Originally posted October 12th 2014 on the Seafoam Gaming forums
Title: Ice Cream Surfer
System: Wii U (eShop)
Release date: September 4th 2014
The main game/story
Tired of kids loving ice cream, the evil Broccoli sends out an army in order to destroy all ice cream and to make kids love vegetables! It’s a ridiculous plot, and while the official website explains more about the backstory in depth, the game itself does not. But a game like this isn’t in desperate need of a story anyway so it isn’t a problem. Playing like a side scrolling shooter like Gradius, this is your typical game of the genre.
It has a semi-retro artstyle, with both very impressive pixel art and very impressive 2D art to portray the characters. The backgrounds themselves look very nice and overall the game looks very good and crisp.
Music and sound effects:
The music has a light-hearted tone to it, kinda like games in the Parodius series. While nothing memorable (Except for the boss battle theme), it still gets the job done. Sound effects work OK as they should.
Being inspired by Gradius, it’s easy to see how this game plays. Avoid all of the enemies, collect powerups and options and don’t get hit. It’s just as simple, but it’s still quite a challenge on your first playthrough. At first it might not seem all that bad, but near the end of the game losing all of your powerups pretty much raises the difficulty level by a lot. It’s nowhere near as punishing as the Gradius series, however so it’s a lot more manageable.
However, one minor problem I had with this game was the need for you to constantly mash the fire button. While in most games doing so is faster than holding the button down, I still found it rather tiring after a while. But overall, nothing too bad.
The next thing that might turn people off is the game’s length. It’s only 6 stages long, and once you beat the game there’s no reason to replay it besides getting some hidden concept art and getting a new high score. Unlike Life Force, a similar game for the exact same price, it doesn’t have that same feeling that hooks you into a game even after you beat it. Even with 2 player Co-op, this game isn’t that long and sadly is a bit too expensive for the current price, unless you are a big high score fan.
In the end, Ice Cream Surfer is definitely not a bad game. With a cute story and a fair challenge, it’s fun for one playthrough. However the lack of motivation to replay the game again, unless you like getting new high scores, along with the co-op being nothing special, makes this game tough to recommend. If you really like the Parodius series and you want a fun game just like it, this will work just fine. For everyone else though wanted some good shooter action, get Life Force for the same price instead. I give Ice Cream Surfer a 6 out of 10
Thanks to Dolores Entertainment for the review code.