[dropcap size=big]T[/dropcap]he Kickstarter campaign for Compulsion Games’ psychedelic We Happy Few is almost over, with less than 24 hours remaining before the curtains close on it. The campaign has already met its goal of $250,000CAD; but in the event you’re not entirely up to speed about the game, here’s a rough outline to bring you up to speed.


I’m sure one of the reasons for the campaign reaching its goal is the unique setting. You see, We Happy Few is set in an alternate timeline, or to be more specific it’s set in the quaint British town Wellington Wells during 1964. Though the populace would say otherwise, not all is well in Wellington Wells. The citizenry are almost all taking a happiness drug known as Joy, and the few who aren’t are labeled downers. To say the joyous, Joy-loving population of the town (did I mention they’re really into Joy?) dislike downers is a tad of an understatement, and the Wellies do their best to turn downers’ frowns upside down. Unfortunately for the downers involved, the Wellies handle it with a spot of good ol’ fashioned ultra-violence. Talk about a bad trip, eh?


I’m guessing that, by now, those of you reading this are wondering to yourselves, “That sounds groovy and all, but what do you actually do,” and the answer is simple. Sort of. You play a Downer, and your goal is to escape Wellington Wells before the well-to-do Wellies carve a permanent smile into your face. The layout of Wellington Wells is procedurally generated every time you start a new file, and from the sound of it you’ll be doing that a lot in We Happy Few. The game is permadeath, and your first few attempts will likely end horribly.


We Happy Few has currently met two of its stretch goals. The first stretch goal (Drug Paradise) will allow the player  to craft additional drugs from Joy. Crashing, withdrawal, and addiction mechanics will also be added to the game. The second stretch goal (New Game Mode: Sandbox Mode, in Customizable Worlds) is exactly what it sounds like: a new indefinite mode set in a Wellington Wells with customizable settings. There are three more stretch goals (Extra Uncle Jack Shows, Authentic English Weather, and New Game Mode: Wellie Mode), and it’s possible they’ll be reached before the campaign comes to a close.


I’m personally looking forward to playing We Happy Few. It gives me a Brave New World meets The Prisoner vibe, and I’m excited to see if the execution is as fascinating as the concept. We Happy Few will be released on Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems at some point next year. There will be a playable pre-alpha for certain backers, and it’s expected to launch immediately after the Kickstarter campaign ends.

Taylor Woolstenhulme
Raised on a steady supply of superhero cartoons, videogames, and heavy metal Taylor Woolstenhulme was destined to have a lifelong love affair with everything geek. Fascinated by the possibilities of emergent gameplay; Taylor's favorite genres include the non-explosive kind of RPG, grand strategy, and open world sandboxes. He lives in sunny California, and hopes to pursue writing as a full-time career.
Taylor Woolstenhulme