LadiesGamers Intrepid Izzy

Intrepid Izzy Review

Game: Intrepid Izzy
Genre: Action, Arcade, Platformer, Adventure
System: Nintendo Switch (Also on Steam (Windows), Xbox, PS4 and Dreamcast)
Developer|Publisher: Senile Team | Ratalaika Games
Age Rating: EU 7 | US Everyone
Price: US $10.99 | UK £9.99 | EU € 10,99
Release Date: December 2nd, 2022

Review code provided with many thanks to Pr Hound.

From Dreamcast to Switch

Intrepid Izzy is a 2D platformer that mixes exploration adventure with a bit of beat-up style brawlin combat. There’s a distinctly retro feeling to the design of this game with its unusual level design and surprises to its gameplay. After playing through it didn’t surprise me to learn that this had a physical release to the Dreamcast. The beloved swan song to Sega’s presence in the console market. Sega is long out of the console wars now, but that hasn’t stopped indie developers from still showing love for the system.

Luckily some of those games still make it to modern systems. Intrepid Izzy feels like something plucked from the 90s, yet it still feels very at home on the Nintendo Switch. If you’re looking for a solid adventure game that doesn’t take itself too seriously, then look into this gem.

LadiesGamers Intrepid Izzy
You don’t scare me

Little Surprises 

Intrepid Izzy has the overall feel of an adventure game with a large open map to explore with many collectables and unlockables to discover. However, each section of this large map feels like its own individual level, which is even introduced with banners reminiscent of the 2D Sonic series. The game’s overall goal is to hunt down four gems hidden worldwide.

As you progress, you will unlock new costumes allowing you to use abilities to access new areas of the world. These costumes include a flying squirrel to glide across the map and a miner who can lob dynamite to explode rocks blocking your path. It’s enjoyable discovering these new outfits, although if you want to switch to a different one, you have to backtrack all the way to your house to dive into your wardrobe to change. When you’re unsure what a future area will hold, this backtracking gets pretty tedious, even with the assistance of warp portals dotted about the levels.

Hunting for the orbs becomes a bit of a drag, but when the game focuses on the levels and less on the exploration, it’s quite a fun retro ride with a balanced mix of platforming and combat that’s not too cruel. The game will often surprise you with little quirks like retro games you can play in an arcade back in town. Games that are not too bad as standalone arcade hits. Even during the main game, you’ll experience some fun moments like riding a minecart. They are short but memorable.

Speaking of short, much like a retro game, this probably won’t take you more than five hours to complete; this will increase if you are looking to find every little hidden secret and collectable. It’s a short to the point ride that feels right. 

LadiesGamers Intrepid Izzy
Stop at the arcade to play some retro-inspired goodness

Punch up

Unlike most 2D platforms, Intrepid Izzy employs a brawler feel to its combat. Izzy can one-two punch the enemies until they literally explode into vegetable-style explosions, which is pretty satisfying. You can jump kick, uppercut and even make use of a special move, provided you have enough of your special bar filled.

Combat is kinda fun and addictive, but it does come with some niggles. Izzy has limited hearts rather than an actual health bar. You only start with three hearts (unless you collect four shards to unlock a new heart through the game), so a single hit from an enemy is pretty devastating, leading me to play more cautiously than take chances. When you reach a checkpoint, your health doesn’t replenish, but if you die, you will restart with full health, a choice that seems a tad odd.

Combat can be pretty unforgiving, especially in boss fights that have absurdly large health bars. I liked the variety of boss encounters, but they often go on a little longer than they need to. The overall difficulty is probably on the medium side of things. There are no options to tweak this. Casual players may get a little stumped on boss fights but by learning the patterns, you should pull through. There are regular checkpoints throughout the game to keep frustrations at bay. 

Your progress at each level can be tracked with a map. This map will also hint at your next objective but won’t totally hold your hand into indicating where everything is. Accessing the map is quite a pain. You have to pause the game, select the map option, and then select the map itself to pan around and check the areas you need to explore. This would have been much easier to be tracked with a single button. 

LadiesGamers Intrepid Izzy
I wish I could do this to my cold

The Retro Feel 

The game’s plot is pretty simple. Izzy finds a treasure chest in a temple, unleashing an evil genie. It’s up to Izzy to hunt this evil fella down and save the world. It’s quick and to the point, putting you straight into the gameplay. Izzy will chat with various NPC in short text-based dialogue segments throughout the game. The game does not shy away from cracking the odd joke and making fun of the various situations you find yourself in. If you’re looking for something to make you smile, there will no doubt be something here to turn your frown upside down.

Graphics are detailed hand-drawn sprites with really good smooth animations. Level design is quite the mixed bag. It feels like the developers just threw various random themes into a sorting hat and picked them from there. You have an Aztec area, a haunted forest and chocolate mines. The areas don’t fit or blend together, but if you’re looking at this with a retro lens, it kind of feels right, which is what the developers were going for here. My favourite level by far was when you end up inside your body, fighting viruses to bring yourself back to full health. An upbeat soundtrack to accompany the game suits the randomness on display. 

LadiesGamers Intrepid Izzy
It doesn’t look like a sheep I’ve seen

It’s a Hit 

For me, Intrepid Izzy is a good retro-inspired title. Not all of its mechanics totally hit the mark, yet it still manages to pull off an experience that will keep you hooked through the adventure. The exploration can get a bit dull with tedious backtracking, and the brawling combat can feel tricky in places. But these shortcomings are made up thanks to the good pacing of the game and little surprises which will have you hooked to the very end. Intrepid Izzy is well worth sinking time into if you love your retro or just fancy a solid adventure.

Final Verdict: I Like it         

I like it 


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