Phew. It’s metroidvania season on BBLC, apparently, with several of them popping up in a row despite over 60 other games to choose from. I love the genre when it’s done well, but playing them together in quick succession makes it super easy to lose track of which protagonist has which powers… and which button shoots the gun. Argh.
But never fear, because although ~Pixel Art Metroidvania~ has become de rigueur across the indiesphere, Iconoclasts came before the trend- and wins bonus Beebs points for being my favourite genre, “solo indie projects by one person with more talent passion and drive than I can muster for anything”.
Pixelart (especially when branded “retro”) is often used as an excuse for ugly or lazy art, a trope which thankfully is disproven wholly by Iconoclasts’ bouncy, highly animated sprites, full of colour and character and making an artform out of showing a lot with a little. It’s uncommon for me to comment on the artstyle before the gameplay, but it’s unavoidable here- it’s immediately eyecatching and a joy to just watch, before you even pick up the controller.
It’s not all skin deep, either; Iconoclasts’ developer has some pedigree in the indie scene, with a catalogue I regrettably haven’t played any titles from but recognise as bastions of the scene in the early ‘10s- Noitu Love and its sequel Devolution among them. Konjak’s been doing this for a while and it shows, Robyn’s movement coming quick but never loose, and even the tutorial boss having a neat environmental quirk that sets it apart from just a tanky enemy.
Fin or Bin:
Reviews with anything negative to say typically pan how dialogue-heavy the game is; it’s not something that bothered me in mt hour, nor is it something that usually bothers me in a game even when it is a problem, and if that’s the worst Iconoclasts is going to do, I will gladly take it with a big ol’ spoon. Nah, this is my jam, I’m all about this kind of thing. I feel very stuck in my ways, but a big passion project is just always going to win my heart. I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to get stuck into one of your games, Konjak- maybe I’ll add Noitu Love to my backlog after I Finish this one.