Parents' Guide to

Headlander

By David Wolinsky, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Sci-fi action pushes exploration but has flawed controls.

Game PlayStation 4 , Windows 2016
Headlander Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 2+

amzing game

cool
age 18+

Awesome Work

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Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (2 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

Although this game is bursting with a gorgeous '70s retro-sci-fi aesthetic, what's underneath is a solid but not extremely deep action-adventure game. The title has lots of creative touches such as fireplaces on big round TVs, funky dance moves for nearly every robot you can find, huge bold colors, and bigger collars. It's a refreshing change from the typical browns, grays, and blacks one usually sees in an action game set in outer space. This is definitely a "Medtroidvania" game, adhering heavily to the conventions of two game genres. Like Metroid or Castlevania, you must explore an expansive map and from time to time backtrack to different areas, which will suddenly open different paths based on actions you've taken elsewhere. The standard criticism against games like this is that backtracking is employed to pad the total time it takes to play through the game. Fortunately, Headlander takes full advantage of the sci-fi world and allows you to transport from one area to another, far-away one fairly often.

But that doesn't change the fact that everything else you're doing is fairly repetitive. A laser sight on your gun is meant to help aid you in combat and sometimes puzzles but more often than not can be confusing -- especially when you wield a gun that blasts in three directions simultaneously -- and you wind up shooting frantically in every direction before your gun overheats and then you duck into cover. It's fun and exciting, sure, but somehow even with that laser-sight concession in place, the controls are just too imprecise while on a body for you to engage in skilled gunplay. As you progress through the game, you can power up different components of your head (stronger shields, the ability to zoom along faster and for longer periods), but the most fun in the game is typically found in exploring and finding different paths to go through. Fortunately, that's where most of your time is spent, meaning Headlander is easy to recommend or at least poke your, er, head in on to try.

Game Details

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