Metascore
74

Mixed or average reviews - based on 25 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 25
  2. Negative: 1 out of 25
  1. Edge Magazine
    Sep 26, 2016
    70
    The world is a pulpy delight: captivating, unique, and a genuine pleasure to spend time in. [Oct 2016, p.116]
  2. Game World Navigator Magazine
    Sep 21, 2016
    70
    HeadLander is unfortunately uneven: at first, you’re thrust into a parody of the seventies, where robotized populace dances disco and enjoys weird art. But once you get used to the atmosphere, game forces protagonist to investigate some elevator shafts for an hour. Then game picks up the ball and becomes more dynamic and interesting, only to drop it again soon after – and that process repeats itself until the very end. [Issue#212, p.61]
  3. Jul 27, 2016
    70
    Headlander's retrofuturist aesthetic is creative enough to make up for the fact its underlying mechanics are anything but.
  4. Oct 3, 2016
    60
    A great concept that doesn't realize its potential. [Issue#179, p.84]
  5. LEVEL (Czech Republic)
    Sep 14, 2016
    60
    Funny platformer with an original idea, that is, however, spoiled with rapidly rising repetitiveness. [Issue#266]
  6. Aug 11, 2016
    60
    Combination of originality and exquisite visual style saves the monotonous, too long and sometimes frustrating gameplay only partly. Although Headlander entertains, it will not nail you down. You will forget this game before it appears on Steam sale.
  7. Jul 25, 2016
    60
    It has some nice Metroidvania moments, although it sputters towards the end to only rely on its color-coded components to keep me out of certain areas, which felt like a cheap way to finish the game.
  8. CD-Action
    Oct 14, 2016
    50
    Retrofuturistic environments are alive, they burst with vivid colors and details, but the game itself is painfully repetitive. [10/2016, p.64]
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  1. Headlander’s hugely charming, basically, and though it doesn’t run too far with the humour of its concept, it absolutely makes the gimmick work from a play point of view. It’s got more steam in its engine than other recent, similarly high-concept Double Fine endeavours too, working hard to stay vibrant throughout.
User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 39 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 39
  2. Negative: 4 out of 39
  1. Jul 27, 2016
    8
    Headlander was a nice reprieve from my recent gaming trends. Lately I’ve been drowning in MOBA's and YouTube. While i wait on some projectsHeadlander was a nice reprieve from my recent gaming trends. Lately I’ve been drowning in MOBA's and YouTube. While i wait on some projects i kickstarted, Double Fine has provided me with something that tickles my aesthetics. Retro Future design, tied with clever dialog and animation.
    Double Fine's Artistic team is one of the best in the business. The environments are well put together and filled in with detail. The effects on the character are great and brought me to the days I saw all of the covers for Activision games on my Atari 2600. Electrical and Plasma looks great, and the color palate choice was appropriate for the setting. Animation was top notch as well. I laughed out loud when i got to the chess pieces that you will come across.
    The enemies in the game work well, each bot carrying a different weapon, and each functions in the same way, but gives you different results. Single shot, spread, fractal spread, etc. I was not expecting the fractal weapon at all. And strangely, as many shots as you could put into the air, it was not overpowered. You must still play carefully in certain areas, or you will lose the robot body you worked so hard to keep alive.
    Mechanics work well, but felt a bit lacking. In most metroidvania games, your access to the map is mainly restricted to gaining abilities or equipment. While that exists, the main means of restricted access is in the robotic body that you happen to be driving at the moment. Since all your weapons and access is based on which one you have, the search for weapons and doing tricky moves to progress doesn't feel as satisfying. For me, discovering the weapons in this genre was half the fun of backtracking the map.
    The story and narrative are well done but a bit thin. When I finished my initial run, I felt a bit let down for some feeling of ending. It was more of a soft close, like the end of a chapter instead of ending a book. But they story did have me engaged to see the progress as I played.
    In Summary, Headlander is a excellent contribution to Double Fine’s library of projects. I feel the average gamer may complete this in around 9 hours or so. And I have blown more money on a bad steak from a restaurant. A worthy buy.
    Full Review »
  2. Jul 29, 2016
    8
    Headlander is a really fun romp through a 1970's stylized dystopian future in the genre of a metroidvania, platforming adventure. The playerHeadlander is a really fun romp through a 1970's stylized dystopian future in the genre of a metroidvania, platforming adventure. The player takes on the role of the last surviving human trying to uncover both his/her and humanity's past while trying to escape the clutches of Methuselah, a robot overlord whose intentions are unknown (though probably evil in some fashion).

    The graphics and sound, both the soundtrack and ambient noises, are phenomenal and really paint the picture of the robotic dystopia well. And of course, being Double Fine, there is an element of goofiness and silliness that helps lighten the mood throughout.

    The game is not particularly difficult to play through, so those seeking a frenzied challenge should give it a pass. This game is more about immersion and the story unfolding before the player than gaming skills, and Double Fine really nailed the atmosphere in their unique way.

    Once, the player character got stuck inside the wall/ceiling and a manual restart was required to correct the issue, but this was the only bug encountered and it did not leave any permanent issues after the restart from the last save. The game saves every time the player character enters a new room

    The price point might be a tad high for some folk's taste, but IMO it is worth it. Definitely pick it up during a sale if you're on the fence now.
    Full Review »
  3. Aug 31, 2016
    9
    I've never played an Adult Swim game other than the goofy flash title from ages ago -- Robot Unicorn Attack, I must admit I wasn't expectingI've never played an Adult Swim game other than the goofy flash title from ages ago -- Robot Unicorn Attack, I must admit I wasn't expecting much. What I will tell you now is how very wrong I was with it all. Head Lander is a simple, brilliant, GORGEOUS game to which I had the absolute pleasure in playing.

    It's funny, slick and amazingly entertaining. I honestly can't recommend this one enough. The concept is so out of left field that it works seamlessly. The gameplay is ace, the jokes are a good laugh, and the graphics are stunning. Just don't play it in front of little ones...they might start to ask questions as to why that robot is...uh...humping things.
    Full Review »