Backlog Quest II: Day 19 – Ice Age: Continental Drift – Arctic Games – Unevolved

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Dear Journal,

Today I played a game that was literally painful.

Ice Age: Continental Drift – Artic Games is more than just a mouthful of subtitles; it’s pure unadulterated garbage. Bad motion controls, poor game design and horribly dated graphics make up this obvious and pathetic cash grab. You can read on if you’d like, but know that it doesn’t get better.

So Ice Age: Continental Drift – Artic Games apparently takes place in some period close to or after the most recent Ice Age film. In possibly the poorest performance of his career, John Leguizamo as Sid (keep in mind I have seen The Pest when I make that statement) stumbles upon a basket of fruit just as a band of animal pirates does. The pirates challenge our favorite pre-historic herd to a series of games for ownership of the basket of fruit and rather than just have the mammoths squash the pirates and be on their way, they accept.

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What follows takes about 45 minutes to complete as you face off in a series of completely uninspired motion control games. Everything from sliding down hill to plugging leaks in the ice. So in other words, we could of easily called this Kinect Adventures: Ice Age Edition, but that would of sullied the name of Kinect Adventures. Most of the games give a quick tutorial while loading, a tutorial that doesn’t really make much sense without the context of the game to base it on, but most of them are pretty self-explanatory. Most play at a level that would be described as adequate, meaning they aren’t fun but they work. Some fail to even do that. The curling game is so hard to aim and properly throw at the power level you want it really just comes down to lucky bounces. And then there is the worst level in the game…

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All the names of the various mini-games deal in some form with ice or it being cold (clever, I know), so I forget the specific name of it, but Diego must run along a path, occasionally jumping from iceberg to ice berg.  Only the game is so poorly made, and so poorly explained it turned into a genuinely painful experience. First, it isn’t a run as fast as you can and jump type of game, you actually need to stop on certain icebergs so that they can start moving (this is never explained). Additionally, there are multiple times where you must jump or you will be knocked into the water and have to restart a significant portion of the course. This wouldn’t be so bad except to move in this level you have to actively run in place and the game will only recognize about half of your jumps properly. The target time was two minutes; I wound up clocking in (after bonus points took my time down) at about six minutes. A short two minutes run and jump game basically turned into a six-minute sprint while standing in place, which is surprisingly painful to your legs. I had to jump so many times due to the horrible controls I even actually (slightly) pulled a leg muscle at one point on this damn course.

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The horribleness of the gameplay is only overshadowed by how truly aweful the game looks and sounds. The actors clearly couldn’t give two shits when recording this and evidently just went with the first take Ray Romano didn’t sneeze or swear in. Everything is horribly uninspired. Adding to that, the game would make some PS2 era games blush with how bad the visuals are. It almost looks like it was made for the DS or 3DS and then (very quickly) uprezzed for TV display. Polygonal is a bit of an understatement.

There is nothing good here. Nothing at all. It’s short, it’s awful in just about every way and your kids will almost certainly put you in a nursing home if you buy this for them.
Tomorrow things improve as I go Oscar Mike in Medal of Honor: Warfighter.

Final Rating: 1.5/10

CBR Break Down:
Console Played On
: Xbox 360
Time to completion: 45 Minutes, seriously
Gamer Score Earned: 260/1000
Price Bought at: $8.99
Current Price: $24.95 (Amazon)
Recommend Purchase Price: Don’t.
Why you should buy it: You know a child that you really hate.
Why you shouldn’t buy it: Everything about it.

Check out all the Backlog Quest II journal entries!

Check out all the Backlog Quest II journal entries!

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About Tristan Rendo

I’ve made movies, written and performed music, and in January of 2011 got bored and started the awesome gaming site you see before you. My gaming roots began with the original NES, and endless hours spent spilling quarters into machines at the local arcade. I have a personal collection of over 200 Nintendo 64 games, and for many years it was the only system I owned. I re-entered the modern generation of gaming consoles when I decided to purchase a 360. I typically prefer the single player experience of games, so I’m usually playing through some single-player campaign, but can occasionally be found doing some damage in Halo Reach.