Through provocative depictions of faith and religious dogma, emotional flare-ups between characters, and razor-sharp humor, developer Joakim Sandberg maintains an intoxicating theatricality that underpins the entirety of Iconoclasts.
Iconoclasts’ combination of clever Metroid-inspired design and lush art offers more than enough incentive to stick with it, even when the ambitious plot doesn’t always connect. This is a strange, complex game that – refreshingly – doesn't play quite like any other work in the genre. Iconoclasts offers a welcome reminder that they don't all have to play the same way.
This is a perfect weekend game: cheerful, fun, challenging but not too demanding. It successfully recreates the atmosphere and sense of adventure of the 90s 2D action-adventures that inspired it, and occasionally betters them.
Iconoclasts blends a complex story with neat puzzle platforming, and does so in great style. The game’s length occasionally works against it, and the boss fights aren’t all winners, but the story is worth seeing through to the end thanks to a memorable cast of characters and plenty of variety along the way. It’s just a very robust, unique game that you’d be a tool to miss.
This game excels in presentation. Like Cave Story, it’s amazing just how much effort was put into the sprite work and the universe these characters live in and that “wow” factor is compounded by the fact that only one person worked on it. The boss battles and instances where Iconoclasts is an action platformer are also major highlights.
That said. I feel as if the game is falsely advertised to an extent. As other reviewers have noted, this feels more like an open world epic although it’s listed as a platformer or metroidvania. It does have some of those elements, but the plot is incredibly thick compared to something like the Metroid or Shantae series. If you were looking for something along these lines or a truly old school experience, you may be disappointed by the amount of plot and oftentimes lengthy character monologues. I’m willing to sit through these for the most **** some really do drag. If you like this kind of thing, you’ll probably enjoy it. I can’t say I did.
Also, not every one of the dozens of boss encounters that are used as a selling point are winners. While there are plenty that are creative and enjoyable firefights, there are some that give next to no indication of what exactly you’re supposed to be doing. They’ll take a death or two before you even have a clue as to how to damage them, which does become annoying. Even in Cuphead, a game that also has emphasis on bosses and the “repeated failure leads to success” approach (albeit to a greater extent)...knowing what you needed to do to take down the boss was almost never an issue...solely a matter of doing it.
Expect to spend about 10-15 hours on the campaign. I’m currently about 12 hours in and am nearing what I suspect to be the end of the game. Even with it being quite different in gameplay than what I expected, iconoclasts has more positives than negatives. Again, if you’re expecting an old school like experience because of the presentation and how it’s listed in **** should probably stick to some of last year’s heavy hitters (sonic mania, Cuphead, a Hat in time, wonder boy) for now and wait for a sale.
SummaryJoin renegade mechanic Robin and uncover the secrets of a dying planet. Explore a big world filled with intricate puzzles, interesting characters and menacing bosses in a beautiful platform adventure that tells a personal story about faith, purpose and the challenge of helping people.