I've been on the lookout for a new supers RPG for a couple years now and have often seen this title. After much consideration I went for the plunge and purchased it along with the other helpful titles of Origins, Great Power, and A-Z. I've run a couple sessions with my gaming group and here's what I found I think is worthing mentioning.
1) The gaming system is simple and fast. I've read that ICONS has its roots in FATE (which I've never played). Its resolution of attacks is simple, can be done in a single roll (using some options) and each round can go very quickly. If you like to focus on the story more than the numbers, you might like the way ICONS plays out. Because the system is fairly easy to understand, even a new player can join in readily.
2) Character Creation is very fast an intuitive. I found I could already "see" my character as I'm creating him/her and within about 10-15 minutes I was ready to go. Once you understand the range of 1-10, the GM can create villains and challengers withing moments. Some people enjoy the number crunching within a game vs the story within it. You might be a bit disappointed here, but this fits right within my expectations and hopes.
3) Qualities and Determination. Many games try to provide rules and options for running everything. ICONS likes to use Qualities and Determination points to accomplish many complex tasks. When I first started working with these, I struggled for a bit. But once I started realizing that Determination is basically Bennies in Savage Worlds and Qualities are ways to come up with quantifiable story elements to bonus or negative your results, it was pretty fun. Its also a great way to give those Determination points to a character that you always seem to "pick on" as the GM.
I have been very impressed by this game. I'm a veteran of Champions, Classic Marvel, M&M, Savage Worlds Super Powers Companion, Heroes Unlimited, and have found ICONS to be a great way to play a supers game. Too many times supers end up being so big for some systems that it overwhelms the rules or creates awkward mechanics. ICONS take it all in very well. We are able to have a meaningful adventure and get so much done in a short amount of time.
[5 of 5 Stars!]