Electric Highways is a simple game. You can beat it in about an hour. It’s a first-person platformer, which requires you to move through a virtual world finding keys and opening doors. There’s not a lot of conflict or to be had here, and the story itself is virtually non-existent. It is, however, one that I think many graphic and sound designers should play.
Or, at least, they should try… (dramatic pause) if they can find it.
Up until late 2019, this game was available on Steam, like most other indie games on the market. However, this game, along with a few others, were quietly removed from Steam, with no explanation given. Rumor on the Steam store discussion board, which is still available, is that Electric Highways fell victim to unscrupulous actions on the part of its publisher. Word is the publisher, which I can’t seem to find any information on, was using multiple accounts to bypass Steam’s rules for putting games on the storefront. Once discovered, all of the games for all of the accounts were taken down, and this included Electric Highways.
It’s a shame, because the game is actually a pretty cool concept. Each level features a completely different graphical style, bolstered by an awesome soundtrack. Some real 1980s new wave vibes present, and you know I’ll fuck around with some 1980s new wave vibes. The whole issue seems to highlight a problem with the indie video game scene. While by and large, indie developers and publishers may have a purer sensibility than mainstream companies, capitalism is still a disease that can infect even the purest sensibility. I don’t know if the developer, Zykov Eddy, knew what the publisher was doing. Maybe he did, and he didn’t care. But I would be more willing to offer him the benefit of the doubt over the publisher, who most assuredly knew they were breaking the rules.
And, unfortunately, Electric Highways got caught up in that decision, and that makes me sad.
Anyway, the game is still available on itch.io and GameJolt, and Eddy isn’t even charging for it. You can literally just go and download it for free. I would recommend you do so, because it really is a neat little game, and again, the soundtrack is more than worth it.
Ellipsis is one of those games that I don’t really remember buying. I think I probably got it in a Humble Bundle or something. Anyway. It’s a geometric-shaped based spaceship game, in which you fly around and avoid all the enemies, activating little post-things until you are given an exit for the level. Do this 150 or so times, and you’ll beat the game. I might be underselling it a little. There is some pretty great design in this game, including varying enemies and themes across 8 different areas and a few boss battles, which are kind of fun, especially since you don’t have a gun. Figuring out how to defeat a boss without shooting them is a remarkably unique experience. Overall, I enjoyed the game considerably.