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Play OverviewPlay Overview

Ico (2001) 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 in your daring escape from the castle. Ico stands out not only for these unusual interactions but the fluid painterly visuals and emotive story.

You play the title character Ico, who is born with horns interpreted as a bad omen by his tribe. He is locked away in a castle to be sacrificed but escapes, meeting the evil Queen's daughter Yorda, who wishes to escape. Thus begins your quest, which sees you solve puzzles and avoid traps on your way to freedom.

You push, pull, climb and jump to solve puzzles blocking your way. Because Yorda can only jump small distances, you must make it safe for her to follow you. You can also tell her to wait until you have made the path safe for her. Conversely, only Yorda can open the doors between rooms, forcing you to help her reach them. All the while, you must also fight shadow monsters, which threaten to capture Yorda, using your sword.

The game was met with critical acclaim for its unique visual storytelling and plot, and focuses on themes of protection, perseverance and friendship. Its gameplay has inspired many of the most popular platforming games since, and was innovative in its use of elements we now see in almost every major release.

Our examiner, Ben Kendall, first checked Ico 3 years ago. It was re-examined by Jo Robertson and updated 15 months ago.
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Play StylePlay Style

This is a Puzzle and Traversal game with Adventure, Narrative and Platform elements. You can play with 1 to 2 players in the same room, but you can’t play it online. After beating the game on single-player mode, the game can be played with 2 players locally where on player controls Ico and the other Yorda. It plays similarly to the single player mode but increases the replayability of the game.

You can play this game in the following styles:


Play Time: This game will take between 5 hours and 10 hours to complete. Its platforming action and puzzles can make this game quite difficult for those unacquainted with the genre. Additionally, like many games of its time, it offers little to no hints and often features long and complex areas, meaning you can easily spend over an hour in a single play session on this game.

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Content Rating

Rated PEGI 7.

Skill Level

8+ year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game. Younger players need some perseverance when they struggle with puzzles or enemies. There is some timed pressing needed as well as lateral thinking.


You can only play this on older systems (PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3) but can usually find it second hand on eBay. There are no additional in-game purchases, loot boxes, adverts or subscription costs.
While the game was initially released exclusively for the Playstation 2, it was later re-released for the Playstation 3 in a bundle: Ico & Shadow of the Colossus. 

DetailsGame Details

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

Out Now: PS2 and PS3

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Players: 1-2

Genres: Puzzle, Traversal (Adventure, Narrative and Platform)

Accessibility: 0 features documented (Tweet Developer )

Components: 3D Third-Person

Developer: Sony Japan Studio (@SonyJapanStudio)

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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