Review – Ice Cool

Posted on by Jesta

A Family Friendly, Dexterity game.

Title: Ice Cool

Year Published: 2016

Designer: Brian Gomez

Publisher: Brain Games

Players: 2-4

Game Time: ~20 mins

Set-up Time: ~5 mins

Ages: 6+

Theme: Penguins… in School

Mechanic: Dexterity

How to win: Score the most points by collecting fish and evading the Catcher as the Runner and capturing other Penguins as the Catcher.

Game Description

The lunch break is almost there and all of the young penguins would finally get the fish they’ve been craving. However, some rascals think they are quick enough to snatch some of the fish before the lunch break starts, but they have forgotten one thing – the Hall Monitor! Each school day one of the penguins is designated to watch over the school, and this is his moment to shine – for each rascal penguin he catches he would get additional fish!

A fun run takes place – the rascals are running everywhere and trying to snatch some fish on their way, but the Hall Monitor is trying to catch each and one of them to have some order in the school. Who will be more successful?

Set Up

This is easier than it looks. The game has this ‘Box in a Box’ system so you need to lay them out and arrange them into a square. After a couple of games this becomes easy.

There are markers on the floors of doorways to match up but as I said, it’s easy. They’re also colour coded.

To clip the boxes together, add the white fish markers in their spaces.

Take a Penguin of your colour with the colour reminder card, ID Card and 3 fish.

Each player places the Fish Tokens on each of their 3 spaces of the board. Shuffle the Fish cards and put them next to the game board and you’re ready to go!

Pick a random start player, they are the Catcher! (Or according to the book, pick the player who saw a Penguin most recently to be the Catcher…)

The Catcher places their Penguin anywhere within the red lines in the Kitchen

Game Play

Starting with the player to the left of the Catcher, put your Penguin on the red dot and give it a flick!

Each player does this in clockwise order, on the Catchers turn they start from where the Penguin was placed in the Kitchen.

From now on, everyone flicks there Penguin from where it ended up last turn. The only exception to this is if your Penguin is outside the red line, you can move it onto the red line.

If you get stuck in a door, look down from above… If you can see parts of your Penguins on both sides of the door you can choose the room your go in to.

If a Penguin goes through (not stuck inbetween) a door with their colour Penguin on it, collect the Penguin. (Also collect one if you were knocked all the way through a door outside of your turn!)

Jumping over a door doesn’t count either!

If the Catcher touches a Runner, or a Runner touches the Catcher on their turn, the Catcher takes the Runners ID Card.

If you have 2 Fish cards from previous rounds with a value of ‘1’ (with ice skates on), you can flip them both face up and take an extra turn.

As soon as a Runner has caught their 3rd fish, or the Catcher has caught all 3 ID cards the round ends.

Each player draws a Fish card for each ID card they have (both their own or one they captured) and each fish they have caught.

Hook the fish back in their place and hand the ID cards back. The next player in order is the Catcher so setup accordingly.

Game End

Once each player has been the Catcher, the game ends.

Add up the points on the Fish cards you captured, most points wins.

In the case of a tie, the player with the most fish cards wins.

Round Up

This is a very VERY fun game!

It’s slightly 3D look makes it stand out on the table and it’s fun flicking game play causes a lot of laughs and generally pulls a crowd.

For how simple this is, it’s quite tactical. You’re trying to get your 3 fish as quickly as possible but you just can’t head to the doors ASAP. You have to play a game of cat and mouse, going left, then right, making good shots and hoping the bad ones aren’t too bad.

Once you get good you can learn how to curl the Penguins and even make them jump over the walls.

I LOVE this game and even people who wouldn’t even look at it at any other time once made to play it will say, “That was fun”.


A very VERY good game.

I give it 8/10

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