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CP Knowledge: Thin Ice

Welcome to another post of the series CP Knowledge. This is a series where I will talk about every single minigame on Club Penguin, continuing today with Thin Ice. The posts include how you play the game, its history, stamps, trivia, high scores, and a personal review of the game! Hope you enjoy it!


GAMEPLAY

Thin Ice is one of the two arcade games in Club Penguin, the other one being Astro Barrier. You can play by going to the room above the Nightclub, which is called Arcade (formerly Dance Lounge). The player must guide a black puffle that is on fire through a maze covered in ice. As soon as you step on one ice block, it melts. If you melt all the squares around you, the puffle drowns and you have to restart the level. Although you cannot fully lose in this game, since you will always just restart the level. You are also not required to fully complete a level to move on to the next one. Your puffle will have to get to the end, of course, but you don’t have to melt all of the tiles. There is a total of 19 levels. 

   Sometimes, the level is very straightforward, just move to the end. But the levels get harder as you progress, and after a few levels, you will have to walk over an ice block twice for it to fully melt. A bit sooner, you will first have to get a key to lock up a specific ice tile. On some levels, you will have to push away a block that’s in the way. You push it the wrong way – you get stuck. Later on, there are even teleport devices for you to use! On level 19, there is a secret room that is accessible through a false wall in the top right. You will then have to navigate through the wall, toward a block with a circle on it. When you get to that button, the wall will disappear and reveal coin bags for every fully completed level.


HISTORY

Thin ice was released on December 19, 2006, a bit over a year after Club Penguin’s initial release. Unfortunately, we don’t know much about the history of this game. The stamps were added on July 26, 2010, but that is about all information available. The music for the game was, as (almost) always, made by Chris Hendricks. That song was his first of many on Club Penguin.


STAMPS 

Ever since the release of the stamps, there has been a total of nine of them. One easy stamp, three medium and hard ones, and two of the difficulty extreme. 


COINS

If you know how to fully complete all the mazes, this game is a money-maker. Excluding the possible bonus for being quick, you can get 1908 coins. You get one point for each melted ice tile, which makes a total of 2079 points. If you fully complete a level, you get the number of melted ice tiles times two. But if you do it on the first try, you get the score tripled. That means you could get 2079 x 3 = 6237 points. If you also collect all of the 33 coin bags (which you naturally will if you walk everywhere) you get an additional 3300 points. That is 6237 + 3300 = 9537 points. Now, the number of coins you get is equivalent to your points divided by ten. So 9537/10 = 953.7 ~ 954. If all stamps are collected you get the doubled amount which is 1908 coins. 


HIGH SCORE 

Remember how I said that we don’t know much history about the game? Well, the history of speedruns is a different story.

   Because Thin Ice was such an early game, it was left in the background when newer content got released. When Dinsey announced that Club Penguin was shutting down, Quoub published the first Thin Ice speedrunning video. He claimed to have finished the game in 36.02 seconds, which was true, but he left out a few details. He did not fully solve every level, meaning he did an any% speedrun. Quoub also played on a non-member account which meant he could only play ten levels. The run was not very serious and was only a tribute to the dying game. Although it did get a decent amount of attention, which naturally led to other people trying to beat the score. One penguin who did so is called Honey Arc, who attained a time of 31.77 seconds. The game then got shut down and the runs were forgotten. 

   Did it end there? No. There is way too much history to cover everything quickly, but I’ll go over the most important things. At first, the any% category was the most popular. There are three notable players that battled for first place for a long time, nhaar, Lothjon, and Goomba. Eventually, they all tied. 

   In the middle of April 2019, they started to realize that they had reached the best possible time. With two more players, xAndru and PASRC, achieving it and Lothjon getting the score six times they understood that 1 minute and 20.833… seconds, was the absolute best time. This was confirmed about a year later when PASRC published a TAS (tool-assisted speedrun) of that same time. Today, we have 14 players being tied for 1st place.


HIGH SCORE ASM

ASM? American Society for Microbiology? Adaptive Signal Masking? No, ASM stands for All Solved Mazes, meaning you have to fully complete all levels for the run to count. Some players did AMS runs in the beginning, but any% quickly took over. After those runs being “done” though, some were looking for a new challenge. 

   At the time, nhaar held the record of 5 minutes and 6.98 seconds, but xAndru wanted to change that. Half a month after any% was over, xAndru got a deathless run and broke the record with a time of 5 minutes and 0.266 seconds. But he didn’t stop there. He improved his time until he got a time of 4 minutes and 41.8 seconds, almost a perfect run. 

   A few months went by and no one seemed to challenge him. But nhaar made his return and got a time of 4 minutes and 41.567 seconds. On February 28, 2020, PASRC published that TAS for any%, but he also did one for ASM. The TAS showed a time of 4 minutes and 41.3 seconds. Both xAndru and nhaar battled for first place. Then one day, they decided to simultaneously stream their Thin Ice runs, to see who would be the first to get perfect ASM. The race was on. After a while, they were both tied at two frames from perfect. The stream ended but they stayed for a few more runs. As xAndru announced his last run, we thought it was the end. But he finished on top.

   xAndru was the first-ever player to achieve a time of 4 minutes and 41.3 seconds and thus reaching perfection. It took him around 30 000 attempts, now that’s dedication. Two months later, nhaar also published a run with the same time. 


TRIVIA

  • In the end, the puffle, smiles, is unhappy or is angry depending on how well you did. 
  • The background music is the first song someone ever paid Chris Hendricks to create.
  • Almost all levels have two slightly different versions. 
  • Both Thin Ice and Astro Barrier were removed and replaced with Thinicetrobarrier during the April Fools’ party 2008
  • The Black TV Stand and Gray TV Stand feature a walkthrough of two fictional Thin Ice levels. 
  • It is possible to get all stamps in one game.
  • The stamps 1 Coin Bag and 3 Coin Bags share names with two stamps from Puffle Rescue.
  • The stamp Ice Master shares its name with a stamp from Pufflescape.
  • There is a Thin Ice Card-Jitsu card.

PERSONAL REVIEW

I used to play a ton of this game multiple years ago, but then I stopped playing for a while and never got back. Why? Well, the game is very frustrating sometimes, you get one thing wrong, and you have to restart. If you don’t know the full courses to solve the mazes, you can’t really figure them out by playing. You would have to sit down and think and draw a course that works. However, if you are not going for a perfect run, the game can be quite fun. But, when you don’t fully solve the mazes you won’t earn a lot of money. So, I’d give Thin Ice a 7/10 score. 


Did I miss anything? What do you think of Thin Ice? Comment below!

That’s all for me today, hope you enjoyed this post! See ya next time!

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