Analysis of Iconoclasts. An adventure with message

Written by Kamran Haider

Alone, working for almost ten years, Joakim Sandberg has given life to a great action adventure and retro style platforms that not only surprises for its solid playable base; also stands out for telling a story of great quality that catches you from start to finish. In the analysis of Iconoclasts, we review the strengths of this 2D video game, which is already one of the surprises of the year.

Action adventures and platforms with the “old school” label are plentiful, which is why it is increasingly difficult to stand out; Surprise some fans already seasoned in a thousand and one battles of retro style. And yet Iconoclasts does it. It is a fairly traditional video game that does not invent anything new, yes, but either because of its exciting combats against bosses or because of the importance, it attaches to its plot base, this work by independent creative Joakim Sandberg leaves its mark. And how! The thrilling rhythm of his action, the ingenious design of his puzzles, the epic that some of his most important battles give off … and above all his characters. Heroes and villains who feel human, who are full of emotions; who suffer, and smile, and hate … and thrill. It is the most important thing.

Starring a young woman named Alondra -Robin in its original versions, one of the great strengths of Iconoclasts has to do with the construction of her world. I do not mean exclusively the design of levels, which is quite good with that Metroidvania style on a smaller scale, that is, with smaller areas but by which you can move freely; I speak rather of the plot background that gives form to the cruel dystopia in which the adventure embarks us. Do not be fooled by the color of the graphics or the design of the characters; the video game of Sandberg shows through the Unique Society worst face of humanity, embodied in a sectarian organization that governs the destiny of people with an iron hand, even establishing the jobs that each one must play. And here the protagonist comes into play; a mechanic that should not be! because this profession is considered almost a blessing only suitable for a chosen few. Willing to help the neediest, he will soon become public enemy number one, and there we enter into action.

A twist of the nut

Equipped with a wrench and a plasma gun, Alondra will embark on an exciting adventure that will take her to explore a variety of locations such as a desert, snowy areas, forests or even the deep sea. In the playable, as I said before, Iconoclasts feels quite traditional, combining the good platformer with many shots and, of course, the odd puzzle that, without a doubt, have ended up becoming one of the best parts of the game. They are ingenious, in some cases even original, and make good use of exploration and special skills of the protagonist, who can use her work tool to open gates, grab certain objects, move at high speed on rails, or even use electricity to activate some mechanisms.

The good news is that Joakim Sandberg’s videogame knows how to surprise with new challenges so that the action never falls into the reiterative. You will fight without ceasing, yes, but you will also have to escape from certain dangers by stealth; or run in a hurry dodging traps while an enemy is on your heels, or jump and dive and … even overcome the many challenges proposed by this fun and, at times, also challenging adventure. How to defend against such dangers? As I said, we started the game with a plasma pistol but, progressively, we will obtain new weapons that, in addition to annihilating monsters, will also serve to eliminate obstacles along the way. In this sense, the spanner also works as a weapon.A twist of the nut

The Sandberg video game shows through the Single Society the worst face of humanity

It is strong in short distances, although its best asset is the ability to return certain projectiles, which is an essential action to overcome some of the toughest battles and Exciting of the adventure. There are more than you could imagine with the naked eye, as there are more than 20 bosses that will force us to adopt new combat strategies. And they are great ! because there is also a lot of epic in these confrontations, which sometimes are posed as a puzzle in itself. It is not enough to shoot without rhyme or reason; We must find the weak points of each enemy and for that, sometimes, we must activate certain mechanisms beforehand, or even rely on other characters in what are undoubtedly some of the best moments of Iconoclasts.

During our trip through this colorful futuristic world, we can also make use of small tactical advantages that, previously, we will have manufactured in a workshop using the resources that are dispersed by the mapping. Hold your breath for longer underwater, move faster, better resist the blows … there are a handful of skills but, certainly, its use is merely anecdotal because the improvements they offer are not significant, so in many cases, it is best to use the same advantage several times to enhance its use. Iconoclasts also show something irregular in the design of their scenarios. They are usually very good, with hidden passages and challenges that make good use of the peculiarities of the game, but there are a few that are below that level of quality and can even be boring.

The pace of the action also has ups and downs. Previously, he stressed that the history of Iconoclasts, or rather its plot background translated into Spanish, is at times exciting, and so it is ! but sometimes the game sins of excess information. Cut the action too often and end up being annoying. Nothing particularly serious then, in the end, you end up taking care of the characters that swarm through this colorful world of retro style during an adventure that will take you to overcome around 12 o’clock. It’s not bad at all! And the best thing is that at the audiovisual level Joakim Sandberg’s work also offers more than worthy results.

I love the coloring and design of characters, as well as the variety of scenarios and their own construction. And although it is true that at times the video game is scant in detail and does not indicate very well where you should go, this is a minor evil in a great action adventure and platforms that takes the best of the great classics and gives you a good twist of nut.

Recommended: Analysis of Wulverblade. A heartbreaking 2D beat’em up


He has dedicated almost ten years of his life to creating this adventure of action and platforms, and that passion is reflected in a high-quality video game that surprises with its powerful plot background and exciting boss fights. Iconoclasts is a fast-paced video game, with lots of shots, good platforming and lots of puzzles that will put you to the test in many different ways. Undoubtedly, this retro-style game is a more than recommended purchase.

  • The variety of action; how well it combines puzzles, shots, and platforms
  • The combats against bosses are exciting
  • Great staging. The design of characters and scenarios is very good
  • The rhythm of the action is sometimes obstructed by the narrative
  • Some game mechanics, such as stealth, do not end well

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Kamran Haider

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