A couple of months ago, I was browsing the website for Coastal Amusements when I came across a listing for a sit-down videmption game called Ice Man. Unfortunately there wasn’t a lot of information about the game to be found apart from a couple of sentences and a small picture so I figured it would be best to wait.
Last week, Replay Magazine’s e-mail newsletter featured a story about Ice Man shipping and already earning on location. I didn’t exactly expect to come across it so soon but as chance had it, I found one while out with the family last night at a local bowling alley. That venue has an arcade area featuring an up-to-date roster (The Walking Dead, Jurassic Park Motion and Crazy Tower at the entrance); in the back near the Space Invaders Frenzy machine was the Ice Man. I grabbed a quick video of it being played, sharing here via Vid.Me and Youtube (same video, just depends on your site preference)
As for the game itself, it is very similar to Sega’s Plants Vs. Zombies: The Last Stand. Instead of shooting pirate zombies with peas, you are freezing them with your water jets and collecting hordes of coins in the process. At the end of each round, you are graded on your performance. This is one where the hardware is certainly working to make up for the poor frame rate (which is common for Chinese developed games like this but still odd to me given that the graphics are not pushing boundaries by any modern standard and decent PC hardware is pretty cheap). As you can see from the video, it is a very colorful game that uses a lot of multi-color LEDs to an attractive effect; but the most interesting feature is the playfield between the screen and the guns.
This has a field of fake green grass where on occasion a fine water mist spray rises into the air. This creates a fake smoke effect that is cool to watch, regardless the game itself. One issue I did notice though is that the game did seem to complain that the “water level is too low, call an attendant” soon after this effect started. The kids kept playing but they did seem slightly confused as the game would tell them to do something about it. Whether or not operators have to keep an eye on the water level on a daily or weekly basis is something that is unknown to me (would be pertinent info for the Coastal website to mention). But it is something to keep in mind if you do pick up the game so that it can produce the effect without bothering players all of the time.
If you have played this already, what did you think about it?