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STAMFORD, CT, July 27, 2015 – Digital Tribe Games is excited to announce the launch of Inner Void Entertainment’s narrative-driven, survival RPG, ICY, on Steam, Humble Store and other major digital distribution channels. ICY releases today at the suggested retail price of $12.99. An additional 25% discount will be available for a week in celebration of the title’s release.  ICY presents a full cast of complex characters with diverse personalities and dramatic backstories – each willing to tell you all if players decide to ask. Some characters encountered will even be willing to abandon their chosen path and join the player’s ever-growing nomad family as they make their way across the Frozen World in search of lost friends and a better life. Prepare to hunt, scavenge, trade and sometimes kill in order to obtain what is needed to survive. In the world of the new Ice Age, players are immersed in the dire struggle to stay alive. The words you say and actions you make send you down branching paths where characters can become new friends, or bitter enemies, based on the tone of conversation you choose. The EXP players invested in Skills, and Items discovered when scavenging, dictate which options are available as they continually face new situations in this post-apocalyptic environment. 
“ICY began as a little experiment inspired by NEO: Scavenger, which really managed to simulate the harshness of surviving in a hostile environment, as well as various RPGs in which player's choices really matter - Games where dialogue isn’t just something to skip to get back to shooting people. 
Survival games are quite popular, but most of them are procedural games in which the player has to survive as long as he/she can. With ICY, we wanted to put a long and complex plot alongside some more standard mechanics of the survival genre, but without using a central hub in which the player had to constantly return to as they slowly gather and build resources to improve their chances of survival. In ICY, the player is the leader of a nomad family where survival is based on more than just collecting resources. That is just part of the nomad’s daily routine where survival not only consists of hunting and scavenging, but also how they choose to interact with other characters and tackle the situations they face as the narrative of the game plays out. We worked hard to give it a unique flavor, to create a unique experience. ICY is not a clone of another game, but something with its own identity and we are very proud we have been able to achieve that.”    - Nathan Piperno, Inner Void 

Key features:
Experience an intense and mature story of survival in a unique post-apocalyptic new Ice Age setting.
Influence the plot with your choices, each containing various shades of morality that lead to multiple endings.
Lead a group of survivors, each one with different needs, values and ideals.
Scavenge for items and hunt for food while facing the challenges of starvation, illness, harsh elements as well as other bands of survivors.
Over 400 pieces of detailed hand-drawn artwork illustrate the backdrop for the story.
Customize your character by choosing how to distribute attribute points among 3 main character traits and 10 different skills that effects your abilities and experience through the entire game. 
ICY is out for Windows PC and Mac on Steam, Humble Store and other major digital distribution channels. Gamers will enjoy a celebratory 25% discount during the launch week.


ICY is not really what I call a game, it is more of an interactive story, perhaps like a Fighting Fantasy Book but without as many options. 

There is very little action on the screen, other than moving your pawn, in this case a cutout of a static group of hunters, to where there is a yellow push-pin on the map. The pawn glides across the screen and once it reaches the push-pin the still illustration changes and some dialogue or narrative appears.


This narrative continues by you clicking on the text box until either the picture changes or some dialogue appears, generally giving you one to three answers or sentences to what has been said. Occasionally your reply might trigger a reaction onscreen, like for example, when I said defend the camp by attacking the invaders using meleé; this resulted in us taking a walloping, though it wasn't seen except by a text box appearing onscreen with the combat results typed in it.


At the start there are two of you out hunting, you and Jerome, and suddenly you are waking up in a snow covered wood. Jerome spots a deer minding its own business so you decide to shoot it for food. This is where you make the decision, either you shoot it or Jerome does - I let Jerome do it. The deer falls dead, seen onscreen in a still picture of blood spurting from a partially silhouetted deer's head and then a close up of the dead deer appears. The next shot has you and Jerome carrying the deer back to camp using the legs tied round a pole method of transportation. Having brought a quite large deer back to the camp the next thing you do is go out hunting for more food - there has been no indication of how large the camp is or how many mouths there are to feed - soon to be one less as Hector is dying from some as yet unexplained disease, and then there is the Red Horsemen raid about to arrive and kill a few more.


So out you dutifully go and soon you come across a number of wild boar. You can leave them, shoot them with bow and arrow (thus being quiet and not alerting any nearby Red Horsemen) or shoot them with guns - it was my own suggestion (not ingame but in my room) to shoot them with bow and arrows for the silence. Dead boars ready you are about head home when another boar zips in to attack, Bow or Gun? your choice. Once again I chose Bow for a silent kill, but this was the wrong choice and we got a bit mauled before we killed it and took it back to the camp for food - that's X number of large Wild Boars and a Large Deer to eat - with no refrigerators except the snow around us, I am now wondering why we need so much meat.


I needn't have worried because a few minutes later the Red Horsemen arrive, kill a few and round the rest of us up. They ship us back to their camp where we are thrown into a stockade with lots of other people from various other towns and camps. Stay and be slaves or try to escape ? Well seeing as the game is about survival .....


And so it goes on. Each still shot has a limited life onscreen depending on the text and/or conversation associated with it. It took me a while to get into ICY because, as I say, it isn't really a game, it's a challenge; to either give up or soldier though to the end. If you can imagine reading a book where once in a while you got to turn two pages instead of one and yet the story continued as if there hadn't been a gap, then you are well on your way to knowing how ICY is presented.


The annoying thing is, that after about thirty or so minutes of this, taking it slowly and reading every word and studying every option before making the "click", I found myself hooked. I was now immersed in the story and whether or not it was actually a game or not ceased to matter. It was me out there in that icy wasteland, against the elements, against nature itself and against whatever the Red Horsemen or whoever could throw at me.


ICY isn't a game I can recommend because you really do have to be in the right mindset to play it - there you see, I am giving it credence as a game, yet I am convinced that it isn't. You cannot sit down at your PC and expect to get involved with lots of agile mouse clicking and item dodging. There is no blowing things up or shooting them, well actually there is but you have little to do with it yourself.

ICY is an experience. An experience that I cannot open up your mind to, that's something for you to do for yourself. I go back to what I said before, it's a good story and it's rather like having an interesting interactive book on your computer.


© Chris Baylis 2011-2015