In Ice Climber one or two players need to climb their way to the top of 32 different mountains. Each mountain is broken up into eight levels of platforms along with a bonus stage at the top. Attempting to stop you from making upward progress are different creatures ranging from polar bears to condors as well as treacherous landscapes with falling icicles, moving platforms, and icy floors. To help out, your only weapon is a mallet which can be used to knock out enemies as well as bust away bricks in the platforms to give you some room to jump up to the next level. When you finally reach the top, it's time to move on to the next, more difficult level.