Double Fine Productions isn’t exactly known for cranking out the same type of game over and over. Since its inception the studio has done a psychic-powered platformer in Psychonauts, a Halloween-themed RPG in Costume Quest, and most recently, a turn-based strategy game that spans multiple generations in Massive Chalice.
Headlander, the latest game from the studio and the first to be published by Adult Swim Games, takes things in a different direction. The game seems to be a Metroid-inspired 2D action adventure game that sees players taking on the role of a disembodied head, and then taking over robotic bodies in order to advance.
“You are the last known human in the universe, and all that’s left of you is a disembodied head. Seeking clues to your fractured past, you must travel through a hostile world of machines, using a special helmet that allows you to dock into and take control of any robotic host body,” the game’s description reads “As you launch from one body to the next, you’ll start to discover that things are not quite what they appear to be, and the fate of humanity has yet to be decided.”
Despite the amount of shooting shown in the game’s trailer, Headlander doesn’t have as much of a focus on combat, according to IGN. As with multiple other Double Fine titles, humor is a major aspect of the game, as is exploration and puzzle solving.
This makes sense given the game’s lead designer is Lee Petty, who previously led development on Double Fine’s Stacking, an adventure game starring Russian Matryoshka dolls. The body-swapping mechanic in Headlander seems similar at a base level to that game’s stacking in and out of different dolls in order to advance.
The look of Headlander is certainly unique, and one of the most proudly colorful games we’ve seen in some time. The music perfectly fits the ever-present 1970s aesthetic, with countless lasers providing an accompanying light show.
Aside from what is shown in the trailer, there isn’t much known about the game so far. No word has been given regarding what platforms the game will be available for, nor is there any information regarding a release date, though the trailer does confirm that it will be released in 2016.