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Headlander cover.png
Developer(s)Double Fine Productions
Publisher(s)Adult Swim Games
Director(s)Lee Petty
Designer(s)Gabe Cinquepalmi
Programmer(s)Kee Chi
Artist(s)Christopher Lam
Geoff Soulis
Writer(s)Lee Petty
Composer(s)David Earl
Platform(s)Microsoft Windows, macOS, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
ReleaseJuly 26, 2016[1]

Headlander is a 2016 Metroidvania-style video game developed by Double Fine Productions and published by Adult Swim Games.


Headlander takes place in a futuristic setting inspired by 1970s science fiction televisions shows and movies such as Logan's Run.[2] In this future, humanity has opted to upload their consciousnesses to a world-encompassing cloud storage, forgoing their bodies but able to occupy the minds of robots as to carry out necessary tasks or otherwise enjoy corporeal pleasures. However, an artificial intelligence named Methuselah has taken control of the robots, trapping the human consciousnesses inside them, and enslaved them for some nefarious purpose. The last human is awoken from cryogenic storage to deal with Methuselah, but only their head has managed to survive the process and is suffering from amnesia.[1][3][4]

Headlander plays out as a 2.5D Metroidvania-style game. The character's head, equipped in a special helmet that allows the head to fly around, can also use its tractor beam to take the heads off the robots and use their bodies as needed. Robots have specialized functions, so the player may be required to find the right type of robots and maneuver it through the game world to complete a task, such as using a security robot to open a door. The helmet includes a laser system that can be used to damage robots and protect itself, and can gain additional powerups that grant access to other areas of the game world. At times, the player is limited to using only the helmet and needs to fight through sections that are similar to bullet hell games. At other times, the player can also opt to use a robot body to engage in combat, which can include both ranged and melee fights, depending on what type of robot they choose.[2][1]


Headlander was announced at the 2015 PAX Prime expo.[2] Double Fine Productions is handling development duties for the game, with Lee Petty overseeing its team, while Adult Swim Games will distribute the title.[5] The game was released on July 26, 2016 for Microsoft Windows and PlayStation 4.[1] On November 17, 2016, Headlander was released for Xbox One.[6]


Aggregate score
Metacritic77/100 (PS4)[7]
74/100 (PC)[8]

Headlander received "generally favorable" reviews from critics according to aggregate review website Metacritic.[7][8]


  1. ^ a b c d Matulef, Jeffrey (July 13, 2016). "Double Fine's whimsical adventure Headlander due this month on PS4 and PC". Eurogamer. Retrieved July 13, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Campbell, Colin (August 28, 2015). "Headlander Preview". Polygon. Retrieved July 13, 2016.
  3. ^ Chalk, Andy (July 13, 2016). "Double Fine's sci-fi side-scroller Headlander gets a release date and a trailer". PC Gamer. Retrieved July 13, 2016.
  4. ^ Dyer, Mitch (August 27, 2015). "HEADLANDER: THE METROID + LOGAN'S RUN COMEDY GAME FROM DOUBLE FINE". IGN. Retrieved August 27, 2015.
  5. ^ Takahashii, Dean (July 15, 2015). "The zany Tim Schafer has gone psycho with five games in the works". VentureBeat. Retrieved July 13, 2016.
  6. ^ Larry Hyrb (November 18, 2016). "Headlander is Now Available for Xbox One". majornelson.com. Microsoft Corporation. Retrieved November 28, 2016.
  7. ^ a b "Headlander for PlayStation 4 Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved August 29, 2016.
  8. ^ a b "Headlander for PC Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved August 29, 2016.

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