Hit the Ice
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|Hit the Ice|
Arcade flyer featuring in-game character Phil Bunger
Hit the Ice is a hockey video game originally released by Williams to arcades in 1990. Featuring a cartoonish representation of the sport, Hit the Ice features games with three players on each team (forward, defense, and goalie). Unlike standard hockey, there are very few rules, as players are encouraged to trip, elbow and kick opponents.
Taito released ports of Hit the Ice for various platforms. The unreleased NES version was the most unique of the home versions, adding a role-playing "quest" mode not present in any other edition of the game.
Hit the Ice is based on the game of ice hockey, the aim of the game being to outscore your opponent by shooting the puck into the opponent's net more often than the opponent over three periods of play.
The game is unique because instead of having six players per team (like Konami's Blades of Steel), the game only has three (forward, defense, and goalie). In the arcade version there are only two teams (Red and Blue) and players can be chosen for each position.
During games, there are very few rules. Players have special moves, most of which are illegal moves in actual ice hockey (such as slashing, tripping, elbowing, or kicking opponents in the groin). Fights are common, though a player losing a fight is not penalized. Instead, he becomes sluggish for a short period. If the player loses several fights in one period, he leaves the game with an injury.
Every player is capable of a "super shot", which must be charged beforehand. If allowed to charge and shoot, the shot will hit the goaltender with such force that he is knocked back into the net along with the puck, counting as a goal. If a team is far enough behind, his team may receive a power-up in the form of a "super drink", making the stick of the player who consumes it flash with energy and turning every shot into a super shot for a short time.
- Iven Yakashev, spoof of a Soviet player from 1972
- Phil Bunger, spoof of Phil Esposito
- "Dicky" Fontaine, spoof of Dicky Moore
- Al Gigliano
- Johnny Novak
- "Happy" Golecki ("happy-go-lucky")
- Pierre Bourdoir
- Ben Dover
- "Gunner" Hall, spoof of Glenn Hall
- "Battleship" Boyd
- Reggie Marsh
- "Bo" Cleveland
When Taito released the home console versions, more teams were added and players were automatically assigned to teams in order. For the SNES version the colors were also given city names: Montreal Reds, New York Blues, L.A. Yellows, Toronto Whites, Chicago Orange and Minneapolis Green.
The NES version of Hit the Ice was the most unique of all the home console ports. The game was never released commercially. The biggest difference in this version of the game was its Quest Mode, which mixed role-playing video game elements into a hockey game.