With only one full game to talk about this week, we’ll be closing Konjak month by discussing Mr. Samberg’s current project (which has a free alpha), The Iconoclasts.
Before we start talking about our main feature, it’s only fair to discuss Konjak’s last complete freeware game, Tripline. Tripline is a simple puzzle game where you must draw a line through combos of three shapes without breaking it…and that’s it. That’s not to dissuade you from playing, this is a good little puzzle game with a cute aesthetic and setting that is reminiscent of Chalk: the game is played on a recreation of an old graphing paper book and the puzzle and doodle in the game look like they were drawn with pens and pencils. This make it as though you are a child who is ignoring Geometry homework to goof around, which is sort of reminiscent of Chalk as well and is rather charming. While I do like Tripline and it is a good time waster, it’s nothing compared to Konjak’s current project, The Iconoclasts.
The Iconoclasts is a game that has been a long time in the making. Years ago, Mr. Samberg created an alpha for a game called Ivory. This game was like a mix between Noitu Love and exploration platformers like Cave Story. In the game, you played a mechanic named Robin who helped townspeople with their mechanical problems while dodging members of a ruling cult who have made non-certified mechanics illegal and charge exorbitant rates for civilians to hire a state-approved mechanic. However, things got busy for Konjak and he lost interest, only to pick the game up a couple of years later, give it a much richer art style, smoother animation, and much faster gameplay. This game became “The Iconoclasts.
The Iconoclasts still keeps the same story but adds the much faster gameplay that Konjak explored in both “Legend of Princess” and Noitu Love 2. Robin is still traversing a world that is mapped out as you explore, still uses her wrench to activate switches and stun gun to defeat enemies but now the gun adjusts its aim for enemies and fires as fast as you can click it. It even has a charge shot that can blow away most enemies in a single hit but leaves you vulnerable while your gun cools down. The wrench now also has the ability to spin, which allows you to toss projectiles back at some enemies, and can grab on to cogs, allowing Robin to fly through the air. The game makes sure to keep the action really fast though, almost resembling old Amiga games in how quickly the screen scrolls and characters move around.
However, that’s not the only reason I think you should look forward to this game. This game is also GORGEOUS with its bright, beautiful COLORS. These days, it is so refreshing to see to see so many bright colors. Environments, enemies, and the characters are made of bright colors that are both fitting as a callback to really colorful Amiga games and refreshing when there are so many bland-looking games coming out nowadays. That’s to say nothing of the extra nice animation on bosses and characters, which are extremely professional. The music is also very nice, despite only a couple tracks being played during the course of the alpha.
Back to the characters though, they represent the final great thing about this game; the much more powerful emotions this game has compared to Konjak’s other games. Without spoiling anything, let’s just say lives are given weight in this game and things get a lot darker than you would expect such a colorful game to get. That’s not to say Konjak’s humor is gone though, in fact there are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments, most of them surprisingly from the villains. While this can cause an uncomfortable clashing of emotions at times, it overall comes out in favor of Konjak’s approach and the bits of dark humor are handled well.
While Iconoclasts is just an Alpha, it shows off a lot of promise. Any complaint I have would seem unfair since Konjak has been fixing issues (which can be seen if you get the newest Indie Royale Bundle, which has an updated Alpha) and the game is too early in development to really know what problems will persist or not. However, you should be aware that, regardless of the alpha version you play, it ends abruptly when the elevator puzzle bugs out. In any case, you should definetly check out this fun, colorful adventure and eagerly anticipate the release of the full game, which will hopefully be out in the next two years.
Freeware Friday is a series of articles by Gabriel B. that celebrates exemplary (or sometimes just plain weird) freeware games.