Iconoclasts: Saving the world, one loose screw at a time

Iconoclasts

Delve into the broken, oppressive society of a world ruled by the One Concern, a draconian religious body that outlawed technical skills, in Iconoclasts. The main character, Robin, happens to be a mechanic, and as a result, suffers under their rule as they control the strange power source “Ivory” that runs the world’s machines.

Developed by Konjak and published by Bifrost Entertainment, Iconoclasts is a 2D platformer with a strong influence from the metroidvania gameplay style. For most of the game, the player will be leaping through 2D platform rooms, fight enemies, and solve mechanical puzzles using the tools that they have on hand.

Descend into a metroidvania and learn about the nature of the One Concern

To get the work done, Robin has access to a number of tools starting with her trusty wrench. The wrench is a standard melee weapon that allows Robin to smash opponents to bits, but it also permits her to tighten (or loosen) bolts, grapple onto attachment points, and electrify other tools and objects.

She will also get access to a stun-gun, a roller bomb, and a weapon called the usurper shot, which allows Robin to exchange places with certain objects and enemies.

The world of Iconoclasts is a brilliantly rendered 2D display that uses cubes as its primary shape. The walls are made of cubes, trees grow cubic leaves and cubic fruit, entire caverns are made of haphazardly connected cubes. In spite of its latent cubism, or because of it, the graphics of Iconoclasts is an endearing and unique joy to look at.

Although this game is a metroidvania, and involves platforming and a little backtracking, it sets itself apart from other similar games in that most of the heavy lifting in the game is done by tools gathered within the first hour. Although it is possible to upgrade weapons and tools as the game progresses, the “tweaks” that can be added to them are minor upgrades at best.

Iconoclasts_Nintendo_Switch

The primary challenge of the game comes from the player learning the mechanics of different levels and them applying them to solve ever-increasingly difficult puzzles.

The path to understanding is difficult and even the most intrepid hero needs friends

As the story of Iconoclasts progresses, Robin will make friends. These non-player characters will become part of her story and reveal how the world works and sometimes assist her with puzzles or boss battles and can even become playable.

Characters Robin meets include Mina, Royal, and Elro. Elro is a member of Robin’s family who must work for the One Concern as an alchemist; Mina is an “Isi,” a pirate who belongs to a religion that conflicts with the One Concern; and Royal is the heir-apparent to the One Concern’s ruling class.

This unexpected crew must work together to unlock the secrets that have been oppressing their world and, hopefully, make it a better place.

Iconoclasts began its trek for self-discovery on Jan. 23, 2018 for PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Microsoft Windows PC, macOS, and Linux; and launched for Nintendo Switch on Aug. 2, 2018.