#294 – Ice Hockey

Nintendo conquers the sport of hockey with adorable chubby sprites.
Chuck Norris, Hockey Ranger.
God bless the communist audience.

PLAYERS: 1-2 simultaneous


DEVELOPER: Pax Softonica

GENRE: Sports

RELEASE DATE: March 1988

There’s really no reason why hockey players and fans alike should get so riled up over a stupid puck. And yet, blood (and teeth) on the ice are a common occurrence during hockey games. Unchecked anger must be a prerequisite for enjoying such a sport as this. Case in point: Ice Hockey. I’m almost a hundred percent certain that this game plays as well as an early hockey game can, and yet the more I played, the more enraged I became. It’s true that the computer was much better than me, so perhaps that could account for part of it. Still, this feels different than the typical sports game I play, where I could honestly care less if the other team wins or loses. Any country I played against in Ice Hockey was better than mine (I think it goes without saying that the Canadians were the greatest), despite the much appreciated tight controls; passing was a cinch, as was blocking. I could say that I’m just not very good at sports games (true) or that I set the speed too fast for the games I played (you can set the speed from 1 to 5 – 3 was too fast for me), but I think that overwhelming rage – which oozes forth from the sport of hockey, like a festering wound – prohibited me from doing well. Some fans and players feed off of the anger that comes from the game. Others, like myself, who are typically mellow individuals, don’t know what to do with this sudden influx of overwhelming emotions and panic. For those who can withstand the speed and ferocity coming from the micro-men’s hockey sticks, you will be well-rewarded. The rest of us will get by with a warm bath, a cup of tea and a lie down.


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13 replies on “#294 – Ice Hockey”

This was one of my earliest sports titles – as soon as I saw the cover I remembered the tornado light ‘fights’ that could break out. Then I recall Blades of Steal (made by… Konami? Ultra? I’m too lazy to look it up right now) – but once that came out I never played this one again.

I was the same way with blades of steel… But having revisited both games an adult i find ice hockey to be a better game for a variety of reasons

hye Dylan C..

I am looking for NES game,can’t remember its name,but its about a little boy(skinhead like Krillin(kid) in Dragon Ball) fight his way through monsters, he throws an arrow when you hold (A or B button, can’t remember), when you hold the button a magic arrow comes by the player, the arrow keeps waving up and down and it goes when you release the button, the arrow is a golden one, and the arrow isnt so fast when thrown, you can even jump and stand on it to help you climb the high walls, when you jump on it it stops immediately and stay in its place for a couple of seconds then it falls down , another thing..when you kill a monster, you get coins from it..The bigger the monster, the bigger coin size, thus higher value..I remember spiders, hanging from trees by threads give you big coins, cos they hard to kill, one last thing..When you fire the coin it gets bigger you can fire it to become bigger then collect it to buy stuff from market in the game, which you find when you progress in the game…Thanks ahead…You can’t imagine how happy I will be if you know what I’m talking about,,just tell me the name and the rest is on me 😀
But put in mind…standing on the arrow, and hitting (shooting) the coin makes it bigger

I hope you know it..thank you..=)

I’m curious to know whether or not you ever found out what gamr this was… Doesn’t sound at all like anything i remember playing or seeing

The key to victory in Ice Hockey is to focus on your goalie control. The moment your goalie appears on-screen, you should be controlling your goalie until you block the shot. Focusing on the goalie means being able to prevent any opposing scores.

@Uncle Pa’ish: I’m sorry, I don’t know that game. It sounds a little like Ocarina of Time to me, but that’s definitely a 64 game.

@Nintendo Legend: Yeah, the goalie was definitely key, but you can only slam the puck out so many times before the opposing team gets one in. My experience, anyway.

One of our first games. I loved being the fat guys and sending the skinny ones flying. I also remember holding the B button down till the player flashed then sending the puck at top speed and watching it go around the rink quickly.

Funny story about this game. My friend and I went to a used game store where he found this title and said”Awesome! My dad and I used to play this all the time when I was a kid! I was a master!!!” Of course he bought it, we went home and popped it in my NES. “Take it easy on me,” I said nervously, “I’ve never played this game.” 15 minutes later, I won 20-1…20-1!!!!! We haven’t battled since.

Ice hockey was good. Choosing between the 3 players sizes and their obvious size related attributes made for good experimenting and will let you create a team that matches your style.

Of course everyone just gets all big guys and one medium, but that’s besides the point. I only had one goal in mind playing this game as a young’un : unleashing the royal rumble.

Blades of Steel (konami, for the guy that asked) had better hockey and fights, but the 2 great NES hockey games did not cannibalize each other, imo. Ice Hockey is Hit the Ice’s ancestor.

Side note : I’m Canadian and can’t get enough Hockey.

I remember this charming little gem from my childhood. Being a fan of retro gaming (and also being Canadian) this game will always have a place in my heart, from the quirky controls (playing defence AND goaltending? ludicrous!) right up to the pixelated dog piles they called fights, where if you had to mash the buttons like crazy if you wanted any chance of winning.. -RK

I still enjoy this one when my brother comes to town. If we are looking for some furious, competitive, retro gaming action, Ice Hockey is definitely on the table. Hand-cramps and all. Right up there with Dr. Mario and SNES Mario Kart.

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