Ice Cool Review

flock of penguins near sea

Hey folks, back again with another game. This time we’re putting on our best tux, racing around, and trying to get the most fish. Oh, did I mention we’re in school and have to avoid the hall monitor? Today. we’re looking at Ice Cool. It’s a dexterity game for 2-4 players made by Brain Games that plays in about 30 minutes. This game you’re flicking your penguin around the board trying to go through doors to collect your fish.

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This game comes in a unique box. It’s about the size of a Monopoly style box, but it has nesting boxes inside. Five to be exact. These five boxes connect together to make the school the penguins are racing through. The game also comes with 45 Fish Cards numbered 1 through 3, 16 Wooden Fish tokens in 5 colors, 4 Character Color Cards, 4 Character Hall Pass Cards, 4 Plastic Penguins, and the rules.

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To set up for this game, each player selects a color and takes the corresponding penguin, hall pass, and character card. The hall pass and character cards are double sided, so you can pick the gender of your penguin. Now, each player takes their color fish tokens. Shuffle the fish cards and place it in reach of all the players.

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Now, you’ll need to construct the school for these penguins. Grab the white fish tokens. These will keep the boxes held together. Find the boxes with matching color circles, and those doors go together. Use a white fish and clip it on the white box symbol. The smallest box goes in the center and doesn’t use any of the white fish clips. Now, place the player fish tokens on the doorways with the fish symbol. Each symbol gets 1 fish token. This is a game where you’ll want to have easy access to all sides of this game. So a large table isn’t the best. You could do a card table with no seats, as each player will probably be walking around the board following their penguins.

The goal of this game is to get the most fish. This game is played equal rounds to players. So in a 4 player game, you’ll play 4 rounds. Each round, one person is going to be the hall monitor while the other players are the students. Or as my 4 year old son explains it, one person plays the janitor and the others are students. Each round the students go first followed by the hall monitor. Students start in the classroom on the dot in the center. Players then flick their penguin once.

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The hall monitor starts in the kitchen and flicks their penguin once to move it. Students are trying to get through the doors with their fish tokens. Every time they go through a door with their token on the doorway, they draw a fish card and remove that token from the doorway. The hall monitor is trying to catch the other students. If they run their penguin into another penguin, they get their hall pass.

The round ends when either the hall monitor gets all the hall passes or one player gets all their fish tokens. At the end of the round, starting with the hall monitor, draw a fish card for each hall pass you have. This means that the hall monitor will always get 1, their own hall pass, and up to 4 in a four player game. Keep the fish cards a secret from other players. There’s one additional rule. You can reveal two number 1 fish cards to take an immediate extra turn.

The game is then played until each player has been the hall monitor. If you’re playing a two player game, each player plays the hall monitor twice, and needs to catch the other student twice in a round to end the round. The longest part of this game is the set up, but game play is fast and fun.

What do I think of the game? I’m finding myself liking more and more dexterity games. This is a good kids game that I also have fun with. I like the different roles in the game, where one person is trying to stop the other students from running around the school and the students are just trying to get a snack. The components are all well done. The fish tokens are wood and feel nice and chunky. The penguins are plastic and act like weeble wobbles and feel nice and sturdy. The cards are on the small size, but I understand that because this is a child’s game. I’d like to talk about the gem of this game though. The nesting boxes that make up the school. Each room is decorated differently and have images on the floors and walls. It’s nice to look at and if you have it set up, people will stop and look to see the game. The game play is fast and simple. I like being the hall monitor and chasing the other players. It’s great when a player is trying to get away, flicks their penguin, and completely misses the door and bounces back.

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There’s a follow up game called Ice Cool 2 that has 4 different colored penguins and the same kind of nesting boxes. Both can be combined to make the game up to 8 players and adds different ways to play the game.

Luckily, I found this as a clearance item at a retail store. At the time, I found two at 75% off. I bought both and took one to a Christmas party as a gift. This was before I played it. I’m glad I got the game, as this is going to stay in my collection for a while. I’m eventually going to get Ice Cool 2 and play a large 8 player game. I highly recommend this to anyone with kids and that’s looking for a fun family game or anyone looking for a fun flicking game.

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