Electronic Super Joy: Groove City Review – HTG
Basic Game Information
Electronic Super Joy: Groove City is a fast-paced platform game. It is a mini-sequel to Electronic Super Joy and contains 15 levels, 2 secret levels, and 19 secret areas. The plot is definitely adult themed, and involves helping a giant robot stripper retrieve her “Laser-Nipples” from the villain, Dr. Swinger. There is a PG mode that can be activated.
Graphics and Soundtrack
ESJ:GC has an Electro soundtrack and vivid backdrops with a silhouetted foreground and character. It has a retro-pixilated look to the characters and scenery. The graphics make me thinks of Mario in the middle of a fever dream, coming down off of some bad mushrooms. The soundtrack, while nicely put together, can almost be overwhelming at times due to the challenge the game presents.
The basic play of ESJ:GC involves jumping, running, and dodging obstacles. When jumping in the game, precision is often required and one wrong turn can cause a restart at the last checkpoint. Sometimes it can take several practice attempts to get through a section completely, and as a result playing can be both completely infuriating and highly addicting. The keys used to play can be a little tricky to get used to. It is not the typical WASD-Spacebar setup. The movement keys are the left and right arrows and jump is Z. Computer gameplay would definitely benefit from either a controller, which according to Steam is supported, or a customizable keyboard. Otherwise, the first couple of levels will be spent adjusting to the key configuration as it is the reverse of most gameplay setups.
Once adjusted to the controls, the player advances though the game’s levels via a series of checkpoints. If a jump is not made properly or in some sections if the player does not advance as quickly as the screen moves, the game will go back to the last checkpoint. This is where the addiction factor comes into play. To advance through some sections, absolutely perfect movements will be needed. As a player, you want to get to that next checkpoint flag. It must be conquered!
Groove City takes a certain temperament to play. Whether serious or in jest, the game has a seizure warning at startup, and after playing, it is understandable why the developer decided to add it in. While I can see how this game can be enjoyable to some players, for me the gameplay was overwhelming and anxiety inducing due to the combination of the music and the level of perfection required for some sections. And for someone who has been playing games for most of his life, the need to rage quit after playing for 30 minutes was surprising and disheartening. After throwing my headset down in anger, I handed the controls off to my wife. She was able to play through a few levels and didn’t want to stop playing, so the potential for addiction after a short amount of time is definitely there. She enjoyed the challenge, though she felt the controls were a bit sticky and needed to be improved.
I would give Electronic Super Joy: Groove City a 2.5 overall.