Happy Game

Happy Game

Happy Game is NOT AT ALL a happy game. It’s dark, macabre, gory and it’s pretty much the antithesis of what we’re used to when it comes to Amanita games. Yet it’s still an Amanita game, and it has mainly the same style and design, and it’s undoubtedly a piece of art like any of their other titles.

In Happy Game you follow the adventures of a little boy trapped in his nightmares. Hideous monsters will hunt you down, creepy toys will surround you and the screens will overall be covered in blood spots and other gooey substances. Unlike other titles from Amanita, the gameplay focuses less on solving puzzles / finding out the way all the contraptions work (which by the way, now take shape as scary, unfriendly creatures) and shifts towards experiencing the game as an artistic creation, in a more cinematic way.

Solving the puzzles will require you to summon your dark side, since you’ll be pulling heads, eyes, tongues and any other tuggable parts from all sorts of creatures. For those easily disturbed a warning is in order, since some of these puzzles involve not only putting together decapitated toys, or on the contrary, tearing them apart in half, but also beheading bunny-like beasts with a bladed guillotine or throwing them into the meat grinder. There are also a few scenes with flashing lights that could be bothersome for more sensitive players and the game warns in the beginning about these two aspects.

Although Happy Game is grotesque, it all sounds worse than it is. The art style and overall design is meant to convey a horror-like experience, but not a frightening one. There’s some sort of innocence in every scene, perhaps springing from the fact that you – as the little boy – are meant to approach these puzzles in a more or less candid way. Even if you’ll be tasked to do some ghastly things, the game is specifically designed so that you’ll end it with a clear conscience and a clean heart.

There are no jump scares and the content isn’t deranging enough to give you nightmares, but it will clearly leave a mark on you simply because playing Happy Game is a truly unique experience, full of some bizarre charm – one definitely worth your time, but considering its shortness (1-2h) perhaps not entirely the asking price.

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