Lead a princess through a huge, gorgeous castle overrun by challenging puzzles as you battle against shadow creatuers.ESRB rating
A young boy in a magical world has been born with a strange deformity: large horns that jut out of both sides of his head. The people of his village, fearful of retribution from above, feel they have no choice but to sacrifice this mutant child to appease their gods. To that end, they have taken this boy, named Ico, to a massive, supposedly deserted castle and left him in a giant urn. But when the urn breaks, spilling Ico into the bowels of the fortress, he will soon find his adventure is just beginning. Along the way he'll meet a mysterious princess who has been held captive in the castle for untold years. Although they cannot communicate through speech, they soon forge an unspoken bond, and it is clear that if either of them wants to make it out of the castle alive, their destinies must remain intertwined.
Ico and the princess do not speak the same language, but this isn't to say they don't interact. Quite the contrary, as their relationship is a key element to the game. Ico's main goal is escape, but he cannot and will not leave the princess behind. Although she has limited power in terms of mobility, she has the ability to open certain doors blocked by massive idols. Ico has to do the majority of the grunt work, however, grabbing the princess' hand to pull her along to new locations. He can call her when she's far away, and help her up steep ledges and across long jumps that she could not normally make on her own.
Don't assume that this journey will be a pleasant little jog through the castle, because plenty of obstacles stand in the way. The castle isn't a plain arrangement of straight hallways and open doors. Rather, players will have to use brainpower to solve the puzzling twists and turns that the fortress has to offer. They must run, jump, climb, swing, and explode objects and traps in their path, all the while finding an easier way to bring the princess through it all. And lest anyone believe that the castle is actually abandoned, the duo will be continually pursued by shadowy creatures intent on dragging the princess back to the prison.Editorial review
Special featuresHelp a young boy and his princess friend escape the perilous castle in which they've been imprisoned
weaves the tale of a young boy trying to escape his imprisonment in a large, vacant castle. Along the way, he discovers another captive--a beautiful princess named Yorda. Players control Ico with the goal of escaping the castle with the princess safely in hand.
Although it looks like an adventure game and has some rudimentary action sequences, Ico is mostly about solving puzzles. Players will run, jump, and climb their way through the gargantuan castle as well as figure out which objects and environments are interactive. Yorda is very much a damsel in distress, and isn't nearly as capable as Ico. A great deal of the puzzles require the player to create a safe path for Yorda, who isn't physically able to get to the places Ico can. The puzzles are quite brilliant, although a few are so tough that players will feel like ditching the princess.
Graphics, particularly the lighting effects and animations, are fantastic. The developers did a superb job of conveying the enormity and beauty of the castle. When Ico and Yorda move and interact, their actions seem totally lifelike. The ambient soundtrack and simple controls let the player focus on the tasks at hand. Sony has crafted a very unique game that anyone can play. Few games are as elegant in their simplicity as this puzzler from Sony. --Raymond M. Padilla
- Excellent puzzle design
- Aesthetically and stylistically brilliant
- Appropriately understated sound
- Most players will finish it in fewer than 10 hours
- Battles are too easy
Use the special skills of each character to solve complex puzzles and overcome evil
Explore more than 30 expansive levels