Intrepid Izzy is a platformer action game that was developed by indie studio Senile Team and released to Steam in July 2020. Ratalaika Games then ported it to consoles in December 2022.
*Disclaimer: A code was provided by the publisher of the game for the purpose of this article. That in no way affects anything as my thoughts are mine and mine alone.
Intrepid Izzy starts off like a lot of games. You’re running through a field and you fall in a hole. Oh no! Honestly I can’t remember how it started and I never even finished the cutscene for how it started, even after restarting the game many times. There’s a reason for this though, and that is that at the slightest touch of anything, even the joystick, the cutscene gets skipped. Whose decision was this!?!?
What I expected when the game started, was a level based platformer that would only take a few hours to finish. But instead I was treated to a platformer that is incredibly floaty in it’s platforming elements, a metroidvania that gives you no hints, and enemy arenas that constantly respawn no matter how many times you defeat them. It was all a maddening experience that had me leaving before I even got deep into the game.
I will say I played a good six hours of the game. It’s not like I played fifteen minutes and went “no thanks”, no I gave it my all, as I tend to do with the games I play and in those six hours, I truly feel like I made no progress. There were a few times where I had absolutely no idea where to go. There’s no townsfolk to talk to, no statues that give you hints, nothing. Eventually I ended up making my way forward a little bit, just to end up getting an ability that let me glide through the air. This was in the form of a “costume”. When I eventually found another, I had to go back to the town to exchange the two so I could use whatever power I wanted.
This was a pretty neat idea I will say, and it did make me think about what I should actually explore with, because I found some secrets with the miners outfit that I wouldn’t have found otherwise. The point that made me stop is when I had to open a giant door. That was my only hint, and I had to find four diamonds for this door to open it. Only thing is, I had no idea where they were. After countless hours of combing through each area I’ve been too, I was making no progress. There was even a whole area that I barely got to explore because I couldn’t progress. I tried so many things, but nothing worked.
But as I said, after all these hours, I finally gave up after making no progress. I got frustrated, and angry, and frankly a little disappointed at the developers in all honesty for the way they handled progression in this game. It just isn’t fun. No, a game shouldn’t hold your hand to the point of anger, but a game being so vague you end up at the point of anger isn’t any more fun. I’m not going to give this a score considering I didn’t beat it, but I can’t exactly recommend the game either. So just be warned.