What methods are used to create complex, rich, non-repetitive 2D pixel backgrounds in games like Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP? Examining screenshots from the game, I really can't detect tiles anywhere; there's seemingly no repetition:
Are backgrounds like that simply created as large one-of-a-kind images, or are the developers just being extremely clever about their use of repeated sprites and tiles?
Sub-question: I understand that tiles were very important in decades past because of RAM limitations, but is it reasonable to assume that today's games could simply use a single large background image instead? Even on an iOS game like S:S&S EP?