Steam has plenty of games on it and it’s pretty easy to miss a new release in the shuffle. Especially ones sporting pixel art. So, when a cool game like Slipstream gets released, something needs to be said.
The obvious comparison is Sega’s Out Run and rightfully so. The sense of speed and drifting functions are nailed pretty well. The game comes with a handful of modes and tracks, all of which bring back a classic arcade racing style.
Presentation wise, the graphics highlight the 16-bit era and the controls are fluid and responsive with a gamepad. By far the best thing about Slipstream is its music. There are a ton of burning hot tracks that feel super awesome when you’re cruising, almost as if ansdor knew people would be listening to the soundtrack on a cool evening driving with top down in Miami Beach.
At first glance, Iconoclasts might look like another pixel art styled game, but style is one of the many things that bring its charm. From the very start, there is something endearing about the game. It’s easily seen and felt throughout.
You play as Robin and occasionally some of the other characters that grace the games presence. Robin is the game’s displaced, silent protagonist who has just recently lost her father and lives in a dystopian like world where things are heavily controlled, particularly the building and repairing of technology. One substance, ivory, has been powering most of the worlds technology and is nearly depleted.
Many things are at play in Iconoclasts, story elements bob and weave, coming in and out of the picture at the right moments, emerging at pivotal times and revealing themselves in just the right way. Dialog and cutscenes play out in text, sometimes emoted for extra emphasis. And believe it or not, you get a real good sense for each of the characters, feeling their purpose and motivations. They don’t feel fake or tacked on. The story is one of the best parts of Iconoclasts.
Controlling Robin is easy, fluid and simple. Most movements and attacks work as expected. Because of the that, the puzzles never feel difficult, but a treat to figure out. Like any Metroidvania inspired platformer, you can expect the check boxes to be met and completed within the boundaries of the game’s own merits.
As mentioned above, the graphics style don’t always do the game justice, but the more you play it the more it grows on you along with the game’s soundtrack. From the characters expressions to the animations to the level design… the more you play it, the more you realize it was all meant to be.
Iconoclasts has a decently long play length, but can be mastered, if you’re up for that. It also doesn’t feel that difficult, but that can also be changed if you feel the need to. Boss fights are fair, creative and are actually a big highlight. Collectibles are scattered throughout the world and are useful to an extent, but once you find a loadout that works for you, you probably won’t be needing to craft with them too often.
I never felt bored with Iconoclasts, frustrated or angry. I had genuine, honest fun through my entire playthrough and always wanted to see what would come next for Robin and her companions. Just remember that as you play this that one guy, Joakin Sandberg, pretty much did all of this.