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Ico Review

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Posted: 6 weeks ago, last updated 5 weeks ago.

Author: Ben Kendall and @GeekDadGamer.

OverviewOverview

Ico is a running, jumping and exploring game where you rescue a princess from her evil mother. You take her hand to help her escape, guiding her along the pathways and protecting her from the hordes of enemies. Together, you jump chasms and scale walls in your daring escape from the castle. Ico stands out not only for these unusual interactions but the fluid painterly visuals and emotive story.

You play the title character Ico, who is born with horns interpreted as a bad omen by his tribe. He is locked away in a castle to be sacrificed but escapes, meeting the evil Queen's daughter Yorda, who wishes to escape. Thus begins your quest, which sees you solve puzzles and avoid traps on your way to freedom.

You push, pull, climb and jump to solve puzzles blocking your way. Because Yorda can only jump small distances, you must make it safe for her to follow you. You can also tell her to wait until you have made the path safe for her. Conversely, only Yorda can open the doors between rooms, forcing you to help her reach them. All the while, you must also fight shadow monsters, which threaten to capture Yorda, using your sword.

The game was met with critical acclaim for its unique visual storytelling and plot, and focusses on themes of protection, perseverance and friendship. Its gameplay has inspired many of the most popular platforming games since, and was innovative in its use of elements we now see in almost every major release.

DetailsGame Details

Rating:

Release Date: 24/09/2001, updated in 2011

Platforms: PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Platform and Puzzle

Developer: @SonyJapanStudio

CommitmentCommitment

Duration: This game will take between 5 hours and 10 hours to complete. Its platforming action and puzzles can make this game quite difficult for those unacquainted with the genre. Additionally, like many games of its time, it offers little to no hints and often features long and complex areas, meaning you can easily spend over an hour in a single play session on this game.
 
Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room, but you can’t play it online. After beating the game on single-player mode, the game can be played with 2 players locally where on player controls Ico and the other Yorda. It plays similarly to the single player mode but increases the replayability of the game.

CostsCosts

Does not offer in-game purchases, 'loot boxes' or 'battle/season passes'. While the game was initially released exclusively for the Playstation 2, it was later re-released for the Playstation 3 in a bundle: Ico & Shadow of the Colossus.

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Rated PEGI 7.

Rated ESRB TEEN for Violence.

AccessibilityAccessibility

Accessibility for this game is as follows:

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The information on this database is designed to support and complement the in-depth discussion and advice about video game "addiction", violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. If you have any concerns or questions in these areas, email our editor who is quick to respond or can arrange for a one-to-one conversation.

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