Ice Hockey

Review Date: March 24, 2021

Release Date: March 1, 1988

Platform: NES

Developer: Nintendo

Genre: Sports

All right, let’s bulk these guys up!

Anecdotes: Back in 1988, sports games were a lot more fun because designers chose to make them fun instead of “realistic.” They didn’t try to make them like the sports we see on TV; after all, if we wanted those, we’d just turn on the TV. My brothers and I would play this, using no real strategy other than “try to score” and “don’t let the other side score.” Sometimes, though, they wanted to do other things, so I’d play solo. Two observations came from that: first, no matter what happened, after a brawl, my guy went to the penalty box; and second, skinny and medium guys ricochet off the fat guys like a ball hitting a wall. That led to me using all fat guys on my team. My brothers, of course, called that cheating at first, but then they started using all fat guys as well. We enjoyed the game. That’s the kind of fun that’s waned away by trying to make things more like real sports.


Description: It’s simplified ice hockey played five on five. There are six teams to choose from, representing six countries of the world. At the start, a screen pops up to arrange a team. The team can be composed of any combination of skinny, medium, or fat guys. Skinny guys are fast, but can’t handle any contact at all; fat guys are untouchable, but slow. Games last three periods. There is also a penalty box, but it’s really only used after brawls.

Wait…where’s the puck?

Positives: This is a fun game to put in when it’s time to just forget about everything. It’s silly, it’s dumb, and it’s easy to win. There is almost no frustration factor, unless two players are playing each other.

Right. Like hockey teams use three resurfacing machines at the same time like this.

Negatives: Maybe it’s because I’m only using the fat guys, but this was way, way too easy. It was also too heavy on the offense. I won the screenshot game 27-9. There were 12 goals every period.

What a nail biter that game was.

Grade: B

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