Hit the Ice is a cancelled Taito NES port of the popular 1990 arcade hockey game of the same name. Unlike the completed SNES home console port of Hit the Ice, the cancelled NES version centers around a “Quest Mode” with RPG elements. Much like the Dragon Warrior series, the player walks around an overworld map, exploring houses and stadiums and facing random encounters with rival hockey teams which provide experience and gold.
Shops sell P Drinks, which provide a temporary speed and power boost; hamburgers, which provide experience; and apples, which can be given to an old man somewhere on the world map in exchange for an inner tube, which allows the player to cross bodies of water safely.
Though there is a working prototype with a completable Quest Mode, the game’s RPG elements are very low on content and game balance. As the SNES came out and interest in the NES waned, Taito abandoned this experimental hockey RPG to focus on 16-bit development, without a Quest Mode.
For more info, Frank Cifaldi has a short feature on Hit the Ice here at LostLevels.org where you can also find Hit The Ice’s prototype rom.
Article written by Nate Edwards
Thanks a lot to NES World for these screenshots!