Game Reviews

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (iPhone)

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Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (iPhone)

While we're sure there probably isn't a rule book regarding the production of movie tie-in video games that developers have to tirelessly adhere to, we do know that the usual practice when you're shelling out cash for a high-profile licence is to utilise the main characters of that particular movie.

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs makes the bold move of omitting the film's protagonists and instead placing a relatively minor character in the hot seat.

In this highly likeable platform puzzler you control the wily sabertooth squirrel Scrat as he continues his amusing quest to collect as many precious acorns as possible.

Scrat's role in the movies is to provide comic relief and his deliciously deranged tale of one animal's unremitting love of acorns lends itself perfectly to this collect-a-thon.

A nut to tap

Tapping anywhere on the display either results in a green confirmation flare (which indicates that Scrat is able to proceed to that location) or a red one (which denotes an area to which Scrat isn't able to move). Once you've tapped on a viable location, Scrat automatically sets off.

Throughout each stage there are several small acorns dotted around. While collecting these isn't the ultimate objective of each stage, the more you manage to bag on your travels, the more additional extras you will unlock. All you're required to do is get Scrat to the exit of each level - a task in and of itself.

Along with environmental conundrums such as block-moving puzzles, you have to contend with enemies, some of which merely follow a pre-determined patrol pattern while others chase on sight.

The best offence is a good defence

While Scrat lacks offensive capabilities, he's able to use his surroundings to eliminate these troublesome pests. For example, tapping him unleashes a "stomp" move which causes any loose bits of scenery nearby to fall, spelling certain doom for any baddies that happen to be underneath.

Despite its cute graphics and infectiously happy soundtrack, the game is as tough to crack as one of Scrat's beloved acorns. Some of the later levels will have you pulling your hair out in frustration, but the generously scattered restart points help mitigate much of the annoyance and the game is so appealing that you can't help but have another go.

While Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs arguably lacks the depth and finesse of Two Tribes's Toki Tori, it remains a solid effort that fans of the movies are bound to fall hopelessly in love with.

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (iPhone)

It may not be as inventive as stable mate Toki Tori but Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs is nevertheless a top-notch platform puzzler that will keep you glued to your handset for some time
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