Electric Highways (2015)

by Nish
6 minutes read


Electric Highways: A Neon-Soaked Journey Through a Virtual Dreamscape

Released in 2015, Electric Highways is an experience/adventure game that takes players on a surreal and introspective journey through a virtual world. Inspired by early 3D games and the ethereal soundscapes of 80’s synth pop, Electric Highways invites players to explore a realm of abstract graphics and otherworldly landscapes.

A Virtual Odyssey

The game is set in a virtual world known as the “Electric Grid,” a vast and enigmatic dreamscape comprised of ten distinct levels. Each level presents a unique theme and visual aesthetic, from neon-drenched cityscapes to serene underwater environments and ethereal cosmic vistas.

Players navigate this virtual realm as a lone wanderer, embarking on a quest to uncover the secrets of the Electric Grid and their own place within it. Along the way, they encounter cryptic messages, solve environmental puzzles, and interact with enigmatic entities that inhabit this strange and wonderful world.

An Explosion of Abstract Art

Electric Highways is a feast for the eyes, boasting a vibrant and distinctive art style that draws heavily from early 3D graphics and abstract expressionism. The game’s world is a kaleidoscope of floating geometric shapes, pulsating neon lights, and ethereal textures, creating a surreal and immersive experience that blurs the lines between reality and the digital realm.

The game’s visuals are not merely decorative, but also integral to the gameplay. Players must carefully observe their surroundings and interact with the environment to progress through the levels. Abstract shapes can be manipulated to create platforms and bridges, while neon lights can illuminate hidden pathways and reveal secret areas.

A Synthwave Symphony

The soundtrack of Electric Highways is as captivating as its visuals, featuring a mesmerizing blend of synthwave, electronica, and ambient soundscapes. The music perfectly complements the game’s surreal and introspective atmosphere, creating a sense of both wonder and alienation.

The soundtrack is composed by Polish musician and sound designer Arkadiusz Reikowski, known for his work on other atmospheric and experimental games such as The Vanishing of Ethan Carter and Layers of Fear. Reikowski’s compositions for Electric Highways are a masterful fusion of retro and modern electronic music, evoking the nostalgia of early video games while also pushing the boundaries of the genre.

An Introspective Journey

Beyond its stunning visuals and immersive soundtrack, Electric Highways is also a deeply introspective experience. The game’s cryptic messages and enigmatic environments encourage players to reflect on their own existence and place in the universe.

The game’s protagonist is a solitary figure, wandering through a strange and unfamiliar world, seeking meaning and connection. Players are invited to identify with the protagonist and embark on their own journey of self-discovery, exploring the depths of their own consciousness and emotions.

A Love Letter to Early Gaming

Electric Highways is a clear homage to the early days of 3D gaming, when developers were pushing the boundaries of technology and creating new and innovative experiences. The game’s blocky graphics and simple gameplay mechanics evoke a sense of nostalgia for those early gaming pioneers, while also adding a modern twist with its abstract art style and introspective narrative.

The game’s title itself is a reference to the “electric highways” of the early internet, which promised to connect people from all over the world and create a new virtual frontier. Electric Highways captures the excitement and optimism of that era, while also exploring the darker and more surreal aspects of our increasingly digital existence.

A Unique and Unforgettable Experience

Electric Highways is a truly unique and unforgettable experience that defies easy categorization. It is a game that is both visually stunning and deeply introspective, inviting players to explore the depths of their own consciousness and the nature of reality itself.

Whether you’re a fan of early 3D games, synthwave music, or simply appreciate innovative and thought-provoking experiences, Electric Highways is a must-play. Prepare to lose yourself in its neon-soaked landscapes, enigmatic puzzles, and haunting melodies, and emerge with a new perspective on the world around you.

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