A few indie passion projects years in the making have finally come to fruition this year. While it’ll be missing December by a couple weeks, we’ve now got Iconoclasts to look forward to, an ambitious metroidvania by Swedish solo developer Konjak which will finally launch on January 23rd after over ten years of development.
While the release date was announced over a week back, and accompanied by a trailer, we’ve got a little treat for those late to the party; A longer ‘rough-cut’ uploaded recently, featuring a little more gameplay and a little more of that gorgeous full-screen character animation.
Some good stuff here, as well as a teensy tiny peek at a few setpiece moments that we’ve not seen before. I find it especially interesting to compare it to the debut trailer from way back in 2011, So many of the basic sprites seem unchanged, thanks to it being a highly polished ‘vertical slice’ of game even back then, but (according to some folks I know who have been playtesting it) the scope of the game seems to have grown explosively, along with the level of polish. Even the screen-shake feels smooth, somehow. Oh, and the title seems to have lost it’s ‘The’ at some point.
Being the perfectionist sort, very few of Konjak’s earlier games were ever completed, so it’s not a huge surprise that a few of his older projects get referenced in his biggest game to date. Most obvious being one of NPC party members you can recruit; Mina, the pirate, referencing one of his first games, ‘Mina of the Pirates’, unfinished but released for the public to poke around at.
You can find Mina of The Pirates on Konjak’s site, along with a mix of other free tidbits, some being complete (if short) games, others being abandoned prototypes. Manic-paced Zelda parody Legend of Princess being especially great. You can also see and try out Ivory Springs there too, the earliest shown prototype of the Iconoclasts concept from back in 2007. Smaller, cuter sprites and a brighter overall tone aside, it’s fascinating to see how a lone developer has grown over the course of a decade.
Iconoclasts is set to launch on PC via Steam, GOG and and probably a few other places besides on January 23rd, with a variety of ports to other platforms to happen not long after. If you want a taste of what kind of creativity and quality of boss design awaits next year, take a peek at Noitu Love 2: Devolution, Konjak’s previous major game.