Yet again I've fallen for a cheap board game that I've seen in 'The Works' and thought I'd share my view on it.
This game is called 'Ice Flow' and is I suppose a Euro-Game, with the somewhat inspired theme of trying to cross the bearing straight on foot from Alaska to Russia by clambering over ice, taking short swims and avoiding polar bears. That's basically all the box said and it was enough to part me with my fiver.
Gameplay is pretty simple, but full of choices. On each player turn you can take one player action and must take one ice flow action, you may do these in any order you like. Ice flow actions involve moving or rotating or adding a new ice flow piece, thus allowing you to aid your movement, or, which is often more fun, to impede the movement of other players. The ice flow pieces can only move in certain directions, which helps planning, but most have one or more cliff edges that you need rope to cross. Player actions simply allow you to move one of your three pieces as far as you can before being stopped by an obstacle that you don't have the equipment to cross, or when you choose to stop. This is also a resource management game, you can carry up to 3 rope and/or fish in your backpack. These both do very useful things, fish allow you to distract a polar bear or swim across a hex of open sea, rope allows you to cross ice cliffs, or go fishing for 2 fish (replaces your player action). The first player to get all 3 of his meeples to different Russian settlements wins. The game is designed for 2-4 players, and whilst it will work for any of these levels, 3 players probably works best, as you can still plan a bit in advance, but there is enough trying to screw the others over to make it fun.
So in summary we have a nice game here, with tactical depth, yet easy to learn, family friendly and well made and presented, recommended.