Ice Age 2: The Meltdown

Scrat, Manny and crew return for another bout of movie madness, but will the kids love it?

Every rose has its thorn and every animated kids' film has a platform game spin-off. It's the law! Based on the CGI sequel about anthropomorphic olden-days animals, Ice Age 2 doesn't bother to even attempt to rock the boat as far as movie adaptations go. This is safe platforming by numbers.

For the majority you play Scrat, a mute rodent on the trail of his beloved golden nut. Scampering, leaping and climbing through lengthy platform stages, gameplay is broken up with the usual minigames involving the other characters in puzzles, races and Dancing Stage-style rhythm challenges.


Nuts and fruit litter the landscape, and collecting 1,000 on each level unlocks bonus
features. Bizarrely, the features in question are dry interviews with the cast of the movie rather than playable content, so don't be surprised if the kids soon lose interest in collecting everything to unlock extra stuff - they'll soon learn it's not worth it.

The visuals range from surprisingly good during the game to decidedly ropey during cutscenes. Thank god, then, that the audio is robust, with music that doesn't irritate and the proper actors reprising their roles from the movie.

While it's unlikely to impress or entrance older players, as far as the target audience is concerned, this is a perfectly acceptable diversion which sweetens its uninspired construction with just enough moments of levity and some reasonably polished gameplay to help compensate for the standard trappings of the kids' movie tie-in. In other words, to use a phrase as clichéd as the game itself, the kids will dig it.

The verdict

Ice Age 2 is a well-polished movie tie-in that will keep undemanding kids amused for a weekend or two.