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Community Article: Indie Insights - ElecHead

Written by John Edwards

"I'd forget my own head if it wasn't screwed on". For most of us it's probably a good thing we don't have detachable heads. Lost and found boxes, bus seats, under the bed, they'd all have wayward heads lying around wondering where their bodies have got to. Fortunately in ElecHead a detachable head is useful for solving puzzles rather than illustrating forgetfulness.

You control a little robot in a run down and isolated looking facility of some kind. You're the only source of power in the place and anything you touch crackles to life with electricity. This is useful when powering lifts and deadly when it comes to lasers. Happily even if your robotic form does come a cropper you'll soon respawn at one of the generous checkpoints and you can get back to your antics.

After a short time you get an upgrade which allows you to fling your head off your body either to the left or right or up in the air. Your head will fly in a straight line then drop solidly at the end of its throw. If you don't pick it up again within 10 seconds you'll explode so it's best not to linger without a head.

Your head is the source of your power and as such you can use it to solve increasingly complex puzzles as you redirect power one way while navigating your chargeless body around before reuniting with your noggin. It is frankly remarkable just how much ElecHead can wring out of these basic mechanisms. You can't even throw your head downwards, but the variety of the puzzles and their fiendishness is astonishing. It's quite freeing knowing that your moveset is this limited as it means that if you can't solve the puzzle there aren't that many things you can do that you may have missed trying.

There are secrets, one near the end even gives one additional move which is then used for a few final puzzles to get a second ending. Your main target are little handheld devices like Star Trek's PADDs, there are 20 to collect through the game. There are also alternate palettes to collect, ElecHead is a very simple looking game graphically, keeping it clear to see what does and doesn't have power. The different colours are a novelty, the reward is getting to them, the satisfaction of wandering from the beaten track and feeling clever for solving the harder optional puzzles.

ElecHead was the work of one man, Nama Takahashi who demonstrates just how much you can do with so little. ElecHead is a joyous, minimalist, perfectly formed, ingenious puzzle platformer which you'll be hard pressed to forget even after losing your head.