Captain ToonHead vs the Punks from Outer Space (PC) Preview

By Jenny Geist 07.09.2021

Review for Captain ToonHead vs the Punks from Outer Space on PC

The extravagantly titled Captain ToonHead vs the Punks from Outer Space is one of the first ever tower defense games designed specifically for virtual reality platforms. Latin American studio Teravision Games transformed a genre that is usually about methodical strategy into an active, chaotic experience that Cubed3's Jenny Geist was lucky enough to preview at PAX West. Rest-assured, the game is as wacky as the title promises, if not a bit more!

After an elaborate burrito-related explosion — it makes sense in context — the wisecracking Elliot Salazar is left as the sole representative of the World Treaty for Freedom. To save the Earth from the titular punks from outer space, Salazar must step up and become the fabulous Captain ToonHead, who can both build contraptions and shoot aliens to defend the galaxy.

The very first mission is to defend a small society of pixelated cubes from oncoming extra-terrestrials, ranging from gaggles of low-level punks to an enormous, terrifying T-Rex. At first, players must fight off these opponents with just a few low-level turrets and one's own gunman skills. As the threats escalate, however, players are given more and more options to deal with these chaotic invaders. One of these options happens to be a piñata catapult! Sadly, that was not in the demo.

Screenshot for Captain ToonHead vs the Punks from Outer Space on PC

In case it wasn't clear yet, Captain ToonHead is an extremely goofy and self-aware game. Don't come in looking for a gritty experience, unless your definition of a 'gritty experience' involves shooting hot sauce at dinosaurs. The style of humor is definitely not for everyone, as it has an irreverent bent that resembles works like Deadpool or Borderlands, but fans of that type of silliness are in for a real treat. The demo alone already contained several pop cultural references and over-the-top setpieces, and the developers promise that the final project will have even more.

Screenshot for Captain ToonHead vs the Punks from Outer Space on PC

As for the actual gameplay... it's about as crazy as one would expect. Unlike other tower defense games, where you are merely a passive god watching over an active battlefield, Captain ToonHead places you right into the middle of the action. Building turrets is only half the battle, as supplementing their defenses with your own marksmanship is just as important. The motion controls feel buttery-smooth and satisfying to pull off, especially when done in tandem with carefully-placed weaponry. Chipping down on an enemy's health yourself, just so a firework gun can finish the job in one explosive swoop, is a fun twist to a tried-and-true genre. The demo only showcased a small chunk of this potential, but with 11 more levels planned, the rest of the experience is bound to be even more exciting.

Screenshot for Captain ToonHead vs the Punks from Outer Space on PC

The only major drawback that Cubed3 noticed in this early preview was the slightly cumbersome control scheme. It could just be because the PAX West show-floor was noisy and crowded, but it was difficult to fully process many of the instructions. This made many actions feel awkward to pull off, not in a way that was game-breaking, but in a way that might take a bit more time to get used to. For instance, the player can swap between an on-the-ground perspective and a bird's-eye perspective of the battlefield, but the latter feels lacking in utility because of an awkward camera view. Turrets can be selected by pushing forward or back on one of the control sticks, but this action didn't always consistently register. Again, these are relatively minor quibbles that could be fixed before launch, but for the sake of transparency, it's still worth noting that a few UI elements are not quite there.

Screenshot for Captain ToonHead vs the Punks from Outer Space on PC

Final Thoughts

Captain ToonHead vs the Punks from Outer Space was the only VR game that Cubed3 previewed at PAX West, and it didn't disappoint! The humor might limit the appeal in some respects, but the developers were so passionate and the gameplay was so creative that it still managed to stick out among the crowd. If you want to hear more about the development and release of this title, be sure to check out Cubed3's exclusive interview, and stay tuned for even more impressions from the weekend!

Developer

Teravision Games

Publisher

Teravision Games

Genre

First Person Shooter

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  n/a

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date 2021   North America release date 2021   Japan release date 2021   Australian release date 2021   

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