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"Ice Age 2: The Meltdown" is a video game released for the Gameboy Advance console in 2006 by Vivendi Games. It is based on the animated film of the same name. In the United States, the game received a rating of "E" by the ESRB panel which deemed it suitable for all ages.
Having experienced the previous "Ice Age" game I was hesitant about acquiring the second installment. The poor gameplay mechanics and lackluster visuals made me cautious and expecting the same sort of play out of this. Thankfully what I observed wasn't the case. The gameplay is divided into two seconds where the players control Scrat in side scrolling platform areas and the team of Sid, Manny and Diego in top down adventure style areas. The side scrolling areas are very basic in their play and do not last for a considerable length in game. Scrat will run and jump his way through less than inspired levels while collecting items and avoiding enemy encounters. The main crux of the game lies in its adventure area. The player will control the team using their specific strengths to activate switches and exit the stage. Sid will be used primarily as he has the ability to swim and walk across icy terrain with ease. He is compromised in areas of lava but can ride on Manny's back who has no problem walking across the patches of lava. Diego has a long jump and can cross gaps with ease to perhaps facilitate a crossing by use of a nearby environmental object. It is an interesting gameplay mode which can provide some fun to the player provided one enjoys puzzles of this nature.
The graphics are presented from either a side scrolling or top down view focusing on the character(s) in play. I found there to be a difference in between the Scrat stages and the team puzzle stages; animations were smooth and quick to render in the puzzle stages but the earlier Scrat stages were choppy and slow. In both areas the visuals were brightly coloured and well detailed, and keep with the typical characteristics seen in the film. The audio features numerous musical scores accompanied by digital voice snippets of the characters from the film which did make for a good listening experience.
Overall, I would recommend Ice Age 2 to to fans of the film. While this release improves considerably over the first, it is not likely that players outside of the fanbase of the film would find much enjoyment in the game.