An action-adventure game in which a boy is abandoned and taken to a massive castle by his people. After exploring it for a while, he meets a girl who speaks a different language than him, then decides to get both of them out of the castle grounds by leading her along, in order to escape the shadow-like creatures that frequently try to kidnap the girl.

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A beautiful, minimalist, atmospheric, artful puzzle platformer that evokes so much emotion with so little. Ico is probably single handedly responsible for how modern prestige video games conceptualize traversal and puzzles, but it still feels miles ahead of those that came after it.

Similar to shadow the colasses the minimal nature of the game lets the player fully absorb themselves into the environments and puzzle platforming instead of worrying about picking up magic berries to upgrade your stick.

Played this for a few hours and stopped. Due to my love for Shadow of the Colossus, I need to sit down and spend the time to beat this game.

This review contains spoilers

At first i thought it was a bad ending. but the watermelon saved everything

Gotta be the nicest looking PS2 game running at 512x224. Interlacing? Hell no, me and the boys about that low-res progressive scan.
I don't have much to say about Ico, which I guess is a little surprising because I feel like Ico is also a game that is important enough to be discussed at length. In a lot of ways, it reminds me of Another World with its meticulously keyframed animations and focus on creating a particular tone, though a bit wonky from a pure gameplay perspective. You spend much of Ico jumping between platforms, climbing, and solving puzzles, and on its own none of that stuff feels particularly good to me. However, it's all in service of something more: selling you on the bond between Ico and his partner, Yorda.
The thing that makes Ico work is how effectively it conveys the relationship between its two lead characters without relying upon dialog. It's all communicated through action, a lot of which you're participatory in, and though I find certain aspects of its gameplay to not always be fun to interact with directly, the way it loops back into Ico's emotional core is what makes it all work in the end. Plus, holding hands is pretty nice. Call me "touch starved" or whatever, but I'd like to grab someone by the wrist and yank them around really hard while going "Uh! Uh!"

is a good game, but it's also not one I find myself all too eager to return to. I think once you've absorbed what it's about, you've gotten all you're going to get from it. Or at least that's true of me. Shadow of the Colossus is the more approachable of the two, but that's because you get to fight and kill a bunch of cool monsters. Uh, heh, sorry Ico, but I'd take a cool guy action game over a contemplative hand-holding sim any day! B-)

Change the box art on here PLEASE