Let's clear the air here: I love chain reactions. I love upgrades. Put them together in a game and I'll go as mad for it as I do for Reese's cups. Producer Silengames has done just that in the Boomshine style Icy Gifts that, though not particularly hard-hitting, has plenty of gameplay and variety to satisfy that itch. Icy Gifts has you freeing frozen presents using chain reaction explosions. Apparently they're underwater too. And the sun comes out when you win. Look, I don't get it either, but the story isn't important. The "BOOM" is.
Icy Gifts provides enough originality to stay fresh. Along with the normal exploding presents, special spheres explode to leave poison gas, shoot bullets or lightning, cause tidal waves, or give you an extra click. The spheres can be upgraded by using the thawed presents you collect as currency. The game throws both different exploders and level sizes at you too. You'll see 4 presents one level, 100 the next, and then 40 poison gas spheres after that. Every level has an initial goal, and then two more goals beyond it for two or three star ratings. Passing a level is easy, but you might find yourself repeating certain levels more than others for that 100% three star rating. There are also 45 achievements to go after, though some of them are easier than others.
Icy Gifts doesn't have a huge challenge or innovate in the genre, but it is a solid package. The visuals are slick and the soundtrack is pleasant. There's enough variety and objectives to keep a completionist busy and a causal gamer entertained. Consider this a late Christmas present.