Completed the game

First of all, I need to say what an incredible feat it is by @konjak to create this game. It is a huge accomplishment to pull it off in terms of graphics, music, art style, story and everything. This is one really talented guy, no doubt.

I played Iconoclasts over a couple of months, and then I rushed the end because I wanted to be done with it. Now, I am. I completed the whole thing, but I didn’t get all the collectibles.

First I was really put off by the art style. I didn’t get it. I think it looked too cartoonish for my taste. I couldn’t get my head around it. Then after a while I came around to it. The art style follows a set of principles that it stays true to until the end. I really admire the amount of things that can be created within the same design framework without feeling repetitive or boring.

I like the story, as a story arc. It has some really good points and it leads to many conclusions. What I don’t like about it is that for 80% of the game it doesn’t feel like it’s going anywhere. You just go around the world meeting new people, but it doesn’t feel like any of the story is progressing. I had really given up on it until the end, where everything happens and a lot of its cleverness is laid out. I wish it would have been a more gradual reveal rather than a late bloomer.

The game play is fine. This is not the perfect platformer out there. I have some problems with the controls, that Robin doesn’t want to do what I tell her to. One example is grabbing ledges which seems to succeed about 4/5 times. It is that fifth time that really kills you.

I like that there is a progression when it comes to game mechanics. You receive new tools and weapons through out the game. I would prefer to get it more often, but I don’t think that is a problem with the number of tools/weapons, but rather a problem with the length of the game.

The game is too long, it took me 14 hours to complete. I have a hard time to keep my interest going for that long, and when it feels like the story isn’t progressing, I need to force myself to continue playing. I think that @konjak intends the world to be interesting enough for me to want to discover more of it, but sadly I just want the story to progress, and many times it feels like its going backwards.

The fault is that the game is a metroidvania style game, where you actually go back to areas that you have cleared to talk to additional people of fight an additional boss before you can continue forward. If you follow me you know that I hate metroidvanias because I never know what to do. That is why I always keep a guide at hand when playing them, to make sure that I do not just wander around killing the same enemies over and over with no purpose.

I hadn’t been able to finish this game without a guide. Not only because of it being a metroidvania, but because of the puzzles. Once you know them they are not that hard or convoluted, but in the moment they quite often don’t make sense. I think the main problem is that the game hasn't thaught you enough of the mechanics before it throws a puzzle at you with those mechanics. Together with the problem of the controls, you can sometimes make the correct thing, but you need to do it 5-10 times before you manage to pull it off. At those times I need that guide to confirm that I'm trying the “correct” thing, so I don’t mistake it for being the wrong solution. I also had a puzzle break on me, so that it was not possible to finish it. Most puzzles can be reset by going to another room and come back, but this one didn’t and I had to reload from the latest save, that thankfully wasn’t far off.

The game is very accessible. There are lots of save points and you seldom have to replay parts that you’ve already finished because you died. I actually played it on the difficulty “Relaxed” which means that you pretty much cannot die. Maybe this removed some of the enjoyment of the game, but I wasn’t interested in a challenge. I just wanted to experience the story and get through it. The game was challenging enough with its puzzles and metroidvania style of “where do we go now?”.

This is a very chatty game. The game will tell you things at lengths in writing, and very long dialogues. I wish that it would have went more with environmental storytelling, than trying to spell it out on your nose. However, with that said, I really like the way that every character has their own voice, mood and personality - and the way the game pace the written dialogue so that subtleties really comes forward. Like when a character hesitates in the middle. of. a. sentence. Or when text is flying so fast on the screen because the characters talk very fast!

I think the game really blooms in the end. I was not expecting any of it, and was really surprised by the direction the game took, and the amount of time spent on the ending. It actually made me like the game more, and had me smile during the credits. Thank you for the experience and see you next time.

My rating: 3