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The Team Ico Franchise

This series of three games was created by Team Ico, a Japanese video game studio led by game designer Fumito Ueda. This started as part of Sony Interactive Entertainment Japan Studio's Product Development.

The team developed Ico and Shadow of the Colossus for the PlayStation 2 and started work on The Last Guardian before Ueda's departure in 2011 and the formation of a new company taking over development in 2014.

The three games all have minimalist storytelling and gameplay with use of atmospheric environments and fictional languages. They are set in the same world although without explicit links between them.

Each game features two protagonists who must work together to survive. The two children in Ico, the horse and the man in Shadow of the Colossus and the boy and the creature in The Last Guardian. These characters can't communicate with words so must communicate via other means.

The games also feature similar themes. Most obvious is that of team work and co-operation. But beyond this there is the need to sacrifice one or other of the pairing to progress. This combines with a back story of loss to accentuate this need for selfless aid.

Juxtaposed to this need for connection, each game is set in a vast and desolate world. There are signs of life, but these are few and far between. Constant between the three games is the feeling of loneliness.

There have been 3 games in the Team Ico franchise.
The first game was released in 2001 on PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3 and the most recent release was The Last Guardian in 2016 on PlayStation 4.

The most popular game in the franchise is Shadow Of The Colossus with 37 likes. The franchise as a whole has 90 likes on the database. Unfortunately, The Last Guardian is not available on Android, Mac, PC, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S or iOS. However, there are other games similar to The Last Guardian on these platforms that offer an equivalent experience.

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DetailsFranchise Details

PEGI Ratings: PEGI 7 to PEGI 12
Australian Ratings: PG to M
Genres: Action, Adventure, Communication, Fighting, Narrative, Platform, Puzzle, Simulation and Traversal
Release dates: 2001 - 2016
Platforms: PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4
Developer: @SonyJapanStudio


Games in the Team Ico Franchise

The Last Guardian

Release Date: 28/10/2016

Out Now: PS4

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person

The Last Guardian is a running, jumping and exploring adventure about a boy who befriends a giant half-bird, half-mammal creature, Trico. You work together to navigate the world, solve puzzles and reach new heights. Unusually, you have to build trust...


Release Date: 24/09/2001, updated in 2011

Out Now: PS2 and PS3

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person

Ico is a running, jumping and exploring game where you rescue a princess from her evil mother. You take her hand to help her escape, guiding her along the pathways and protecting her from the hordes of enemies. Together, you jump chasms and scale walls...

Shadow Of The Colossus

Release Date: 18/10/2005

Out Now: PS2, PS3 and PS4

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Open World

Shadow Of The Colossus is an action-adventure game where you play a young man who enters a forbidden land to defeat sixteen massive beings to restore the life of a girl he cares about. It sounds like any other video game, although in fact, Shadow of the...

Games Like the Team Ico Franchise

The following games address a similar topic or offer a similar way to play. They are good options to play next and also good alternatives to the Team Ico franchise for younger age ratings.

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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