Help the Penguins Home in Dexterity Game Ice Hoppers | Casual Game Revolution

Help the Penguins Home in Dexterity Game Ice Hoppers

Ice Hoppers

The penguins are out on the ice and night is falling. Help them hop their way home from ice floe to ice floe.

Published by Blue Orange Games and designed for 1-4 players, with a playtime of about 10 minutes, Ice Hoppers is a cooperative dexterity game.


The sea board is placed in the center of the table and you randomly draw four snow tiles from the bag. These tiles are placed on the board as far as possible from the iceberg bridge at one end of the board, and one penguin is placed on each. You then draw another five tiles and place them between these and the iceberg bridge. None of these nine tiles should be touching each other.

On your turn, you draw a tile from the bag and slide it onto the board through the iceberg bridge, stopping once no part of it is sticking out over the edge of the board by the bridge. If this causes other tiles to fall off the board, leave them. If this causes a penguin to fall off the board, you place it back on the board on the tile farthest from the bridge and your turn ends.

Next, if you did not knock a penguin off, you may choose to move a penguin, moving from one tile to any adjacent tile touching his current one. There can only be one penguin per tile. Some tiles are frosty tiles that penguins can slide on. When a penguin moves onto one of these, it can continue to move onto another touching, adjacent tile. A penguin can slide across multiple frosty tiles in a single turn.

If a penguin is on a tile that is at least partially covered by the iceberg bridge, he can then move onto the bridge where he stays for the rest of the game. The goal of the game is to get all the penguins to the iceberg bridge, before the tiles in the bag run out.

There is also the optional sea lions mode. In this variant, when you draw a tile with a sea lion on it, you take a sea lion token and slide it onto the board through the bridge in the same way you do regular tiles. Penguins cannot jump onto or over these sea lion tokens, so they act as blockers.

Ice Hoppers Components


Ice Hoppers is fun. It’s not a very serious game, it’s light, it’s fast, and it’s easy to teach. It’s just nicely put together with some really fun artwork, an enjoyable theme, and some nifty components. The sea board is placed inside the game box, which is such a clever use of both game bits. The penguin figures are quite cute, and the whole thing is bright and colorful, and fun to look at.

The core mechanic of the game is engaging, as you draw pieces from the bag, and then try to figure out, based on the layout of the board, the best way to slide them in given both the need to get tiles touching for the penguins to cross and the need to not knock any penguins off. This balance can be challenging.

We quite enjoyed the sea lion mode, as it does effectively add difficulty to the gameplay. The sea lion tokens also come in varying sizes, so this does further add more variety to the challenge.

Since it’s such a fast game, it does work best with 2-3 players, where you get to take more turns. But the player interaction is enjoyable as you encourage each other and discuss the best way to slide in each tile.

Ice Hoppers works well both for families and game groups, and is a dexterity game that doesn’t require you to actually be dexterous but rather learn from the way the tiles move each other as they’re slid in. Clever, well-produced, and with a pleasant theme, we quite enjoyed our time with Ice Hoppers.

Pros: Fun to encourage each other and discuss tile placement, nicely produced, sea lion variant

Cons: Better with lower player counts since you get more turns

Disclosure: we received a complimentary review copy of this game.