The evil wizard has stolen your butt - you must get it back and take revenge upon him. The evil wizard has stolen your butt - you must get it back and take revenge upon him. This is not a typo, I just copy-pasted that sentence twice on purpose to save you the trouble of going back to read it again. Yes, that's the actual plot and premise of Electronic Super Joy and I couldn't love it any more. As the brainchild of indie developer Michael Todd, ESJ is full of charm and smart level design.
The demo I checked out at SGC (and watched people play) was full of smart levels and bumping music. With big speakers and a bright pink banner stationed right next to their booth, I couldn't NOT walk up and check it out! While the music initially drew me in, I stayed for the wonderful game itself. Bright visuals pulse in the background and the expertly crafted platforming mechanics make it a joy (pun intended) to play.
The team has really focused on creating a ton of really fun and smartly crafted levels throughout the entire game. Gameplay feels spot on, regardless of whether you play on a keyboard or with a gamepad. Hilarious sexual sound effects play with the activation of some checkpoints, but the true genius shines through when you start getting the different abilities spread throughout the game. Since it was designed to be a seamless experience, you only have one special ability at a time, that's mapped to the same button. Things like a ground slam and other powers are possible throughout the game, adding an extra layer.
There isn't really a whole lot of innovation going on here, but that's okay. Instead of employing some clever gimmick to draw you in, the developers behind ESJ decided to stick with a striking art style, amazing music and really, really solid gameplay. It's not everything that is right in the world in game form, but it brings a smile to your face...that is, until you mess up on the same part in the same level for the millionth time and have to start back at the beginning. But that's okay, because the music on every level is so good!
Head on over to the official Electronic Super Joy website to see more beautiful images and details. You can pre-order the game now for $4.99 to get instant access to the beta and get the soundtrack for just $3.99. It's currently under development for PC, Mac and Linux with future version coming for iOS and Android. Check out the trailer up top and the website and let us know your thoughts on the game down in the comments below!