Iceline Review

I’m a big fan of puzzle games (as any regular reader will have noticed) and so whenever one crosses the Tavern desk I can’t help but be intrigued. This latest title – Iceline from Desert Water Games – offers a unique challenge, and one that’s pretty tough at that.

The crux of the gameplay sees us moving a wizard about a top down, 2D plane in the four cardinal directions. As we do so, he leaves a trail of ice behind him that acts as both a newly formed barricade and a way to skip over other obstacles. Across the 50 or so levels, we need to use this simple mechanic is clever ways to overcome the surprisingly high difficulty.

As we move about we need to collect several crystals in order to complete the stage. While this sounds easy, they are often laid out in such a way as to require us to create a weaving trail that ends up being far more intricate that we’d expect.

For example, one key aspect of our arsenal is being able to use straight lines as a way to hop over a distance; approach a vertical line from the side and our wizard will quickly slide to the other side. We can line up several lines in a row and cross them all at once, as well as line them up next to otherwise uncross-able walls in order to pass them by. I must admit to being a bit perplexed by this mechanic at first blush as its purpose seemed a bit flat, but a few puzzles later showed some ingenuity with the puzzles and solutions.

Hitting an ice line from the same orientation (i.e a vertical line from the top or bottom) kills our wizard, and so the game requires us to plan multiple moves ahead in order to not stump ourselves. This goes for general movement as well as when skipping over correctly aligned lines, and can make some of the already harder later areas even more challenging as we lay out a long pathway only to fall at the final hurdle.

Finally, as if things weren’t trying enough, there are several coloured ice lines and crystals to worry about. Crossing a colour changes our own line to that as well, and lets us pick up to associated colour. However, when crossing multiple lines we only take on the colour of the first one we cross, and so we need to add to the already snake-like mazes with colour ordered colours as well.

With all of the above, Iceline does a good job of offering a real challenge. At time of writing I’ve not long passed level 30, and there were a good percentage of stages until now that properly stumped me for a while.

Some required more back and forth than initially appears, while others call for more direct pattern repetition. There have been very few that felt unfairly hard mind you, and for those looking for something to test them for a little stint each night, Iceline feels like the perfect fit. I’ve enjoyed spending 30-45 minutes a night over the last few days working on the solutions until my brain gave in, at which point I moved onto something a little less strenuous.


For less than a fiver on the Xbox store, there’s not much to lose if you’re even remotely keen on a fun but challenging indie puzzler. There’s not much in the way of extra flash or pizzaz, but what’s here is solid puzzle gaming through and through.

Become a Patron!

This game was reviewed based on Xbox S|X review code, using an Xbox S|X console. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version. Game provided by publisher.

Want to keep up to date with the latest Xt reviews, Xt opinions and Xt content? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

  • Plenty of challenge
  • Clever use of mechanics
  • Simple presentation is nothing to get excited about
Written by
I've been gaming since Spy vs Spy on the Master System, growing up as a Sega kid before realising the joy of multi-platform gaming. These days I can mostly be found on smaller indie titles, the occasional big RPG and doing poorly at Rainbow Six: Siege. Gamertag: Enaksan

Leave a Reply

Lost Password

Please enter your username or email address. You will receive a link to create a new password via email.

Skip to toolbar