Sunday, August 25, 2013

PC Spotlight #2: Electronic Super Joy

Title: Electronic Super Joy
Developer: Michael Todd Games
Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux, coming to Android and IOS later
Price: $4.99, $7.99
(The game is still $4.99 on the developer site, compared to $7.99 on Steam, but according to the developer, they're waiting for the Humble Store to update the price. So act fast and it does come with a Steam key).
When starting up Electronic Super Joy, a screen warns that the game "may cause seizures! Also, cause motion sickness!" and that's not hyperbole. Electronic Super Joy is at once a psychedelic visual experience and a tough-as-nails platformer.
The surreal landscape spawns trees and other scenery as you approach, the environment is alive with strobing lights and moving colors, all while electronic music and orgasmic moaning plays in the background. The paper thin story is as surreal as the graphics: it's quite simple, you're on a quest to rescue your butt. The game is never static, even the levels are in constant motion.
Each level automatically scrolls left to right, adding a sense of urgency not seen in other platformers. You only have seconds to evaluate what obstacles lay ahead. The controls are simple: arrow keys to move, Z to jump, X to butt smash (also useful for quickly landing a jump and gaining a precious extra second) but are more than capable of overcoming the myriad challenges. Lasers, portals, blade turrets, jump pads, one-use jump pads, swarms of missiles (which follow you relentlessly and can pass through the environment), spinning  blades, rotating levels, bosses, and other hazards all stand between you and the exit. You will die, that's for sure, but there are checkpoints and auto restarts give the game a "one more go" appeal that only the best platformers can provide.
The game's pixel art style is simple but plays smoothly and I doubt any modern computers will have trouble running it. Electronic Super Joy is quite literally a joy to play. If you're a fan of Super Meat Boy or other challenging platformers, I think you'll definitely enjoy this game.

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