Ice Age: Avalanche is a match-three puzzle game based on the Ice Age animated movie franchise. It borrows many gameplay elements from the earlier Pastry Paradise by the same developer. Players control the sloth Sid as his granny tips him off about a treasure she has hidden a long time ago. The main gameplay mechanics are similar to Candy Crush Saga. There are level objectives such as a reaching a certain score based on a number of moves or a time limit, clearing all tiles on the board with matches and bringing acorns to the bottom of the screen.
By making matches of four pieces of fruit or more, power-ups can be earned. These can be matched or combined for powerful effects. A match of five creates a power-up that can be used to remove all pieces of fruit of a single type right away. There are also special matches in L or T shapes. The player needs to create a vertical or horizontal line of three identical pieces of fruit by swapping. Diagonal matches are not supported, but pieces of fruit can be swapped diagonally. Up to three stars per level along with a present can be earned and these are needed to keep unlocking new levels. At least one star must be earned to win the level or a life is lost. Certain levels have a cramped board where making extenders reach the bottom of the screen or obstacles causes the board to expand.
The game supports online versus matches with mechanics similar to Reversi. In head-to-head games players make matches to claim tiles on the board. It is possible to match on top of the opponent's tiles and the goal is to claim a number as large as possible. This game type also appears in the single-player level path. There are also time-limited events.
The game is free-to-play with a basic (stones) currency earned with matches based on power-ups and beating levels in an excellent way and a premium (gold coins) currency, mainly to buy boosters such as a scoop to remove a specific piece, color burst to start a game with the most powerful power-up, line slide to clear a line, an extra move, rotating the board, extra time and more. Gold coins can also be used to buy additional moves at the end of a level. There is a lives (energy/stamina) system that requires players to do short sessions to have them regenerate when they are used up or to buy additional hearts to keep playing. It is also possible to upgrade the heart capacity. Some boosters are assigned before starting a level, while others remain available all the time in-game.