Iconoclasts and the 7 Year Journey


Seven years. Joakim Sandberg labored seven years to make Iconoclasts the game that it is today. Many people don’t realize it, but it’s surprising that any game gets completed, even when it “only” takes one or two years. For a game to be made by a single person over the course of seven years is nothing short of miraculous.

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Miraculous is a fitting word because the game entangles its protagonist in an epic fight with and against dogmatically religious characters. Robin, a rogue mechanic, finds herself investigated by Agents of the One Concern, an orthodox government. The aid she offers others is reserved for official mechanics. Even accepting this help is an act punishable by a religious execution called Penance.

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After her heretical crimes are discovered, she uncovers the One Concern’s dirty secrets. Their opposition, the people of Isilugar, uncover clues to humanity’s past. What begins as a colorful romp gradually becomes a powerful, thought-provoking drama that poses questions about mankind and the elements that make up our modern society.

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Iconoclasts is a wildly entertaining entry into the 2D action-platforming genre. There is clear inspiration drawn from classic 16-bit and 32-bit era games, but its attention to detail, artistic quality, variety of bosses, and deep storyline also pushes the genre forward.

Here’s a short list of incredible features players can look forward to:

  • Many hours of exploration and platform action-adventure in a colorful 2D game world
  • Numerous detailed environments conveying a comprehensive sense of setting and chock-full of fine-tuned action and puzzles
  • More than twenty massive, challenging bosses to punctuate the adventure
  • Three game-changing difficulty settings supported by a unique upgrade system
  • A heart-wrenching, mind-blowing, epic story of one mechanic trying to fix the world
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Seven years. Iconoclasts is an incredible game that took one man seven years to make. I can describe it in terms as bombastic as I please and I will never indulge in hyperbole. It is a figurative miracle made manifest. And maybe, [squinting at Joakim], a literal one.

by Dan Stern
Scholar of the First Deal; developer relations; co-founder.