Are 16-bit robots ruining your life? Competing with a mechanized doppelganger? Gotta go fast?
Nope, this isn’t Sonic the Hedgehog. It’s Spark the Electric Jester, a fast-paced action platformer that draws inspiration from the aforementioned King of Speed as well as Kirby Super Star and Mega Man X, and it’s on Kickstarter now. Take a look.
In an increasingly automated world, every job is in danger of being outsourced to smarter, sleeker, and cheaper robot replacements. Even Spark has been hit by the new wave of mechanical employment, losing his job to “Fark,” a robotic copy of Spark that doesn’t demand health benefits. What kind of world could possibly think that an actual robot would be a better “Electric Jester” than an actual living creature with a professional degree from the Comedy University of the Moon? Not a world Spark would want to live in.
Join Spark on his mission to reclaim the world from the silicon subversives, lovingly revisiting core concepts in retro gaming. A bulk of the gameplay is distinctly reminiscent of Sonic, right down to the robophobia. Spark’s dashes, however, are a bit more controlled than Sonic’s breakneck speeds and I’m sure we can all be thankful that the Electric Jester won’t be borrowing Hedgehog’s ring-based health system. The comparison should come as no surprise to those who follow Spark’s Programmer/Designer/Artist Felipe Ribeiro Daneluz (a.k.a. LakeFeperd) who previously spearheaded three fanmade Sonic adventures (Before the Sequel, After the Sequel, and Chrono Adventure).
Spark is more than just an angry Electric Jester, though. He’s all kinds of jesters. He’s a Wind Jester, a Fire Jester, a Gravity Jester, and more. The role of jesters in this society is becoming increasingly confusing. At any rate, the free playable demo let us take a few of these harlequin duds out for a spin. These suits are scattered throughout the levels and unlock specialized powers, shaking up the gameplay. Additionally, you can enhance your Electric Joker abilities with three unique objects: a rideable board, electric bat, and plasma sword. The outfits and items pay homage to Kirby Super Star, in which Kirby adopts the qualities of those he ingests.
If all else fails, Spark still has one last trick up his yellow sleeves. After landing enough basic attacks in succession, he’ll charge up a meter that can unleash a powerful blast in any direction. A lot of the Electric Jester’s ranged mechanics can be traced right back to Mega Man X, the master blaster himself. While charging up and actually aiming might feel like a drag against mini mechas, you’ll want to bring out the big guns for boss battles. Study their attack pattern, line up your target, and rip through some cold metal exoskeletons like tissue paper.
You can support Spark’s fight against chrome capitalism on Kickstarter now. Look out for the Electric Jester on a Windows or Mac near you around spring 2016.