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First started in late 2007, Kasey's Mobile Game Review (then just a regular feature of Kasey's Korner) started as a simul-post between here and IGN. Later I realized there's no reason to post it twice, when I can use the traffic on my own site. so, here we are, in 2010, and the mobile game industry has grown a bit. What do you think?

Mobile Game review of "Ice Age: Mammoth Mayhem"

Ice Age trio returns for a game where the three, Manny the Mammoth, Sid the Sloth, and Diego the Smilodon (saber-toothed tiger), must combine their talents to save the various mammoth younglings separated by a flood. Is it fun? Hmmm... It's okay. It's actually quite simple as you can probably finish the whole game in a couple hours. Not sure how long it would hold a kid's attention.

The game is played in a 'top-down' view with some illusions of 3D. The mammoth younglings are all over the place, and often behind some sort of barrier or requires a bit of travel. There are no "radar" to tell you how close you are, so you will have to explore the map for them.

The levels are pretty well drawn. There are swamps and frozen areas and grasslands and such. Later levels gets a bit devious as you can't scroll around the map just to LOOK for the path, you actually have to send one of the three heroes there to see that portion, but not everyone can go everywhere, thus the challenge.

Basically, Manny has brute strength, and can push some boulders, and pull some other boulders. Sid can light fire to burn away some barriers, and can climb vines to reach some places no others can. Diego can use the claws to break purple crystal barriers, and can run really fast, even in a swamp, so he will never sink in. He can also jump from one plateau to another, and with Manny acting as a platform, he can jump between two far apart plateaus. Thus, by using talents of all three heroes, you must rescue all mammoth younglings (simply by touching them) before the clock expires.

As you can imagine, nothing can be that simple. Later levels added ice (you will slip and slide, and if you slide into the water, you lose half a life. If you used up all four lives, you need to restart the level. The swamps will prevent Manny from crossing unless the distance is quite short. So basically you must explore to find the paths, then backtrack to figure out how to get there. Doing all that while still stick within the time limits, is where experience and strategy comes into play.

The sprites are pretty well animated, and you do see the poor squirrel. There's also a bonus game of "gather the nuts" while you rescue the younglings. The more nuts you collect before rescuing all younglings (but before the time expires), the better your level rating. However, there is no 'high score' table at all.

Music is okay, but nothing too memorable here. Sound effects are minimal, and should stay that way.

All in all, Ice Age: Mammoth Mayhem is a very short, okay, shallow movie tie-in. It is way too short, as you can finish the whole game in a couple hours. There is also no reason to ever play this again, unless you really want to go for "A" rating on every level. Thus, this game gets a (-1.0) modifier for "short and lacking". What is there is some clever non-violent puzzle that has been done before, but at least the theme is right and material is properly used.

Overall rating: 6 out of 10 (includes -1.0 for short and shallow)
Pros: uses proper tie-in material, what's there is competently done
Cons: no innovation, way too short, done bazillion times already
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