Life in Wellington Wells is almost perfect: everyone is happy because everyone is on Joy.
This is We Happy Few, the latest title from Compulsion Games. Set in a dystopian 1960s English city, the title follows a group of people who want to escape from the world forced on them that requires nothing but happy denial. Players must find their way out of the nightmarishly joyful city and learn about its past, but must do this by still attempting to blend in because unhappy people aren't welcome there.
"Set in a retrofuturistic 1964, you will find a city ravaged by war and rebuilt by delusionally happy people," the game's website reads. "Everything appears to be happy in Wellington Wells, including the roads, the people and its omnipresent television personality, Uncle Jack! However, it's also a world on the brink of collapse. You'll discover the history of this world, and how it came to be just so beguilingly happy."
We Happy Few just launched on Steam Early Access and in honor of that, Compulsion released a gameplay trailer. The trailer sets up the bizarre world of Wellington Wells, where citizens get reminded every morning to take their Joy: but if they forget, that's okay, because this Joy drug is also in the water and food.
The trailer also shows what gameplay looks like, as the unhappy few break the rules (like being out after dark) and do what they can to uncover the truth behind the dystopian utopia of Wellington Wells.
Here's the We Happy Few gameplay trailer in all its weird glory:
"We Happy Few is a survival roguelike, where you must learn to hide in plain sight among the Joy-happy citizens of Wellington Wells," the game's website reads. "If you act out of turn, or they notice you're not on Joy, the locals will become suspicious and will rapidly turn your frown upside down! Forcefully. You will need to practice conformity, stealth and combat if you want to survive long enough to escape."
Those who purchase We Happy Few through Steam's Early Access program will get to stroll through this strange world and experience how gameplay gets affected by "social conformity and suspicion, Joy intake, crafting, combat and survival." During Early Access, Compulsion will continue to expand upon Wellington Wells and add and improve features, with full story lines for each playable character completed when the game officially releases.
We Happy Few is available now for PC through Steam Early Access with the final version of the game releasing on PC and Xbox One later this year.