Being developed by Double Fine Productions, and published by Adult Swim Games, Headlander is a retro-futuristic side-scrolling action-adventure head trip set in a 1970’s dystopia. In it you control a flying disembodied head that can attach itself to other bodies and assume control. Textbook Double Fine, right?
Adult Swim Games’ senior producer, Chris Johnston, provided the following description for the game over on the PlayStation Blog:
“In the future, we all dream of waking up to a beautiful utopia of hoverboards, clean air, and flying cars. But the future’s rarely what we’ve idealized, and in Headlander, you wake up on a derelict spaceship to the stark news that you are the last organic life left in the known universe and Methuselah, the leader of the robot society that has supplanted humanity, wants you dead.”
“At the start of the game you can select from three different heads as your player character, and solving the mystery of who you are and why you’re the only human left is one of the major plot points of the game. Luckily, you can dock that noggin into plenty of other things — humanoid Citizen and Shepherd bodies, robot dogs, turrets, computer terminals, and robot vacuum cleaners; anything with a universal docking ring will accept the connection.”
“The game world is a huge sprawling network that all kicks off in the Pleasure Port, a futuristic space resort where Citizens relax in locations like the Fondlarium and Boob Tubery while Shepherds patrol and keep the peace. Each Shepherd has color-coded security clearances so bouncing from one body to another becomes crucial to traversing the game’s world…With the helpful voice of Earl in your helmet, you navigate each area and find transfiber nodes that’ll grant your head new abilities. Those combined with an upgrade tree with even more abilities provide you with a lot of freedom in approaching combat — whether it’s on a Shepherd body or just as a head (each has a separate health gauge). Do you go in guns blazing? Maybe you’d rather stand back or duck behind cover and target/shoot off enemy heads with more precision. Or pop your head off and vacuum the heads of your enemies”
A price for Headlander has yet to be divulged.
Double Fine makes a lot of zany, unorthodox, games. Headlander looks very much like a Double Fine game in this regard. I’m personally not 100% sold on the game, but I must say Double Fine has me more than intrigued at the possibility of going rambo as a floating disembodied head. I’m not sure of many things better in life than that.
Tyler Fischer is an Associate Writer for MONG who plays video games when he’s not busy researching alien conspiracy theories at 2AM. You can find him on Twitter.