The original 2002 Ice Age only had a cheaply made Game Boy Advance game which was negatively received by players and critics alike. It was created by Ubisoft. Following the success of the first film, Ice Age: The Meltdown received an Action Platformer game released on all major platforms at the time in 2006 (except the PlayStation Portable). The console versions of the game were platformers where the player controls Scrat, with the ocasional mini-game featuring the main characters, whereas the Nintendo DS and GBA games are puzzle games where the player uses the three main characters to overcome obstacles.
They focused on the franchise mascot Scrat, the prehistoric rat-squirrel hybrid on his quest to find more and more nuts at the same time, unfurling alongside the main plot of the films. There are also various mini-games, sometimes by Scrat, sometimes from the perspective of Manny, Sid or Diego. These games have received generally mediocre reviews, although the Wii and iOS versions of Dawn of the Dinosaurs currently hold scores 75 and 78 on Metacritic.
The 2012 mobile games Ice Age Village and Ice Age Adventures were generally well received by the public. However, this wasn't to last with Ice Age: Continental Drift - Arctic Games , a mini-game party game with Kinect functionalities that gathered mostly negative reviews on par with its Game Boy Advance precursor.
Ice Age: Collision Course didn't receive a game of its own, given that movie tie-in games fell out of flavor by the mid-2010s (Ratchet & Clank (2016) being a major exception but that's because it's a remake of the original) However, in late 2019 a game called Ice Age: Scrat's Nutty Adventure was released for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. It's a platformer reminiscent of the second game where players take control of Scrat through scenarios from all five movies.
Tropes featured in Ice Age: The Meltdown:
- Advertised Extra: Manny, Sid and Diego are prominently featured on the cover, even though their playability amounts to a small handful of minigames and they spend the bulk of their appearances as NPCs.
- Airborne Mook: Surprisingly rare, even though Scrat is rather well equipped to handle them (see First-Person Shooter below). The only example is a trio of bees late in the game, though theyre surprisingly difficult to shoot down.
- Artificial Stupidity: Melee enemies can only attack Scrat if hes on ground level with them. If you jump onto any raised object, itll successfully fool them and allow you to shoot them with impunity once you get the ability to throw rocks. This is true even if youre standing on a 10 cm rock shooting at a bear.
- Ascended Extra: Cholly the Chalicothere only had a brief appearance in the second film, being the source of a fart joke. Here, Scrat can have a conversation or two with him, and he helps Scrat get where he needs to be in exchange for food.
- The Moeritheriums voiced by Tara Strong were only extras in the movies, in the game they pop up more numerously and even help Scrat by giving him advice or objectives.
- Bears Are Bad News: Hostile bears are encountered in the first two sets of levels, firstly as polar, then as regular brown grizzlies. Theyre much tougher than other enemies, but are slow and can still be stunned easily at range.
- Blob Monster: The primary enemy fought inside Maelstrom when he swallows you are bluish blobs of slime. These are relatively difficult to kill, because they have good health, move all over the place and attack with a damaging Ground Pound.
- Border Patrol: In the very first level, youll be intercepted by the condor and ferried back to the starting point if you get too close to the waterfall. Apparently, theyre still concerned for your safety enough to do this.
- Catch and Return: The beavers will catch all of your shots with their tail, then throw them right back.
- Clown-Car Grave: Averted with the shrubs. Beginning from the second level, some of them will have a wave of bugs (later, a smaller swarm of rats) emerge if you move too closely. However, the swarm doesnt regenerate and they can be finished off for good.
- Collection Sidequest: Obviously, the acorns of varying sizes. While collecting them is entirely optional, there are special golden walnuts that have to be collected in order to open the crack that leads to the next level.
- Convection Schmonvection: Like in the films, lava is only dangerous if you step into it, and its entirely possible to traverse rocks floating in it with impunity.
- Difficulty Spike: Minigames are often far more difficult than the general exploratory gameplay preceding them.
- Double Jump: Scrat joins other platformer protagonists in the long list of proud users.
- Faking the Dead: Early on, theres a minigame where you have to sneak past sleeping Diego. If he stirs, you need to instantly fall down and play dead.
- First-Person Shooter: Scrat soon learns to shoot small chunks of rock. While it can be done on the move in third-person, its much easier to find a safe spot (see Artificial Stupidity) and let loose in this mode.
- Giant Spider
- Goomba Springboard: Played with. In some levels, youre asked to jump off the backs of friendly animals. In the second-to-last lava level, theres a boss fight against the spider matriarch. Once defeated, you need to jump up by bouncing her stomach.
- Ground Pound: Scrat can perform a rather powerful one by pressing attack button at the end of jump. The blob monsters fought at the end of one level do that, too.
- Hammerspace: Scrat is somehow capable of carrying 30 or so chunks of rock with no visible implements.
- Hero of Another Story: Scrat's quest for his nut only occasionally intersects with the main cast's adventure, though he still on occasion meets the heroes. Despite this, Manny still narrates the second game's cutscenes as if the game has been following him the entire time. You still get to play as the trio for one mini-game each.
- Hunger Causes Lethargy: Discussed when Cholly says that sometimes, he gets so hungry that he can hardly move. It later happens for real when Cholly is found sitting under an apple tree, too famished to climb it. Scrat ends up having to get him a few apples.
- Instant Ice: Just Add Cold!: In one level, Scrat has to traverse a once-frozen river by jumping onto ice floes. If he falls into the water, he'll end up as an ice cube.
- Invincible Minor Minion: The large animals are invincible and can only be stunned: understandable, given their size relative to Scrat. However, there are also Scrat-sized prehistoric bugs, which can only be stunned too. At the same time, it's entirely possible to kill salamanders and toads.
- Mundane Utility: Scrats powerful Ground Pound attack is also used to break through hollow ice on the ground to get to the acorns underneath.
- The Other Darrin: Averted in the second game, since pretty much all the voice actors came back to voice their characters, even Cholly.
- Oxygen Meter: Used in the underwater levels much like how you would expect.
- Palette Swap: Many, many enemy types are encountered in different climate areas having only undergone a palette swap. I.e. during the "Ice" levels you fight polar bears and grey wolves. On the "Spring" levels, you have regular brown bears and wolves opposing you.
- Spin Attack: Scrat gets extremely powerful one by collecting berries. However, youll rarely need to actually use them.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: The opossum twins are considerably more annoying here than in the film, at one point flat-out getting the walnut Scrat needs for passing to the next level and refusing to give it to him until he beats them in a rather hard digging mini-game.
- Vine Swing: One of the skills Scrat can use to traverse the levels.
- Whack A Mole: Theres one segment for Diego where you do just that, only with mole substituted with two annoying opossums.
- Womb Level: The Ice sections of the game end with one, after Scrat gets swallowed by Maelstrom.
Tropes featured in Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs:
- Adaptational Badass: The Troodon appears as a more serious threat than in the film.
- Artistic License Paleontology: Dilophosaurus appears with a frill and the ability to spit venom, just as it did in Jurassic Park.
- Boss-Only Level: There are two; one halfway through the game against the Carnivorous Plant, and the other against Rudy in the last level.
- The Bus Came Back: Carl and Frank from the first film appear early in the game as something of a mini-boss.
- Doofy Dodo: Are still the same as how are they seen in the first film, but act as threats/enemies.
- Double Jump: Buck, Sid and Scrat can all double jump.
- Dreadful Dragonfly: Buck has to face giant dragonflies in the Dinosaur World.
- Giant Spider: Downplayed; much larger than normal spiders, but they are some of the smallest enemies in the game.
- Hornet Hole: Not entire levels, but some areas in the Dinosaur World contain enormous beehives that Buck has to destroy.
- Lethal Lava Land: "Flight of the Pterodactyl".
- Man-Eating Plant: Besides the Carnivorous Plant boss, there are several other plants that attack and/or try to eat Buck.
- Moth Menace: Buck has to face giant butterflies in the Dinosaur World.
- Ptero Soarer: Pterodactylus and Harpactognathus.
- Quicksand Sucks: The last few levels take place in an area surronded by tar that acts like quicksand.
- Raptor Attack: Guanlong.
- Rhino Rampage: Carl and Frank, being rhino-like brontotheres.
- Side View: The three Scrat levels.
- Stock Dinosaurs: Zig-zagged, as with the film. Recognizable creatures include the Tyrannosaurus, Brachiosaurus, Ankylosaurus, Dilophosaurus, Iguanodon, Pachycephalosaurus, Triceratops, and Archaeopteryx. Lesser-known genera include Kentrosaurus, Troodon, Pterodactylus, Harpactognathus, Guanlong, and Baryonyx.
- Tree Trunk Tour: Most prominently in "Flower Power".
- Underground Level: "Lonesome Sloth" and "Nuts About Scratte". The Dinosaur World is technically underground too...
- Vine Swing: Buck encounters a few of these.
- Wall Jump: Buck and Scrat can do this.
- Wicked Wasps: Buck has to face giant hornets in the Dinosaur World.
Tropes featured in Ice Age: Continental Drift - Arctic Games:
- Card-Carrying Villain: Gutt calls himself evil in the ending of the fourth game, but he backs off when he recognizes he's been defeated.
- Go-Karting with Bowser: The fourth game pits the herd against the pirates in game's worth of mini-games. At the end, Gutt admits they're not really out to cause trouble, but he still advises people to just give him what he wants and he'll be on his merry way.
- Punch-Clock Villain: The pirates come off as this. Unlike the movie, they seem a little standoffish but never cheat or try to kill the herd.