We Happy Few [official site] is, I think, the only survival game with permadeath whose conceit has intrigued me enough that I’ve wanted to stick with it in spite of the insistence that humans lose water at the rate of your average sieve and that anyone can build advanced machinery with enough scavenged scrap metal. That said, I’ve just died for the sixth time and I’m feeling ever-more like the desperate and downcast character I’m playing.
We Happy Few is Compulsion Games’ current project. Its world is the city of Wellington Wells, where a perky, authoritarian bubble called Hamlyn is separated from World War II ruins known as the Garden District by a series of bridges and security checkpoints. The checkpoints are designed to keep Downers – people who aren’t taking their happy pills (“Joy” in the game parlance) – on the ruined side of the river. The idea is to find a way from the ruins where you spawn to the other side of the river and then figure out a way to escape.