Iconoclasts is nearly here – see it in action

Iconoclasts

I’ve been writing about videogames going on about eight years now. For the majority of that time, I’ve had one eye firmly glued to Iconoclasts, an ambitious metroidvania by solo Swedish developer Joakim ‘Konjak’ Sandberg. It’s been in development over six years now, and is finally, tantalisingly close to release.

Word is that Iconoclasts is now effectively feature-complete and in the final stages of development (testing, bug-fixing and balancing) and I’ve heard some very positive sounding rumblings from playtesters. Come and check out a few minutes of fresh, mostly-uncut gameplay footage within.

There’s some exciting stuff on show here. While the early game looks relatively simple, even the basic combat moves (such as that slime-squishing divekick) look surprisingly satisfying. Later on we get to see some puzzle mechanics, the grind-rail system, a bit of cutscene down-time followed by an especially large and chunky boss battle, all as polished-looking as you could hope for. It’s hard to believe that this is a solo project.

If you’ve not played any of Konjak’s previous games, you owe it to yourself to at least try Noitu Love 2: Devolution. Despite having little to no familiarity with the game, Konjak inadvertently created the PC’s answer to Treasure’s classic Gunstar Heroes; a festival of creative, quickfire boss fights, tied together with a unique combat engine built around mouse targeting.

Iconoclasts looks to be building on everything I liked about Noitu Love 2, despite the move to a more open-plan Metroid’y format. There’s a certain snappiness to the movement and combat that catches my eye, and the obviously gorgeous sprite art doesn’t hurt either. While just a little bit old, this video of Joakim breaking down Metroid Fusion and explaining the importance of free-flowing movement in games still rings true, and I hope that some of the lessons learnt carry over to this game.

You can keep up with development of Iconoclasts on Konjak’s site (which also contains a SUPER early alpha build of the game, if you want a peek at an ancient iteration of it), or wishlist/follow it on Steam, where you can can see the latest trailer. There’s no official release date set, but the store page does say ‘2017’. I’m inclined to believe it.

23 Comments

  1. Vegas says:

    Wow, looks cool. But can you renounce your heresy and return to Orthodox?

    • King in Winter says:

      Likewise, when I saw the name my first thought was those gosh darned heretics that come to ruin my Byzzie plays.

  2. Chromatose says:

    I played the old demo way back when and absolutely adored it. Seeing as Konjak seemed convinced that it wouldn’t get finished at all back then, I’m really glad to see it’s almost with us!

    The audiovisual feedback was masterfully done back then, so I can’t wait to see how far it’s been improved.

  3. dog2 says:

    Holy crap. A pixallated metroidvania platformer?

  4. fuggles says:

    Wow! Noitu love 2 looks amazing!!!

    • Viroso says:

      It looks and it is amazing. It’s short, I think 30 minutes tops to beat, but I ended up playing 5 hours of it. There’s loads of extra content. It’s a great game. No fillers, and what’s in it is so good you want seconds.

    • Chromatose says:

      Tiresome lowball RPS snark aside, the reason this looks a lot like the Noitu Love games is because it’s from the same developer, who has built up a pretty distinctive style over the years.

      • fuggles says:

        Isn’t that clear from the article – What snark are you on about?

        • April March says:

          I guess he took the comment to mean “Wow! Surely this game is Noitu Love 2, as that’s what it looks like!” rather than “I rather liked the dev’s earlier game, Noitu Love 2”. RPS does have a way of breaking people’s snarkometers.

          • fuggles says:

            If true that’s a bit sad that they mistake enthusiasm (I have now bought it) with snark. I hope they spend a little time thinking about where they are at and then come back less cynical.

            I suppose I should also check out noitu love 1.

  5. mukuste says:

    Getting strong Cave Story vibes from this. Which is good, of course, though a lot has happened in indie gaming since Cave Story was released.

  6. Seyda Neen says:

    I love it. The punnage on the Steam store page is too much! “A heart-wrenching epic — can one mechanic fix the whole world?”

  7. Unclepauly says:

    My nostalgia glands are completely exhausted after that video. One dude did that. o.o

    • klops says:

      You should have iodine in your medical cupboard for cases like this.

    • Dominic Tarason says:

      From what I hear from the testing crew, it’s a hefty game as well. Easily 10+ hours long on your first playthrough. 15 or more if you’re after everything and a few optional bosses.

      Konjak has been making games for a very long time now (and has done contract work for a bunch of studios), so this is what happens when a veteran dev works on a passion-project for 6+ years.

  8. Nevard says:

    We are the river, and it is the sea. Run to it or run dry, but all will run.

  9. Catterbatter says:

    If I filtered the RPS feed to just Dominic’s posts over the past few weeks it would pretty much be my brain’s “games” file. I’d miss Adam’s roguelike stuff and John’s reviews and Alice’s word-o-make-’em-ups, but I’d be all set for news about games I’m following.

    • Dominic Tarason says:

      I think this may be the nicest comment I’ve had on anything, so thanks for that.

      But you shouldn’t filter out Alice’s stuff. She is very good.

      (I kid, I kid – the whole crew are great)

  10. BooleanBob says:

    This is still being made? Nice. Noitu Love 2 was a fairly pure Treasure em up, but anyone interested in a half-hour slice of pure joy should check out Legend of Princess, also by this guy.

  11. Worriedman says:

    Holy shit, I remember playing the alpha for this aaaaages ago, but finally forgetting about it when it appeared that he wasn’t working on it anymore. What a great way to be reminded of an awesome looking game’s existence!

  12. April March says:

    I remember playing that ancient alpha when it wasn’t ancient. Game’s pretty fun. And looks so so purdy.

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