Freeze to play.
Nothing need make too much sense in the world of mobile gaming, and in Icycle: On Thin Ice that's allowed one-man developer Reece Millidge to create something suitably surreal. Putting you in charge of a naked man on a bicycle, you'll have to gently steer and jump him through some beautifully crafted stages in pursuit of the love of his life. Millidge's eye for detail has led to a lengthy development cycle for the game, so how's it all turned out in the end?
That perfectionism has certainly paid off when you consider the sheer variety of environments on offer. The artwork is beautiful, magical doors spit the cycling hero out into unexpected areas, and the environments and perspectives shift around you in entirely unexpected ways. As an argument for how simplicity can be spun out into imaginative complexity, it's hard to top Icycle, and the game's charms are immediately apparent. You can even unlock the original Flash game if you complete enough of this edition's challenges.
Simple though the controls are, they can feel a little clumsy, and while you should have no trouble beating the game, there were a couple of fiddly moments where we felt we were being held back by the mechanics, rather than our own ability. It can also be hard to make out the ice chips that are spread around each level, and used to buy new cosmetic items for your character. The latter problem's by no means a deal-breaker, but you'll have to back-track a lot to get them all.
In the face of so much delightfully clever level design, it's easy enough to brush aside any niggles about the game. Icycle's colorful, clever and a great example of just how far a little imagination can go in the world of indie mobile development. Highly recommended for your Thanksgiving gaming.
Download Icycle: On Thin Ice- iPhone & iPad