Normally with board games we will sit around the table to play, but Ice Cool from Esdevium Games has kept us on our feet!
Ice Cool board game has a fun story behind, and we were sent one for review this Easter holiday. The first thing we noticed is all the awards they won last year!
The story is about 3 naughty penguins skipping class and while trying to avoid being caught by the hall monitor, they are going to try to steal fish that has jumped off the cook's plate and ended up hanging on top of the door frames!
Set up is as follow:
The rooms are placed like in the above picture, and held together by using the clip-shaped white wooden fish tokens (see picture below).
The game consist of rounds, and the number of rounds is the same as the number of players playing the game. Players will take turn to become a Runner and the Catcher during the whole game.
Each player (Runners and Catcher) are to take a penguin, Reminder card and ID card of the same colour, and keep the deck of shuffled Fish cards upside down somewhere nearby.
As players will most likely move around the board to play, the Reminder cards are there to help you remember which pile of fish cards belongs to you (so clever!). So any fish card you get (by successfully stealing a fish) should be placed on top of your reminder card.
When a Runner get caught or ran into the Catcher (it happens!), they will have to give up their ID card and will be out of the game for that round.
The 3 Runners will start from the classroom, and the hall monitor (the Catcher) will start in the kitchen. The 3 Runners will clip their 3 fish on top of the doorways.
To steal their fish, the Runners have to use their fingers to flick their wobbly penguins through the doorways where their fish are (not by jumping over or just touching the door frame. They have to physically enter into the next room to count). Every time they caught a fish, they can take a Fish card from the top of the pile. The first to catch all 3 fish wins the round.
The runner who gets a second 1 Victory point Fish card at any round can have another go at flicking their penguin.
While the Runners are trying to catch the fish, the Catcher will have to try to catch all 3 Runners. If the Catcher caught all the Runners before one of them caught all 3 of their fish, the Catcher will win the round.
At the end of the game (when all rounds are completed), the player with most victory points (the total of all the numbers on the Fish cards they've collected) wins.
We had an absolute laugh playing Ice Cool! We love the story and being a cheeky penguin student stealing fish, as well as the almighty Hall Monitor trying to catch the Runners! It's hilarious when we are so close to our target (a fish or a Runner), but a bad flick ruined our turn and got us closer to trouble!
I also love it that we all had to stand up and go around the board, as sometimes it's just not possible to flick your penguin when it's standing right in the corner! It creates more vibe to the game I think, which makes it more fun! At first I had no idea what the Reminder cards were for, but after Clay has misplaced his Fish cards (it gets confusing where you were sitting originally!), we found it really useful!
The way the school rooms are designed is really clever too! For this game a foldable board game just won't work, but to allow for tidying away, each room is a separate stackable cardboard box, clipped together with fish clips (so that when you flick the penguins the rooms won't seperate).
Although hubby was a better flicker and kept winning rounds, I was the final winner because I had more Victory points! So even if someone is really good at flicking, he/ she will definitely not ruin your gamer and chance to win.
We would definitely recommend Ice Cool for fun and noisy play!