Total time played: 25 minutes
Short review: One of the few sports games on the NES worth checking out. There isn’t a lot of depth to Ice Hockey but the game still has a bit of replay value
Interesting links related to Ice Hockey
I think I may be in the minority, but, I like Ice Hockey more than Blades of Steel. Ice Hockey is a straight arcade style sports game. Select one of a few teams that are named by the country they come from. I of course chose USA but after losing 3 games in a row I switched to Canada and won. I honestly don’t think any of the teams are different other than the color of the jerseys.
After selecting your team you choose the period length, with 7 minutes being the shortest. You also choose the speed between 1 and 5. 5 means all the players are much faster, 1 means they are slower. I am not sure if this is meant to be a difficulty setting, I played on several different speed settings and didn’t notice much difference in gameplay.
Each team has 4 players and a goalie. You can choose your team between 3 characters:
The skinny fast guy who has no power
The normal sized guy with average speed and power
The fat guy with no speed but a lot of power.
I ended up going with two skinny and two normal guys, the fat guy was just too slow. It took me quite a while to get a hang of the controls, A passes and B shoots. It sounds pretty straight forward but it was rather easy to get confused while playing. One gripe I have with Ice Hockey is that when a fight broke out my player always got put in the penalty box. I honestly didn’t notice the game getting any harder with one fewer player but it was still frustrating there were no penalties on the other team.
This game was more enjoyable than I was expecting and I imagine it would be really fun playing against a friend. The game is easy to pick up but offers room for the player to actually have some skill as well. If I had played this as a kid I am sure it would have started a lot of arguments and caused a lot of controller throwing.