gaps, so it's always risky, and when you have to collect all these vegetables and move higher with those darn moving platforms, forget about it.

The game, however, does have big advantages. For one thing, it has a HUGE amount of content for the time period. It has 32 different levels, all with varying number and types of enemies, so it's a real challenge trying to get to the end of it all, and it can keep you occupied for as long as you need it to. In addition to that, the controls are nice and simple, so all you need to do is increase skill and not technique as much.

As I said before, this is one of he most kid-friendly games I've seen as far as what's on the screen goes. So, you can totally play around with this game with your kids, but they will be incredibly frustrated trying to play it unless they have the blood of Corey Woods somewhere in their veins.

So is this game worth it to get yourself? Well, you might find yourself kind of bored with this game after a while, and the challenge may end up making you resentful of the game. Still, if you've played it and enjoyed it (like on nintendo8, or even an NES from when you were a kid), then I recommend it. It still holds up.