Electronic Super Joy: Groove City

A game by Michael Todd Games for PC, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, Wii U, and Xbox One, originally released in 2014.
Electronic Super Joy: Groove City is a mini-sequel to Electronic Super Joy, acting as a standalone game rather than an expansion to the original release, and the premise is every bit as zany as the first… Early in the game, a giant robot stripper named JoJo rampages through Groove City, angered by the fact that Dr. Swinger has stolen her laser nipples. You are tasked with defeating Dr. Swinger and retrieving said photonic areolic protrusions, with the assistance of a returning character from the first game, Pope Boris the Super Sexy.

As before, the world is filled with bright throbbing colors and pulsing electronica, and you control a silhouetted fellow running and jumping through a similarly silhouetted world. While the original game featured numerous movement enhancements, including a butt stomp, a double jump, and even the ability to fly… this game has none of that.

Instead you have only your 3x variable height jump, which makes the gameplay somewhat simpler, but also adds additional challenges by focusing more heavily on precision platforming. Also, without your butt stomp, there is no way to smash swarming missiles into oblivion, and so you must avoid these on your platforming adventure as well.

Many familiar obstacles return, including floating arrows that bounce you upwards a bit (often disappearing immediately after), large diamonds that send you flying into the sky, rotating lasers, patrolling enemies, and no shortage of meat-seeking missiles.

A few new challenges are worked into the mix, including enemies that stand on the edges of platforms and make a mad dash toward you when you line yourself up with them. It’s challenging enough when they come at you from the length of a long platform, but later levels feature narrow platforms – sometimes with a dashing enemy on either side – requiring that you jump away immediately after touching down or face your immediate death.

Many of these challenging scenarios exist in the game’s hidden areas – of which there are many – and finding hidden areas requires that the player pay close attention to his surroundings. Often, a star or an arrow is placed at the edge of the screen which appears to lead to certain death. However, making a leap for it will reveal a new section of the level, populated with more stars with which to increase your score. You are graded at the end of each level based on the score gained during the level, time to complete, and percentage of secrets found, with a time bonus and a bonus if managed to make it through the level without dying.

Fortunately, you have unlimited lives, and most levels feature several checkpoints, but this is no guarantee of success. Late-game scenarios require pixel-perfect platforming while dodging patrolling enemies, rows of projectiles, and swarming missiles. Many of the levels also mix in black stars that give you points but also spawn a missile after they’re picked up, providing higher scoring opportunities to players who are willing to risk the added challenge.

Some levels also feature forced scrolling sequences where you must constantly run forward. This means that players will frequently be repeating short sequences along the main path, or perhaps repeating some tough challenges if they die after attempting a run through a hidden area. Auto-scrolling areas can also add additional challenge based on the speed of the scroll, with some areas scrolling faster than your movement speed, or slowing to a crawl while you’re suspended in the air on a series of disappearing platforms while dodging an endless barrage of missiles.

One neat area acts almost as a bonus level (the level’s name is “Playground”), and it starts the player right next to the exit, allowing him to leave at any time. However, above him is a series of narrow platforms with sticky walls, as well as numerous missile spawners and three checkpoint flags. The player may wall climb up the disconnected walls, jumping from one to the next and making use of checkpoint flags to save his progress. At the top of the area is an open room with a large number of stars at the top and a row of bouncing diamonds along the bottom, allowing players to bounce around the room and quickly rack up a high score, while avoiding the missiles rising up from below.

For those looking to extend the life of Electronic Super Joy, Groove City offers 13 flashy new levels, as well as two secret levels, numerous hidden areas, and a final boss encounter. As before, the game features playful adult humor, with numerous quips from stationary NPC’s, a pope who loves strip clubs, lots of references to various body parts, and no shortage of male and female orgasm noises when the player respawns.

Electronic Super Joy: Groove City was developed by Michael Todd, who is based in Toronto, Canada, with music by enV. The game is a follow-up to Electronic Super Joy, released in 2013, and was followed by a sequel, Electronic Super Joy 2, in 2019.

Michael’s previous commercial releases include a 3D puzzle game entitled Little Gardens in 2012, and an action/simulation game called Engine of War in 2007. Michael has also taken part in a number of game jams, and is the cofounder of the Toronto Skillswap and the Toronto Jammers, developing numerous gameplay prototypes in a short time.