When I was a kid, they said television would rot my brain. Maybe so, but in Captain ToonHead vs The Punks from Outer Space, television is the one thing that might save the Earth from destruction. Well, that and Private Elliott Salazar, who’s wearing the TV on his head.
If you’re ready to save Earth, Captain ToonHead vs The Punks from Outer Space is out today on the Quest Platform and Rift Platform for $24.99 USD. A blend of tower defense mechanics and a first-person shooter, you’ll need to zip around each level shooting hot sauce and electric beams from pizza slices at incoming P.U.N.K. enemies in hopes of saving the adorable EnerCubes from the covetous hands of the evil Nicholas Voorhees the Third.
Phew. Quite a setup, right? We sat down with Teravision Games CEO Enrique Fuentes and CCO Luis Daniel “LD” Zambrano to talk about the “burrito incident” and the EarthRadicator-1000, putting players on the front lines of a tower defense game, and creating a superhero others can identify with. Read on for more!
Can you give me a brief overview of Captain ToonHead vs. The Punks From Outer Space? It’s part tower defense, part shooter, right?
Enrique Fuentes: That’s exactly right, the combination of tower defense and shooter is a truly core aspect of our game. In Captain ToonHead you'll move all over the map, hammering away to upgrade your towers, while throwing overpowered chanclas (flip flops) recklessly. You'll take manual control of your towers to unleash streams of heavy-metal powered hot sauce and shoot electric beams from weaponized pizza at your enemies. We wanted the player to feel really immersed in the battle, while keeping the strategic aspects that make a tower defense so rewarding.
Luis Daniel “LD” Zambrano: The mix of genres that Enrique talked about is the core of what makes the game challenging and fun. That said, our user research found that this overlap of mechanics, even when fun, was a little overwhelming for new players. We spent a lot of time fine-tuning the game’s progression and making sure features rolled out little by little, at a pace players could understand in order to fully enjoy this manic challenge. We also wanted the game to be more than just an awesome arcade-y experience, so narrative became a very important layer that glued the whole experience together. These two aspects turned the game into a 12-level campaign that takes you through the absurd journey of how Captain ToonHead became not the hero we needed, but the one we are stuck with.
Who is Captain ToonHead? What’s their backstory?
LD: You play as Private Elliott Salazar, a cabin-fevered cartoon-obsessed space janitor that was left alone to save Earth after a burrito-related explosion killed the heroic crew that was supposed to stop the now-exiled dictator—Ex-Commander-in-Chief Nicholas Voorhees The-Third—from using an interplanetary cannon made out of garbage (called the EarthRadicator-1000) to destroy our planet out of revenge in 2083.
Serious stuff based on real-life events. Nah, just kidding, it’s only 2021—all this nonsense hasn’t happened…yet.
What’s your favorite tower and what does it do?
EF: Oh, that’s like choosing your favorite child! But it’s obviously the one that shoots hot sauce through two metallic skulls to heavy metal music, of course. At this point I hope it’s clear I’m not talking about my children (although they both like hot sauce and heavy metal), but about the tower—specifically, Queen Dio! Taking control of that tower and shooting thousands of gallons of hot sauce from two metal demon heads to the tune of fast-paced guitar solos is one of my favorite moments in the game.
LD: Mine is definitely the festive Señor PIGñatas. There is something magical about bombarding Cyber-C.H.I.C.K.E.N.s with an unlimited stream of adorable pig-shaped explosive piñatas. Oh, and if you aim right during ToonRide!, you can knock down flying Aero-C.A.A.T.s with them too!
What inspired the over-the-top style of Captain ToonHead?
LD: The game intentionally reflects our collective identity in Teravision Games—and to be honest, we are just a bunch of overgrown kids that love to geek out with games, comics, movies, books, music, and anything else dorky. Our game’s identity is a collage that we collectively made out of a myriad of remixed references, homages to the things we love, and crazy ideas that Teravision Gamers brought to the table while we were working on it. Iteration after iteration, we massaged it until it all felt cohesive, and Captain ToonHead’s style naturally emerged as a product of that. We were honestly having fun while building this game and I guess what you see today is a manifestation of what we like and how we see ourselves.
What’s next for you? Any exciting updates in the works?
LD: As game makers we feel that a game is never done. There are always small things that we are dying to add to it, but at some point you have to ship! A game is not a game until it’s played by somebody else—and it can’t be played if it hasn’t been released. So here we are!
But luckily for us, in this day and age game releases are not definitive, so we are for sure going to keep polishing and making Captain ToonHead even better via updates. Our plan is to gauge the reactions, suggestions, and overall comments of our players, and take that feedback into consideration when deciding what to add next. In the end we made this game for them, and they are completing it by playing it, so make sure to join our Discord server and let us know what you think!
Anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
LD: Captain ToonHead is the alter-ego that Elliott created to deal with his situation, but it is also a superhero that we carefully crafted to reflect our collective identity as a bunch of geeky game developers from LatAm.
If you pay attention, you’ll notice that Elliott’s personality doesn’t change when he puts on the TV-helmet. He doesn’t wield any special superpowers when he’s in the hero’s suit. He is the same guy, but with a TV on his head. He became a hero by courageously fusing his passion for TV with his brainy talent for engineering stuff—and we feel anybody can do the same. By aligning our weird obsessions with our diverse talents, we slowly built ourselves into the game developers we are today and, against all odds and opinions, we were able to self-realize the dream of releasing a game of our own collective authorship. So in a way, and not by chance, the Captain's journey proudly reflects ours, and we wish for it to inspire others to follow their own. We hope you enjoy this game as much as we enjoyed creating it for you.
EF: This is our first self-funded and self-published game, so we were basically left “unsupervised” for this one, and we made sure to build something that was really authentic to us. We started from our “We don’t take ourselves too seriously” philosophy, which led to all the silly humor and addition of some elements from our Latin American identity, like the Chancla and the PIGñatas. We basically want to put forward some much-needed positive energy and pure fun out in the world. So have fun and thanks for supporting this crazy indie-dev journey!
The good news: Putting Quest 2 on your head is a lot easier than an entire TV. You can pick up Captain ToonHead Vs. The Punks From Outer Space on the Quest Platform and Rift Platform today for $24.99 USD.