Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs was released in theatres in early July, and of course, a video game adaptation was not far behind. Normally, video games based on movies, especially children's movies, are rather hit or miss. I'm glad to say that this game at least is quite an enjoyable experience and parents whose children are fans of this series should have no problem renting or buying this game for their kids.
Simply put, Ice Age is fun. The gameplay isn't revolutionary and you won't see mind blowing graphics, but for an adventure game geared towards the younger generation, even older gamers will have a satisfying experience. This adventure game will see you take on a variety of tasks, types of gameplay and characters. One section will have you playing as Scart, a squirrel ever chasing his nut, in a side scrolling platform game and in another section you will be playing as Sid the sloth, running from a giant and rather angry dinosaur, all the while dodging cracks, lava pits and other animals.
The pace of the game is broken up quite nicely and if you find yourself becoming bored with the 3D platforming part of the game it won't be long until you're faced with a different type of challenge, switching up the gameplay and keeping the experience fresh.
While you play you'll be picking up fruits that you accumulate and can use to unlock new multiplayer games, challenges, and additional videos and voice work. Its not a huge selling point but it's a nice little touch to give people incentive to go out and explore the level to collect as many as possible. Also, each level has 3 collectable crystals that accumulate throughout the game. These crystals do not have any real purpose, but if you're a perfectionist you'll likely spend additional time exploring or replaying levels to find every single one.
The story line of Ice Age is rather simple, Manny and Ellie, two woolly mammoths, are about to have a baby. You start off playing as Sid the sloth and eventually find your way to discovering 3 un-hatched dinosaur eggs. Through a course of events the mother of these eggs, a rather imposing and angry dinosaur, eventually finds Sid and her unborn babies and takes them all away. The rest of the game sees you and the gang of animals on a quest to find and rescue Sid as well as finding a safe place for Manny and Ellie to have their baby. Throughout the game you will visit a variety of different environments as well as play as several different noticeable characters from the movie.
All the voice work in this game is done by the actual actors from the movie, so overall the lines are delivered pretty reasonably. The story is told by Sid and Diego while sitting around a fire in a retrospective fashion. Bits and pieces of humour are thrown around throughout the telling or the story, as well as during the game. The dialogue won't have you laughing out loud, but some of the lines are rather witty and will put a smile upon your face.
Parents worried about violence should know that although there is some conflict between characters in the game, it is not anything to be worried about. Most of the action is merely swiping or knocking over your enemies and once they are defeated they fall over and disappear. At one point you play as Buck, who uses some weapons, but he merely shoot fruits which simply knock out your targets.
The game does offer some multiplayer but it's rather limited to somewhat simple gameplay mechanics such as jumping on tiles in a race between your opponent to collect the most. The game also provides challenges, but these are simply bits of the game turned into time trials. if you complete certain challenges under a set amount of time, you are rewarded a trophy or achievement depending what platform you are on.
Overall, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs is a fun game. Parents looking for a good clean game for the kids to enjoy should look no further. Even older gamers who are fond of the movies or looking for a decent adventure game with a large amount of platforming will enjoy this title. The game doesn't offer incredible depth aside from going back to collect crystals or trying to improve your challenge scores, but for what it is, a children's game based off a movie, and at its reduced price, its hard to go wrong. Technically the game presents no bugs and the gameplay, story, and overall presentation make it so that any one from the occasional, to hardcore gamer will get some enjoyment out of this game.