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iPhone  header logo

Ice Wings Plus

For: iPhone   Also on: Android, iPad

Ice, ice, play me

Product: Ice Wings Plus | Developer: MassiveFun3D Developers | Format: iPhone | Genre: Action, Arcade, Endless running, Shooter | Players: 1 | Version: Europe | App version: 1.0
Ice Wings Plus iPhone, thumbnail 1
Some games are a bit like a Monet painting - if you look at them too closely, they seem a bit sloppy. But, when viewed just a few steps back, they quickly rearrange into something quite special.

Ice Wings Plus is one such game. At a glance this endless flyer is a bit of a mess, with its crushing difficulty curve, somewhat mediocre sound design, and poor visual signifiers that often turn split-second twitch reactions into more of a guess than a choice. And yet I just can’t stop playing it.

Pocket Monet

A plane-flavoured spin on the familiar endless runner genre, Ice Wings Plus is an update-of-sorts to Ice Wings: Skies of Steel.

Its predecessor's clunky controls and free to play business model have been jettisoned, but pretty much everything else has been retained.

Picking from a selection of nicely-modelled aircraft, with more unlocked as your kill-count increases, you step into the cockpit and fly over a never-ending cityscape.

You need to dodge the inventive hazards that the presumably terrified populace have erected in a bid to slow down the carnage you cause, and lay waste to any poor unsuspecting vehicle that crosses your path.

Various randomly-arranged hazards attempt to halt your unremitting journey.

Giant concrete walls slam shut with just a tiny gap to squeeze through, golden domes shoot up to reveal an improbable tower of spinning blades housed within, and shafts of pink neon lightning slowly shuffle along their set path.

Each and every one of these hazards has the same terminal effect if you slam into them.

After gurner

Despite lacking any shred of narrative other than some politically-insensitive indications that the city under siege could be Arabic, Ice Wings Plus is a riot.

Dodging and weaving through skyscrapers and obstacles as they whizz past offers a genuine 'how the heck did I survive that?' kind of thrill.

Intuitive touch controls (and less precise tilt controls) see your nippy little aircraft moving left and right with as much precision as your index finger can manage.

Held in the right spot on-screen, there's a bizarre yet giddy thrill in pretending that it's actually your finger that's causing such devastation.

Closer inspection does reveal a few notable flaws, however.

Hazards that require a sudden ascent - triggered by either an imprecise upwards swipe on touch controls or an even-worse device shake on tilt controls - are marked too similarly to those that don't and, currently, the game flatly refuses to teach you which threats require which response.

Likewise, not having the option to switch off the music or sound effects independently is pretty inexcusable, given that the in-game music is a very short loop that becomes achingly repetitive almost instantly. Played with your own tunes, Ice Wings Plus would be an instant recommendation.

Greater than the sum of its parts, Ice Wings Plus is a lot of fun, evoking classic arcade gameplay and offering the kind of compelling 'just one more go' moreishness that should see it become your new quick-fix game of choice.

And while plenty of games offer more content for the price, not many things that are cheaper than a sandwich are as compelling as this.
Ice Wings Plus
Reviewer photo
Giles Armstrong | 6 August 2014
Fast, fun, and frenetic, its flaws and rough edges are easy to forgive once you're competently zooming through the cityscape at breakneck speed
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