A stylish and brutal platformer that’s better without its sound effects.
With each week it becomes a taller and taller task for a game on the eShop to stand out amongst all the rest, especially for a platformer. Electronic Super Joy manages to accomplish this task to a certain extent through its use of color, challenging gameplay, and upbeat music, but there are a few elements that don’t quite spark “super joy.” Gratuitous sound effects, some questionable hit boxes, and a slight lack of variety are ultimately minor issues, though, in what is still a pretty easy recommendation.
Electronic Super Joy is absolutely not hurting for content. It packs in more than 80 stages across four campaigns, and none of these are single-screen levels. Instead, they see you jumping, double-jumping, and slamming down on enemies in straight-forward horizontal sections, vertically-themed areas, and even boss stages. The main campaign, Classic Electronic Super Joy, features a good difficulty curve across its four worlds, and it mixes up the gameplay by bestowing and at times removing certain abilities, like the aforementioned double jump and slam attack. The other campaigns are shorter but include some incredibly tricky stages that are probably better left until after you finish the Classic campaign.
Some stages feature more basic platforming and movement from right to left, while others throw heat-seeking rockets that chase you or horned creatures that charge at you when you get close. Many of the stages work as auto-scrollers, forcing you to balance precision and timing with speed. A fairly generous number of checkpoints help break up each stage into manageable pieces and ensure that you aren’t having to overcome the same obstacles again and again. That said, I didn’t find an overabundance of variety in the main campaign, and so I was happy to see that the other campaigns introduce different, albeit steep, challenges to conquer.
In terms of presentation, the style of simple pixel graphics has always worked well for the platforming genre as it allows for a focus on the gameplay, and the same is true for Electronic Super Joy. The use of color and patterns also gives each stage a striking visual appeal. Moreover, every world tends to use a few different background shades that serve as a backdrop against the black of your character, the walls, and the platforms. The music is also pretty upbeat and catchy, definitely worth listening to. What’s not worth listening to are the sound non-PG sound effects of a man and a woman moaning when you die or reach a checkpoint, so I would highly recommend turning those off in the options menu.
Electronic Super Joy is definitely one of the better minimalistic platformers available on the eShop. The strong soundtrack, solid controls, and serious challenge are all elements that will appeal to fans of the genre. I can’t say that it’s necessarily meant for newer or more casual players, but it is quite fair and aesthetically pleasing, too. The adult-themed sound effects and on-screen timer are both misses, but fortunately you can toggle them off and should do so if you pick up the game. It would have been nice to see a little more variety in terms of the abilities you can use, but the stages are still fun and quite varied themselves, and online leaderboards and achievements add some great replay value, too. You can’t go wrong with Electronic Super Joy if you’re looking for a satisfying and full platforming experience.