Ice Hockey was developed by Nintendo in 1988 for the Nintendo Entertainment System. The game allowed one to two players to face off using five players for each team. Though there were different countries to choose from (represented by alterations in sprite color), there were statistically no differences between the players.
- The game can be played at five different speeds, and three different sizes of players: skinny, ordinary, and stocky. This can create many different combinations with the skinny players being faster but weak, and the stocky players being slow but strong.
- The game can be played in three period lengths: seven, ten or fifteen minutes.
- The game is played with four skaters and one goalie. This makes the game difficult because the player has to play as the goalie at the same time of controlling their skaters.
- During the face-off, players can alter their formation by using the D-pad.
By choosing different classes for the four available characters, the player is able to provide their team with different strengths and weaknesses. The following are the classes to choose from:
- Skinny Guy: The Skinny Guy is extremely agile, but is extremely weak. The puck can easily be stolen from him when other players knock him over. His shots are the weakest and are quite slow, even when charged.
- Normal Guy: The Normal Guy is average. He is relatively fast and powerful, but is not as specialized as the other characters. He is generally a safe bet when building a team.
- Stocky Guy: The stocky guy is slow, but powerful. He can easily knock over other characters and steal the puck, and he has extremely powerful shots. His only disadvantage is his slow skating speed.
- Though there are two blue lines and the red center line, offsides is not called, though icing is. This not only speeds the game up, but opens it up as well.
- There are virtually no penalties called on players with the exception of fighting.
- There can only be two players in the penalty box at once, and they leave when the penalty is over, or the opposing team scores a goal.
- The game is won by the highest score. If the game is tied then a shoot-out is held. If after this there is no winner, the game goes to an overtime period with no goalies until the game is won.
If two players decide to have an “extended scuffle” then a real fight can break out! If the two players continue to press the button rapidly, the entire two teams come into the ball of fury. Occasionally players will be pushed out of the scuffle. The referees come in a few seconds later and penalize the winning team of the battle. With the player only receiving a two minute penalty, this can make the game fun and enjoyable.
After two periods the game pauses for a couple of seconds. The teams skate off of the ice and a short song plays. During the short intermission men in Zambonis drive across the stage to smooth out the ice. This sequence has no effect on gameplay.