Trippy Social Survival: We Happy Few On Kickstarter

H-hello there.

We Happy Few‘s [official site] The Prisoner-ish vibe caught my eye before but gosh oh golly, the game looks more interesting than I’d initially hoped. Developers Compulsion Games (them lot behind Contrast) have launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund development, and what they’re showing is awfully interesting.

It’s a first-person survival game where stealth often involves being clearly visible and visibly happy. Roaming the streets of an odd ’60s town, you’ll greet folks pleasantly and avoid doing anything which lets on that you, unlike them, are not doped up to your eyeballs on pills that make people violently happy. So how do you intend to escape the town or get food to stay alive?

Let’s rewind a bit: We Happy Few goes down in the English town of Wellington Wells in an alternate 1964. Everyone’s happy because they take their Joy pills, except you. You see it’s a weird and horrible place and want out. The people of Wellington Wells people who aren’t happy, and will react violently if they suspect you’re a ‘Downer’. Not saying hello to people you pass in the street? That’s something a Downer would do. Break into a house to steal food? Oh, that’s definitely a Downer! All the residents keep an eye out for Downers but some more than others, like doctors who can spot people faking it and old ladies who snoop and follow you.

So there you are, trying to stay alive by scavenging, crafting, and maybe even daring to eat Joy-tainted food without being murdered by Wellies. Combat looks like first-person melee where you’re a bit squishy. If they do get you, you’ll wake up as someone new in a new procedurally-generated layout.

I’m so bored of post-apocalyptic survival so this is real interesting to me.

Complusion are looking for $250,000 Canadian (£131,000-ish) on Kickstarter to help fund development. Pledging at least $30 CAD (£16-ish) would get you a copy of the game when/if it comes out. Here’s the Kickstarter pitch video:

And here’s 15 minutes of pre-alpha gameplay, which I suspect suffers from showing too much of the early game:


  1. Kollega says:

    Q: What do you shout when you see a policeman in this game?
    A: “PEELS HERE!”

  2. 2lab says:

    I didn’t have to strain my decision making muscles too much on this one.

  3. rustybroomhandle says:

    Hmmm… deliberately no Mac/Linux, but they can’t talk about their reasons yet. I’m guessing they signed some kind of exclusivity deal with Microsoft in exchange for some additional funding.

    • Monggerel says:

      Hm. Any other recent kickstarter games that didn’t get those versions? Or a later ported one? I’m curious now. I’m also curious how someone would get funding from Microsoft before hitting their Kickstarter goal (if we’re going by this particular line of cynicism).

      • rustybroomhandle says:

        Loads of them, but usually not with a weird “hush hush we have a reason but can’t talk about it” proviso. I wouldn’t call it cynical though… exclusivity deals are not uncommon.

    • prof_yaffle says:

      The way they put it does seem strange. If it was just a case of “We don’t think the sales will justify the cost of porting to those platforms.” then why be so coy?
      I was hoping it meant they’re in talks with a porting company and don’t want to say anything till a deal has been finalised. It could just as easily be due to some sort of exclusivity deal.
      Well for now I’ll be following the mantra of, “No Tux, no bucks!”

  4. EhexT says:

    So it’s set in the Wolfenstein world where the Germans invaded Britain successfully.

  5. int says:

    My name is John Wellington Wells
    I’m a dealer in magic and spells
    In blessings and curses
    And ever-filled purses
    In prophecies, witches, and knells
    If you want a proud foe to “make tracks”
    If you’d melt a rich uncle in wax
    You’ve but to look in on our resident Djinn
    Number seventy, Simmery Axe

  6. AngoraFish says:

    $30 for the game over a year out, entirely on spec, when the dev’s last game was middling at best and retailed for $15? Optimistic much?

    • Ginsoakedboy21 says:

      Agreed, I really like the look of this game but I think the price point is too high for such an unknown quantity. I really hope it meets its goal but I’ll be waiting for the release for this one.

  7. jonahcutter says:

    So, is that what you find when you make it off the island of Sir, You Are Being Hunted?

    You escape a countryside filled with murderous, Victorian robo-hunters only to find yourself in a city filled with murderous, 60’s cabaret-harlequin, paranoid drug addicts.

    Out of the frying pan, into the fire I suppose…

    • Folly Incorporated says:

      my thoughts are similar but more cynical. this game borrows much from Sir you are being hunted.
      Not a bad thing mind you. I like the more dense environment for this.

      • christmas duck says:

        This looks like it’s going to be a lot more story heavy than Sir… was, which is making it much more appealing to me.

      • manio22 says:

        Myself I think that Bioshock and Fallout just had a baby. A weird happy baby.