Electronic Super Joy is a challenging 2D platformer that has you preparing to die a lot. With its upbeat music and array of flashing colours, make your way through psychedelic levels that will test your skills like never before. Oh, and take down the evil Pope… that’s important.
You are going to die in this game. A LOT. Are you prepared for that? If so, good! If you can get past that frustration, there is a lot of fun to be had in this game. The main three aspects you need to know in the beginning is to run, jump and slam. The first two are self-explanatory, but slam allows you to throw yourself directly downwards so that you not only defeat any enemies that are in your way, but also allow you to pinpoint exactly where you want to land. This addition changes everything as time is crucial. All levels are autoscrollers and if the left side of the screen catches up with you, it’s instant death. That is why saving even a micro-second can be the difference between winning and losing. As the levels progress, the special abilities will shift to either double jump or in the later levels, fly.
There is more to Electronic Super Joy than what was listed above, but the rest of it comes with objects that you can interact with. What I mean by that is there are sparks that you can jump onto to give yourself big boosts upwards, arrows that do the same but not as high, teleporting spirals that shifts you from one to the other, homing missiles and much more.
Boss fights are superbly challenging where the difficulty is certainly cranked up a notch. Not only that, but the gameplay often takes left turns and it’s nice to mix up a traditional tough-as-nails 2D platformer and throw in a shoot ’em up level. The game’s length is incredibly short, but it’s lengthened by its difficulty.
On top of all this, this version of Electronic Super Joy features all previous DLC with even biter-sized levels that focusses more on speedrunning and much more challenging levels. These additional levels helps for the longevity of the game which, if it weren’t including, would be lacklustre on content.
Electronic Super Joy features achievements which, for a Switch port, seems utterly pointless. This isn’t the fault of Michael Todd Games, rather it is more Nintendo’s, but the inclusion of it on Switch just feels awkward and disjointed.
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For a game that initially released in 2013 and has been ported to almost everything, it’s disappointing to see that the Switch port didn’t get some added HD Rumble. Haptic feedback is always encouraged in 2D platformers and considering the intensity of the game’s presentation, the controller staying perfectly still is a stark contrast.
Electronic Super Joy consists of four worlds, totalling to 50 levels that may be bite-sized but considering the amount of times you’ll die, they’ll last a lot longer than you’d think.
Each world consists of levels that specifically revolve around a new ability, keeping each world fresh and new. However for the sake of accessibility, there is no way to skip a level that one may find difficult, making it feel like you’re banging your head against a brick wall.
The plot of the game is so simple that it’s there for comic relief more-so than actual plot development. The game’s light-hearted and somewhat childish humour may not be to everyone’s taste, but it certainly goes full swing in that direction which had me chuckle from time to time.
Graphics / Art Direction
Electronic Super Joy is a visually striking game, and that’s putting it lightly. Bright colours, flashing neon strobes and pixelated characters sets a psychedelic tone that is consistent throughout the entire game. Occasionally, the graphics will interfere with the gameplay, adding challenge without changing the core substance.
Music / Sound Design
The music is fast-paced adrenaline-pumping techno that gets the heart rate pumping. Personally, I’m not a fan of techno/dance/R&B but in the case of Electronic Super Joy, I wouldn’t have chosen anything else. It fits the colourful psychedelic aesthetic perfectly and it matches the gameplay in a way that kept me going even after the hundredth death.
What else is great about the soundtrack is that it doesn’t stay at max the entire time. It dips and deliberately pumps the breaks now and again to create an atmosphere that doesn’t grow stale.
Final Score: 78%
Electronic Super Joy is a blood-pumping, adrenaline-rushing, mind-bending rollercoaster of a ride! Each level is the equivalent to a streetcar drag race; it’s fast and intense, but the ride is usually over in under a minute and proceeds in a straight line. With Electronic Super Joy 2 seeming to pack a lot more variety, let’s hope we see a Switch port of the sequel sooner rather than later.
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