ElecHead: Sparky Retro Style Puzzle Platformer is Excellent

ElecHead indie game
It’s electric.

Huzzah! Here’s a great fun 2D puzzle platformer along the lines of Shovel Knight: King of Cards (and anything from that series) meets Teslagrad (2013).

It’s almost stunningly short at a mere hour long. But it’s also totally excellent and a lot of fun, with clever puzzles and an electric central character.

ElecHead the 2D Platformer

Right, so this game’s Mega Man 2 influences are clear. And that’s no bad thing. Shovel Knight went all out with that, too.

So it’s fused neatly between retro games and what we all love about modern gaming on the likes of Steam. Advancing the best bits of previous eras into one glorious unit.

ElecHead is from NamaTakahashi, a one-man indie studio in Yokohama in Japan.

There’s a simple electrification mechanic. You take control of a little robot who acts as an electrical current to turn platforms on and off.

Jump up and down and you can trigger that off. Behold!

ElecHead's game mechanic

What follows is, for the first three stages, a highly enjoyable and clever puzzle platformer that draws you in immediately.

No faff. No 20 minute intro. You just get right into it, on the basis of a tiny plot consisting of a city losing its power. It’s your job to restore oomph!

You quickly gain a few power ups, Metroidvania style, such as chucking your head to light up certain platforms.

And these mechanics really highlight just how sharp the level design is.

Whilst simplistic, it’s genuinely very clever and the flow of stages is brilliantly well done. You can’t help but admire that, along with the striking visual style and the plucky central character.

We mean, just look at this for groovy level design skills.

After stage three, things ramp up pretty quickly and get more and more complex. You really need to wrack your brain for some puzzles.

Closest comparison? We guess it’s a bit like an advanced take on VVVVVV (2010). But with Teslagrad’s magnetic/electric principles.

And, again, ElecHead’s glorious presentation style is fused wonderfully with the NES and modern sensibilities.

It really complements that focus on fast flowing and fun gameplay.

Downsides? It’s a very short game, which some people may baulk at with the £7.99 (about $10) asking price. But make no mistake, you’re paying for a high-quality indie game.

So, yes, you can be through the thing in about 50 minutes flat.

But this is an excellent 2D platformer and one we can highly recommend for fans of the genre. You can get it right now on Steam, Itch.io, and GOG.

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