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Ice Cream Surfer review for PS Vita, PS4, Switch


Platform: PS Vita
Also On: PC, PS4, Switch, Wii U
Publisher: Hidden Trap
Developer: Dolores Entertainment
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: E

If Ice Cream Surfer were available for a dollar or two, it might be worth checking out. At that price, you might be able to forgive its many (many, many) flaws, and just focus on the few things it has going for it. It’s a silly little shmup where you play as the titular ice cream surfer battling his vegetable foes, who are led by a sentient broccoli with a tiny little moustache and a red armband. It’d be dumb, but for a bargain basement price you’d at least feel like you’re getting your money’s worth.

However, Ice Cream Surfer is not a cheap App Store game. It’s $8 in the PlayStation Store ($11 in the Canadian storefront!), which, quite frankly, is insane.

True, it could be more expensive, but for that price, you’d want a game that works. Ice Cream Surfer does not: one time I continued after dying, and spent the next five minutes flying through an empty sky, until I finally reached the end boss. It’s quite possible this was just an incredibly baffling design choice, but I think the more likely explanation is that the mere act of clicking “continue” broke the game’s brain. That would also explain why, during another playthrough, pausing and continuing brought me back to the game’s title screen.

For this price, you’d want a game that could load within a reasonable time frame. Instead, every load screen in Ice Cream Surfer is an endless ordeal, involving lots of time spent watching absolutely nothing.

Most of all, for that price you’d want a game that’s, you know, fun. Instead, you get six mostly repetitive levels, full of enemy bullets that are the same colour as power-ups and hit detection that’s far too erratic to be tolerable.

I’d like to say that there are some points in the game’s favour, but that would be a lie. Ice Cream Surfer is a bargain basement App Store game masquerading as a mid-priced indie game, and at that price you should stay far, far away.

Hidden Trap provided us with an Ice Cream Surfer PS Vita code for review purposes.

Grade: D-