This cryptic Nintendo game has many thought-provoking aspects, covered well in the previous writeup, but certainly the most mindblowing thing is what you have to do when you can't get up the mountain because seals are blocking your way. Your hammer's not just for making a path through stubborn glacial ice.

Ice Climber is the one and only game that lets you club baby seals.


It's all well and good, though, because their skulls are evidently pretty tough. They just stagger for awhile, stars spinning about their heads, and then get back to the business of obstructing your path with ice cubes. This may make little sense, but keep in mind the final goal of the tiny Eskimo you lead up the mountain. They're not in it for gold, or even psilocybin mushrooms like some Nintendo characters I could name, but simply vegetables for dinner. This is a nonviolent game, and even when it becomes necessary to club baby seals, you've got to club them in a nonviolent way. If I was six years old, I'd probably lie about a secret code that makes the Eskimo pull out his flensing knife and harvest a valuable seal pelt, but I'm not.

It is also well worth noting that in the later levels, you encounter anthromorphic polar bears clad in pink Speedos and sunglasses. They could only be climbing this Arctic mountain to become closer to the sun, on a quest for the perfect tan. (Since polar bears typically go around nude, why they'd want thongs is a mystery. Unless they think tanlines are sexy.) Majestic beasts such as these cannot be adequately described in mere words.