Floppy-haired Brightonian games proper-journalist Simon Parkin describes Icycle as ‘Naked, ice-age themed Trials HD [or Trials 2 to PC-you and PC-I] in Flash.’ He’s not wrong. And hey, even if you couldn’t stand Trials, let’s re-emphasise the naked thing – this is a game about a bloke riding his pushbike through a snowy wasteland, wearing only his birthday suit. Ouch.
Rather than a sequence of challenge stages, it’s a flowing story of sorts – a platformer more than anything else, but with elastic momentum that brings death at every turn.
Must admit I found it a bit of a trudge at times, due to the emphasis on very quick reflexes and remembering then repeating an exact route, rather than Trials’ mix of fudging it, guesstimation and insta-replay – but the flamboyancy and strange fusion of bleakness and silliness endeared it to me nonetheless. It’s about a naked guy on a bicycle.
Also, it’s about some startling epic background scenery, turned into much more than the 2D imagery it is thanks to natty zoom and physics shenanigans. It’s a beautifully-presented game, it really is. Plus, it’s about a naked guy on a bicycle. His shivering and frozen-nippled gasping are the game’s easy highlight. It’s made by a team which includes some olden Amiga devs and a professional animator, and aside from it being perhaps a bit too unforgiving, you can really tell there’s pedigree here. Naked, shivering pedigree.
You can play it for free in your browser here, or see it in action below. No, down a bit. Bit more. Ah, there you go: