Get Your Head Around Double Fine’s New Metroidvania

What's that Lassie? Little Timmy's head has fallen down the well?

Headlander is the next game from Double Fine, and with news that the project lead from the wonderful Stacking is in charge I’m definitely paying attention. Borrowing the body-swapping concept from that Russian Doll-themed game, Headlander applies it more of a Metroidvania structure, with some lovely 70s sci-fi trappings and the option to graft your head onto anything from dogs to dancers. Take a look below.

Essentially, you’re playing a head, who borrows others’ bodies in order to obtain their abilities and access rights. It’s more of a puzzle and exploration thing, with some dialogue, than a shooty-bang game, but there is combat, and as you can see it looks pretty frantic.

I’m a little glum as I’ve also been chewing over a design involving head-swapping, though it turns out Headlander’s concept was first revealed as part of their Amensia Fortnight pitching session last year, so I did have fair warning if I’d paid attention.

Anyway: this looks like a lot of fun, taking Stacking’s ethos out of an adventure game and into something spectacular and silly. Hopefully it’s not too jumping-centric, but I’m really looking forwards to seeing more of Headlander. It’s due some time next year, and Adult Swim Games are pitching in with publishing.


  1. RedViv says:

    Glad this one is becoming a thing.

  2. Kollega says:

    I’m sure that to defeat the head honcho and win the game, you’ll really have to put your head to use.

    • Dorga says:

      You really went in over your head

      • Darth Gangrel says:

        I wonder how much help the Heads-Up Display will be in this game. Even if you don’t become the Headmaster after beating this game, I like where this game is heading.

  3. Spacewalk says:

    So, Messiah with head-swapping?

    • takfar says:

      Gah! So I was reading a story on another site, not five minutes ago, and I was reminded of Messiah… A game which I hadn’t thought about in 15 years. And now you also bring it up? Get out of my head, devil!

    • Crafter says:

      what’s not to love ?

    • thekelvingreen says:

      Or, you know, Paradroid.

    • Phasma Felis says:

      I don’t recall Messiah being a side-scrolling platformer.

    • April March says:

      Oh man, I remember that I tried to run Messiah in my computer once and it didn’t run. It could run modern-ish games all right so I was like, WHAT’S THE MATTER, ARE YOU A BIZARRO COMPUTER? I should give it another go.

      But the ultimate take-control-of-them-up is still Space Station: Silicon Valley for the N64. Although I haven’t played Gheist for the GameCube. A fruitful genre indeed.

  4. Premium User Badge

    SoundDust says:

    “I’m a little glum as I’ve also been chewing over a design involving head-swapping”

    Well, me too! Guess I’ll have to pick other body parts to swap, then.

  5. Tinotoin says:

    “exploratoin” – you’re not exploring me thanks very much sir! Good day!

    • Darth Gangrel says:

      I was more alarmed by “Amensia Fortnight”, which sounds very alien and therefore unsettling. What is Amensia and why are they devoting an entire fortnight towards it?

      • Volcanu says:

        I forget..

      • April March says:

        The worst part is that I’m pretty sure that if amensia was a word it would mean ‘the inability to menstruate’.

        Which just makes it worse when together with Fortnight.

  6. Anthile says:

    At last, a spiritual sequel to H.E.D.Z.!

  7. turkeydrumstick says:

    Aw man, it seems like they’ve taken down the original Amnesia Fortnight pitch for headlander :-(

  8. Zekiel says:

    Well this looks… bonkers. And potential very fun.

  9. Frank says:

    Hm, missed watching amnesia fortnight last year and they’ve deleted the pitch video. Bah.

    Reminds me of the excellent Stacking, which is good; but also of the unfun Rochard (fancy art, shallow environments, physics-y action … which isn’t what I want in my metroidvania).

  10. Dwarph says:

    anyone else getting a huge earthworm jim vibe?

  11. racccoon says:

    What a waste of perfect graphics and programming. It enough to make you lose your head watching it. lol

  12. fupjack says:

    I didn’t hear any entertaining character dialogue – are you sure this is a Double Fine game?

    Also, I’d have called it Head Launcher (subgenius!), but I supposed Lander makes it sound a bit more like a 1970’s Atari game which matches the colors, sort of.

  13. Uninteresting Curse File Implement says:

    Speaking of Amnesia Fortnight prototypes given life… Where the hell is Brazen?