Intrepid Izzy (PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, X/S, PC)

Help Izzy explore exotic places and gather treasure in Intrepid Izzy, a retro styled 2-D platform adventure game with “Metroidvania” elements where you must re-explore places with items you’ve acquired along the way to progress.  The game is available on all current consoles and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.  I also read the game is available on the Dreamcast (can’t believe they’re still making games for that), and the press release even says it’s like something you would play on the Dreamcast. Although me personally, I think it’s more like something you’d play on the Game Boy Advance, or even now.  Gameplay is a LOT like Shantae, and Izzy could even be Shantae’s cousin as they both have purple ponytails!

Izzy can jump and punch enemies, and use a special attack with the triangle button. This special attack uses spirit energy that drains from a meter when you use it, but you can replenish it by collecting diamonds.  If you get hit and run out of hearts, you’ll start over at the last checkpoint or save area you passed.  Enemies will sometimes drop coins you can use to buy healing items in town.  During the course of the game, you’ll come across special costumes that let you perform different moves.  The Flying Squirrel suit lets you glide long distances, the miner outfit lets you blow up walls with dynamite, the vampire clothes let you turn into a bat to fly and fit into small places, and the ninja garb lets you double jump.  You’ll use these suits to revisit sprawling areas to get new items and goodies.

The game is good, but it had a few small problems that kept it from becoming great.  Even though the pause screen will give you goals and objectives, they’re still sometimes not very clear.  Luckily there is an in-game map, but it’s not as useful at times that it could’ve been.  And the in-game instructions aren’t always great at telling you what your different costumes can do.  And even though storyline isn’t important in most games, I think here it would’ve benefited to have some more background.  You’re never told why you are exploring all these areas, and after the last boss, the ending is just a single screen.  I think with a little bit more polish, this game could’ve been nearly as good as the Shantae series.

Kid Factor:

Intrepid Izzy is rated E-10 with ESRB descriptors of Fantasy Violence and Mild Blood.  You can punch and kick cartoony enemies, as well as hit them with magic blasts.  Defeated foes explode with a bunch of red or green goo, but it’s not as bad as it sounds.  Reading skill is needed for the text, and younger gamers may find it too difficult.

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