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Icycle
"Hello...?"

Platform Hell freezes over.

Icycle is a free Adobe Flash game, created by Damp Gnat productions.

In a post-apocalyptic, frozen Earth, the last Human Popsicle wakes up from his cryogenic sleep to discover that he is Last of His Kind. But he soon discovers that There Is Another, and he sets off in pursuit of them across the frozen wasteland, looking for the last remnants of humanity. Fairly typical of the genre, then.

"Typical," that is, until you realize that he's completely naked, he's riding across the tundra on a comically small, squeaky blue bicycle, and he's chasing a trail of frozen soap bubbles.

As a game, Icycle is a Platformer wherein you control the unnamed man and his tiny bicycle as he Follows The Bubbles across several icy landscapes. The man can't get off his bike—he's naked, after all, and he'd freeze quickly—and he can't backpedal. He's got momentum issues, too. You've got to figure out the layout of the levels and the types of obstacles contained therein, and figure out the best path around them. Due to the way the bike moves, precision is extremely difficult—but you're going to need it anyway, as the platforms are small, the Spikes Of Doom are plentiful, and the ice is both slippy and slidey. Being a free Flash game, it's only 8 levels long, but it's 8 levels of precarious cliffs, steep slopes, Bottomless Pits, and spikes. Lots and lots of spikes.


This work provides examples of:

  • 100% Completion: The game grades you on the percentage of soap bubbles you collect in a level.
  • Advancing Wall of Doom: Area 7 is build entirely around this concept, with giant ice crystals encroaching in on you from all sides.
  • After the End
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Beating the game lets you play again... but this time, your guy has a scarf. Small comforts, I suppose. Repeatedly beating the game gives him more clothes.
  • By Wall That Is Holey: In Area 8, you must position yourself exactly so so as not to get crushed by the falling building.
  • Follow The Frozen Soap Bubbles
  • Huge Rider, Tiny Mount: The guy is at least twice as big as the bicycle.
  • Human Popsicle: You're the only one who unfrozen successfully. The others all went splat. Or so it seems...
  • Last of His Kind: The bicycle guy, looking for other humans in the frozen world.
  • The Many Deaths of You: Crushed, spiked, frozen, fallen into pits. Often you need to die the first time - or a few times - to learn what you'll need to avoid. Fortunately, the deaths a quite amusing.
  • Naked People Are Funny
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: Anything and everything is enough to knock you off your bike, and you freeze instantly on contact with the ground.
  • Platform Hell: Remember, children, in Dante's Inferno, the ninth circle of Hell was completely covered in ice.
  • Scenery Censor: Despite being naked the entire game, the bicycle guy's legs are always carefully positioned such that you never actually see anything.
  • Scenery Porn: Sure, Earth may be completely frozen over, but if it isn't gorgeous...!
  • Shout-Out: The very first area is based on the famous Japanese print The Great Wave off Kanagawa. The second has the Statue Of Liberty's torch in the background, a reference to Planet of the Apes.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World
  • Spikes Of Doom: Aaaaaaarrrrrggggh!
  • Stepping Stones in the Sky: Area 5's crumbling cliffs; some of the gaps are too wide to jump, but start to crumble before you get there. Luckily, they're still viable platforms even when they're falling.
  • There Is Another: You're looking for them. It turns out to be a gorilla. With a motorcycle. And a bubble gun.
  • Time Passes Montage: The loading screen/intro starts at the formation of the Earth and the Moon, the forming of the continents, the spread of life, the Earth being covered in cities, increasing global warming and a sudden ice age, all in about twenty seconds.
  • Trial-and-Error Gameplay: In the "growing ice" segments in Area 7, this is pretty much the only way to get past them—memorize the patterns they grow in, and stay carefully within them. Not easy, especially when it's difficult to stay in one place.
  • Vent Physics: Both Area 6 and Area 8 make copious use of vents; Area 8 especially has one particularly hazadous "threading the needle" stage.

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