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 they’re surprisingly difficult to shoot down.
- Artificial Stupidity: Melee enemies can only attack Scrat if he’s on ground level with them. If you jump onto any raised object, it’ll successfully fool them and allow you to shoot them with impunity once you get the ability to throw rocks. This is true even if you’re 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. They’re 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, you’ll be intercepted by the condor and ferried back to the starting point if you get too close to the waterfall. Apparently, they’re 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 doesn’t 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 it’s entirely possible to traverse rocks floating in it with impunity.
- Double Jump: Scrat joins other platformer protagonists in the long list of proud users.
- Faking the Dead: In the Waterpark stage, there’s a minigame where you have to sneak past sleeping Diego and collect some acorns. If he stirs, you need to instantly fall down and play dead, or else you lose all the acorns you've collected.
- First-Person Shooter: Scrat soon learns to shoot small chunks of rock. While it can be done on the move in third-person, it’s much easier to find a safe spot (see Artificial Stupidity) and let loose in this mode.
- Full-Boar Action: Large suids, vaguely inspired by Metridiochoerus, are recurring enemies in the Waterpark, Forest and Glacier stages. They can pack quite a punch when they charge at you.
- Giant Spider: A recurring enemy in the Mud Bog and Sloth Village sections. There's an enormous one that serves as a boss in the Mud Bog level.
- Goomba Springboard: Played with. In some levels, you’re required to jump off the backs of friendly animals. In the second-to-last lava level, there’s a boss fight against the spider matriarch. Once defeated, you need to jump up by bouncing on 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 the Maelstrom 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 unkillable 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 bats, wall beetles, spiders, salamanders and toads.
- Mundane Utility: Scrat’s 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 Waterpark and Glacier levels you fight polar bears and blue wolves. On the Forest levels, you have regular brown bears and red wolves opposing you. To boot, there are three variants of the upright rhinoceros beetle.
- Savage Wolves: Recurring enemies in the Waterpark, Forest and Glacier stages.
- Spin Attack: Scrat gets extremely powerful one by collecting berries. However, you’ll rarely need to actually use them. The only type of enemy that is immune to them are the beavers from the Forest levels.
- 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: There’s 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.
- 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.
- Shout-Out: Dilophosaurus looks and behaves just as it does in the Jurassic Park franchise.
- 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:
- Adapted Out: For some reason, Crash and Eddie are absent from the herd while Dobson and Silas are absent from the pirate crew.
- Adaptational Nice Guy: Downplayed; Gutt still considers himself an evil pirate, but at least he plays fair and is not nearly as vengeful or cruel as his movie counterpart.
- Call-Back: Quite a few.
- One level of the game features a recreation of the opening of the second movie where Scrat tries to stop water leaking out of the glacier.
- A sliding level in the game features the characters riding through the same ice cave from the first movie.
- 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.
Tropes Featured in Ice Age: Scrat's Nutty Adventure:
- Ambiguous Ending: The game abruptly ends when Scrat gets transported into the ship of a Scratazon and stares at the alien standing before him.
- The Bus Came Back: Carl, Frank, Cretaceous, and Maelstrom appear in the game. While Rudy isn’t a boss, he briefly appears near the end of the game.
- A Day in the Limelight: Scrat is a playable character throughout the entire game, with no members of the herd showing up.