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. Unsurprisingly, you 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 and 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. --Raymond M Padilla
incorporates elements from puzzle, adventure, strategy, fighting and role-playing-game genres. It's the tale of a courageous young boy on a heroic journey through an unknown castle to save a princess and discover his own mysterious fate. Faced with numerous puzzles, ranging from simple mazes to complex brainteasers, ICO
invites gamers into a deep, mysterious story line with beautiful, dreamlike graphics.
As the story goes, once every generation a boy is born with horns. Thought to be the minion of an evil spirit, the afflicted but innocent ICO was captured at age 12 by the village's leaders and brought to a deserted castle to be sacrificed for the good of the community. After the villagers bury him alive in a castle tomb and leave him for dead, he is able to break free of his confines; he then learns of a beautiful young princess who is likewise held captive. From there he embarks on a challenging course through the castle ruins to save her.
Fate has taken a dark turn for Ico. He finds himself trapped in a vast, crumbling castle that sits high on a craggy cliff. Those who placed him here intended it to become his home. But Ico is not alone. A long time ago, a young girl named Yorda was also imprisoned in the castle. She has spent years in captivity, consumed by her loneliness and sorrow. But with Ico's encouragement, she begins to believe that perhaps there is a way out. He gently takes her hand, and the two of them set off to find freedom.
They quickly discover, however, that the entire castle is a prison from which escape will not be easy. Shadowy spirits emerge from gloomy corners, desperate to drag Yorda back into the darkness. Every twisting staircase, creaking door and towering pillar is part of a larger puzzle. Each torch and shaft of light only serves to illuminate another mystery.
A game so unique that it almost creates its own genre, ICO boasts some jaw-dropping graphics, with a unique atmospheric look and strangely unsettling enemies that single-mindedly focus on Yorda intent on dragging her to another dimension. ICO is an absorbing adventure with tremendous replay value too.