Smile For Me is a phrase that’s less cheery and innocuous than it sounds. Whether it’s a misguided “just be happy!” response to mental illness or a rando guy approaching women on the street, there are actually very few situations in which telling someone to smile is appropriate or welcome. Bearing this in mind may be helpful when it comes to thinking about Smile For Me, the game, a point and click puzzler where you must enter something called The Habitat and make its residents happy again by fulfilling their many strange requests. Here, this trailer will show you what I mean.
Aw! Sweet! You can only communicate by nodding or shaking your head and they all talk like Sims! It’s got a particular brand of humour that tickles me for reasons I can’t properly understand, what with the open palm slapping objects to pick them up and the many out-of-left-field tasks that people want doing.
I’ve noodled around in the game for a little while, and it’s nice! Making people happy is, as it turns out, a good feeling. It is also somehow even more cheerfully absurd than this trailer makes out, which is both saying something and a wonderful surprise.
And yet. Those emoticon faces where people put the hyphen noses in them instead of a good, pure, simple colon-bracket. They’re absolutely never a good sign and cannot be trusted. It’s no surprise that they show up right as this trailer takes a turn, and though I haven’t gotten there in the game yet I expect it has something to say about what might motivate someone to make a place where people are trapped and tasked only with becoming happy above all else. Sometimes people just want to mope in peace, you monsters.
Smile For Me is scheduled to release on Steam sometime before the end of May.