All right, yeah. I think I hate Iconoclasts. Things that were previously nagging little imperfections have now blossomed into a giant pile of fun-killing mistakes, and many of these imperfections are such obvious bad ideas that it blows my mind that they were included anyway. I’m going to go ahead and assume that all of the positive sentiments I saw directed toward this game were cherry picked or generous rah-rahs provided solely because the developer is an indie, because I can’t see how anyone could look past so many glaring flaws to find a worthwhile experience in this.
A taste of the awkward conversations
This is a taste of a “conversation,” which is really just several different beats frequently hit on that the writer couldn’t find a natural way to segue into. The end result is an incoherent, unbelievable series of statements and ill-fitting reactions that proceeds as if it’s believable dialogue when it’s the farthest thing from it.
“There’s sinister stuff going on down there! How could you trust The Concern?!”
“The One Concern has been pushing the scripture more than usual on us country people, it kinda makes it a daily business.”
“Have you ever questioned anything you believe in for more than two minutes—”
Apart from the obvious problem of the dialogue frequently devolving into a series of non sequiturs like in the above exchange, you can also see one of Iconoclasts’ frequent comma splices. I’ve been letting these go because the last thing I need is another reason to hate this game, but you’ll encounter them pretty much constantly.
Bad design decisions
There were several parts of the game that didn’t make any sense to me until I realized that missiles don’t function unless fired from far enough away that their secondary burst kicks in. That’d be great if you were ever told about this (outside of an optional menu that is only helpful on this one single occasion and never again), but the mechanics are almost exclusively taught to you by pictures on signs near where you gain a new ability. This works for the most part to teach you the basics, but it also fails to provide a detailed explanation of how more things actually work, thus laying the foundation for unnecessary puzzle frustrations down the road.
There are many moments like this where you’re left to figure things out for yourself that the game probably should have explicitly covered. Take these electricity box things; they can become electrified, but the visual effects kept suggesting that all this required was for the bolt of energy coming from Robin to intersect the box. It wasn’t until later that I realized that the (only slightly different looking) “successfully electrified” box effect only happens when Robin charges up and then touches it.
Or how about these caves that are pitch-black? I thought that the point was to blindly make your way through them, only to later realize that your electric wrench causes you to emit light. What’s funny (or depressing, depending on your point of view) is that this wrench upgrade is one of the few upgrades that an NPC actually explains to you. I went back and checked, though, and they never once mentioned that it emits light. That seems like a pretty major oversight. Iconoclasts, ladies and gentlemen.
The fights and exploration still suck, too
This tower area can bite me. Basically, you wander around a large building comprised of same-looking areas while looking for the one thing that unlocks more of the area to you. Rinse and repeat. The whole thing probably ended up taking me 45 minutes or so, and both the exploration and occasional boss fights (drowning in gimmickry, as usual) were so soul-crushingly tedious that I seriously considered giving up on the game for awhile. At this point, though, I’m morbidly curious about whether things eventually become better, or if the slide into badness continues.