Cosmic Spacehead is a weird mess of a game that felt truly a thing of its time. I can’t see it ever existing now. Originally released in the early 90s, I stumbled across it in that way that tends to happen when you’re only about 9 or 10 and your access to insightful games media is limited. I saw it in a second-hand shop in London and decided I adored the colours of the box and would quite like it for Christmas if possible. I’m not sure how my Mum retraced her steps but a few days later, I inadvertently spotted it in her suitcase and discovered exactly what my main Christmas present was going to be. To be fair to nosy-child me, I never said a word. I acted surprised on Christmas Day, appreciating the importance of the occasion, and dived straight into the weirdness. Because Cosmic Spacehead is very weird.
Much of that weirdness is because Cosmic Spacehead makes very little sense. It’s a sequel to Linus Spacehead, a platformer for the NES, and it starts out by completely forgetting that you may not have played the first part. I certainly hadn’t and I only learned this fact through a sneaky Google search while writing this. Instead, child me was up against Cosmic/Linus clearing needing to complete a series of fetch quests without much logic to the plot. You eventually figure out he’s trying to get hold of a camera and a working spaceship but none of it is well explained.
The game plays out like the most illogical of point-and-click adventures. Want to freeze a body? You need icing sugar! No, really! Similarly, you need to get past a one-eyed Godzilla-style monster. The only way is to give it a tiny helium balloon so it floats away. Weirdly, you don’t float away through holding the balloon.