Ice Hockey (アイスホッケー, Aisu Hokkē) is a 1988 video game published and developed by Nintendo for the Nintendo Entertainment System video game console, based on the sport of the same name. It was released in Japan, and was later released in North America and in some PAL regions. It was originally released for the Family Computer Disk System, It was later re-released for the Wii's Virtual Console service in Japan, North America, and some PAL regions.
Ice Hockey is based on the sport of the same name, with the objective of the game being to get more points than the opposing player by hitting round, black pucks into the opposing goal with a hockey stick.
The play and mechanics of Ice Hockey are mostly similar to that of ice hockey in real life. The objective for both team is to hit a black puck with a hockey stick that each player carries into the opponent's goal. Teams are made up of five players including the goaltender, as opposed to six in real life. Players wear ice skates, which are used to skate across the icy arena. Each game is made up of three periods, with the victory going to the player who has the most points at the end of the game. At the beginning, two opposing players from each team face off in the middle of the rink. There are three kinds of players - the first is fast, weak, and feeble, but is good at the face-off; the second is average in all qualities, and the third is slow and poor at the face-off, but very powerful, both in body checking and shooting strength. The arena is similarly designed to a real-world ice hockey arena. The arena is coated in ice, with a goal on either side of the arena. There are a variety of marked areas, including the goal line that the puck must cross to score, the attacking/defending zone which is situated closely to each goal, the face-off spot, the neutral spot, and others. Each side of the arena has exactly the same design. If two opposing players fight for the puck for a certain amount of time, other players join into the fight, resulting in the player from the losing team in the fight to be put in the penalty box for a period of time.
There are some regional differences in the team roster line-ups. In Japan for the Famicom and Famicom Disk System version, the lineup is Japan (JPN), United States (USA), Czechoslovakia (TCH), Canada (CAN), Poland (POL), and the Soviet Union (URS).
For the PAL release and the United States version, Nintendo removed Japan from the team roster and included Sweden instead. The US and Pal game includes these six teams: the United States (USA), Sweden (SWE), Czechoslovakia (TCH), Canada (CAN), Poland (POL), and the Soviet Union (URS).
Reception and legacy
Ice Hockey was rated the 142nd best game made on a Nintendo System in Nintendo Power's Top 200 Games list. It was also included in IGN's top 100 list, ranking at 100. Mark Bozon praised it for being the most addictive of Nintendo's early sports titles, commenting that it was in his NES as often as Super Mario Bros. 3 was.