How many video games do you know that were developed by a single person? Not many, right? In 2018, Joakim Sandberg developed the action platformer Iconoclasts and teamed up with Bifrost Entertainment to release the game for the PlayStation 4 and PS Vita. It would later be released for the Xbox One and Nintendo Switch as well. With just one man developing, composing and designing the game, how would Iconoclasts turn out? There are space worms and alien birds in this Iconoclasts review!
Iconoclasts takes a minimalistic approach to its story with very few cut scenes but enough dialogue between characters to understand for the most part the complicated story. You play as Robin, a cute blonde headed girl who happens to be a mechanic. During my Iconoclasts review she carried her signature wrench around with her helping out others as she cranks away at machines for them.
The world that Robin lives in has been taken over by a religious cult called the “One Concern” who worship a mysterious god called “Mother”. The cult has grown over time and has since made its way into the government. The world runs on a power source called “Ivory” that is found underground. Think of it as oil. Only mechanics recognized under the rule of the One Concern are now allowed to crank the machines for people that allow Ivory to run their homes and power sources. Robin, being the helpful person that she decides to secretly help her neighbors anyway against the orders of the One Concern. Well, they get wind of this and label her a criminal.
Robin is forced to become a criminal on the run avoiding the government and the One Concern as they hunt her and her allies. The One Concern runs on this Ivory power source and begins to experiment with it including pumping it into humans which results in giving some supernatural abilities and powers. The ones who have survived the experiments become agents for the One Concern and hunt Robin as she runs from town to town.
Another religious cult called the “Isi” clash with the One Concern over the power source of Ivory and with each cult using Ivory, the world begins to crumble and dry out. The world is in desperate need of a hero, and that’s where Robin comes in!
Her father was murdered by the One Concern, and her brother works for them as a chemist against his will (I think). Robin helps out her brother (Elro) and his family but because she is an unregistered mechanic, the One Concern condemn Elro’s family to death.
Robin finds herself in various dangerous situations and fights but with the help of some allies comes out on top. In the end, she finds herself in the City One, which is where the cult started and where “Mother” lives. With help from her friend, Mina, Mother is killed. After going on a few more missions that are quite ridiculous, Robin finds herself fighting a giant starworm that has come to destroy the planet. During the battle, it’s revealed that the worm is actually a robot controlled by a giant bird. Robin kills the bird and the robotic worm causing Ivory to become injected into the planet restoring life to it.
I skipped over a lot of things that happen in the story during this Iconoclasts review because it can get hard to follow and I only realized what was going on by looking it up afterward. The giant worm turning out to be a robot being controlled by a giant bird is as stupid as it sounds. I was disappointed in that being the finale, but the rest of the game was fun as far as the gameplay.
You won’t find a more colorful 16-bit graphic game on the PlayStation 4. Iconoclasts sucked me in right away just by the nature of the game. The enemies and creatures are unique and each has different means of defeating them. You’ll die a few times and you’ll probably get lost in a few mazes or not know what to do next as I did but at least the game looks great when looking at it. I can’t emphasize enough how amazing this game looked during my Iconoclasts review. If I could make a game, I’d want it to look just like Iconoclasts with the vivid environments and bright colors and texture. It all comes together to make the perfect video game world.
Robin controlled great as I navigated her through various levels and terrains during the Iconoclasts review. The game is fair with its combat. When you die it’s your fault for being too reckless or charging at enemies before knowing how to defeat them. Some enemies will need different weapons to defeat them, some will need to be hit multiple times, and some are best avoided. It’s up to you to decide how you play through the levels. During your playthrough, you can upgrade certain abilities and weapons to make it easier for Robin. Some of them are required, while others you can craft to your style of play.
Boss fights were great during my Iconoclasts review. Each of them being challenging and fun. Even the final boss was fun to defeat, I mean, it was completely stupid with how the story unfolds but the battle was satisfying.
There’s a small cast of characters in Iconoclasts, but other than Robin I didn’t really care for them. They were unique in their own ways, but I prefer the strong silent type like Robin, even though she bounced around all cute on the screen. If you ignore the story and just play the game it’s even better as I did during my Iconoclasts review.
Iconoclasts was a free download for PlayStation Plus members so I scooped it up one month. I was instantly drawn to the colorful graphics and cool characters that populated the game. I didn’t get too into the story but the gameplay and environments kept me glued throughout my Iconoclasts review. It took me about a week to beat it.
Iconoclasts Review Score:
It’s incredible what one person can do when they put their focus on their dreams. I applaud Joakim Sandberg for creating Iconoclasts as it’s beautiful on the PlayStation 4, even if the game overall isn’t perfect.
Iconoclasts scores a 7.2 out of 10.
What would you write in your Iconoclasts review? Did you like Iconoclasts and were you able to download it for free? What game do you find as beautiful as I did with Iconoclasts? Can you think of a worse final boss as Iconoclasts featured? Let me know your memories and thoughts, I’d love to read the comments!
If you’d like to own a copy of Iconoclasts for the PS4, you can download a copy of it from the PlayStation store for around $20.