ElecHead assessment: a intelligent puzzle platformer with actual spark
ElecHead is a type of devilishly intelligent puzzle platformers that delights at each flip. Developed by solo dev NamaTakahashi, you play because the titular Elec, a tiny robotic whose physique can electrify no matter floor he touches, inflicting it to mild up a stunning shade of yellow at the hours of darkness halls of an odd, underground facility.
Technically, it is his head the place his electrical currents stem from, which you rapidly discover ways to throw as a way to flip switches from afar, create new platforms and dodge lethal obstacles as a way to get from one facet of the room to the opposite. The catch? Elec’s physique solely has ten seconds of energy left when he is with out his head, inflicting him to blow up if he would not attain it in time. The result’s a stunningly good puzzle recreation whose financial institution of brilliantly conceived concepts is executed to perfection, and it left me with a giant fats grin on my face for the entire of its three hour run-time.
Cut up throughout six loosely-defined levels that seamlessly mix into each other (and which you’ll be able to warp again to at any time to mop up its twenty collectible calculators), ElecHead is an ideal instance of a recreation that teaches by design. You be taught every little thing it’s good to know just by finishing and interesting with its completely paced puzzles. Most of them are contained in a single display, however generally they bleed over into different rooms as properly, creating some correctly good interaction between ElecHead’s totally different environments.
To provide only one early instance, you may come throughout a room, say, that comprises a ground of spikes and lightbulbs chained on the ceiling. The one method ahead is to climb a set of platforms resulting in the room above. Nonetheless, should you step on a platform in that higher room that is chained to a lightbulb down under, you will trigger a lethal surge of insta-kill present to movement by way of it, exploding Elec and sending him again to the final checkpoint (that are normally generously positioned at first of every puzzle). Because of this, you will must clock which platforms have lightbulbs connected to them earlier than heading upstairs as a way to cross safely – and generally you will must chuck Elec’s head throughout first if the bounce’s too massive to cross with it connected.
Certain, this type of present do not inform strategy can generally go away you feeling a bit stumped in later ranges, particularly when there isn’t any textual content, trace system or something to allow you to skip forward to the following puzzle (heck, even the menus are all pictorial as properly). There have been positively a couple of events the place I used to be staring dumbly on the display pondering, “How on earth do I presumably clear up this?” In a method, although, I additionally love puzzle video games like this, as a result of it additionally makes me really feel like the neatest individual on the planet when the penny lastly drops. And man alive, that penny will drop a number of instances over the course of ElecHead’s bite-sized play time, and there was one explicit late-game revelation that had me applauding the ingenuity of all of it. These warp factors aren’t only for present, people, that is all I am saying.
Fortunately, even if you do hit a brief brick wall in ElecHead, the reply isn’t far-off. This is not a recreation the place you are chucking every little thing on the wall to see what sticks, as you’ve got actually solely obtained one factor to throw – your individual head. As such, even its most elaborate puzzles should be solvable inside Elec’s ten second timeframe, giving every little thing a way of immediacy that different puzzle video games generally lack. Plus, the moment resetting on dying (and insta-kill button in your controller) makes it very straightforward to experiment and push in opposition to these tight restrictions when you’re figuring issues out.
Finally, you will come to marvel at how a few of these puzzles are constructed across the precise timing of Elec’s head throw, with platform speeds completely matched to the temporary second your charged noggin makes contact earlier than falling again right down to the bottom once more, together with different joyous run ‘n’ bounce moments which can be too good to spoil right here. A lot of ElecHead’s genius comes from the fun of fixing it, and describing it in any extra element right here would rob your mind of its personal valuable cog-turns.
In the end, ElecHead is simply an absolute deal with from begin to end. It is intelligent, fantastically designed and it is all accompanied by a toe-tapping soundtrack by composer Tsuyomi. It is an important buy for puzzle platforming connoisseurs, and a very good option to spend a night for lower than a tenner. It is not usually I say this, however chucking your head in opposition to a brick wall has by no means been a lot enjoyable.