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ElecHead evaluation: a intelligent puzzle platformer with actual spark

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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 gentle up a stunning shade of yellow at midnight halls of an odd, underground facility.

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Technically, it is his head the place his electrical currents stem from, which you rapidly discover ways to throw in an effort to flip switches from afar, create new platforms and dodge lethal obstacles in an effort 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 does not attain it in time. The result’s a stunningly good puzzle sport 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.

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Break up throughout six loosely-defined phases that seamlessly mix into each other (and which you’ll warp again to at any time to mop up its twenty collectible calculators), ElecHead is an ideal instance of a sport that teaches by design. You study every little thing it is advisable to know just by finishing and interesting with its completely paced puzzles. Most of them are contained in a single display screen, however typically they bleed over into different rooms as nicely, creating some correctly good interaction between ElecHead’s completely different environments.

To provide only one early instance, you would possibly come throughout a room, say, that accommodates a ground of spikes and lightbulbs chained on the ceiling. The one manner ahead is to climb a set of platforms resulting in the room above. Nevertheless, for those who step on a platform in that higher room that is chained to a lightbulb down beneath, you may 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 situated at first of every puzzle). In consequence, you may must clock which platforms have lightbulbs hooked up to them earlier than heading upstairs in an effort to cross safely – and typically you may must chuck Elec’s head throughout first if the leap’s too massive to cross with it hooked up.

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Run, little physique, run!

Certain, this type of present do not inform strategy can typically depart 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 subsequent puzzle (heck, even the menus are all pictorial as nicely). There have been undoubtedly just a few events the place I used to be staring dumbly on the display screen pondering, “How on earth do I probably clear up this?” In a manner, 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, of us, that is all I am saying.

Fortunately, even once you do hit a brief brick wall in ElecHead, the reply isn’t far-off. This is not a sport the place you are chucking every little thing on the wall to see what sticks, as you’ve got actually solely received one factor to throw – your personal 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 typically lack. Plus, the moment resetting on demise (and insta-kill button in your controller) makes it very simple to experiment and push towards these tight restrictions whilst you’re figuring issues out.

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A tiny robot runs toward his detached head in ElecHead
This one had me stumped for an excellent couple of minutes.

Finally, you may 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 all the way down to the bottom once more, together with different joyous run ‘n’ leap moments which can be too good to spoil right here. A lot of ElecHead’s genius comes from the joys of fixing it, and describing it in any extra element right here would rob your mind of its personal valuable cog-turns.

Finally, ElecHead is simply an absolute deal with from begin to end. It is intelligent, superbly designed and it is all accompanied by a toe-tapping soundtrack by composer Tsuyomi. It is a vital buy for puzzle platforming connoisseurs, and a very good option to spend a night for lower than a tenner. It is not typically I say this, however chucking your head towards a brick wall has by no means been a lot enjoyable.

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