PAX East 2015: We Happy Few


We Happy Few is a beautiful game filled with personality, risk, reward, curiosity, fear, and strategy. Even all of those words do not do We Happy Few any justice. We Happy Few is a game that everyone must play!

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I sat down to play We Happy Few, but within a few minutes, my entire world was turned upside down. Somehow Compulsion Games has perfectly captured happy, yet brutally sad characters in a procedurally generated world that oozes with color, style, and pure beauty.

Wellette - We Happy Few (Concept Art)
Mask, perfectly styled hair, and non-revealing clothing, typical style of citizens in Wellington Wells.

Backing up a little bit, We Happy Few is based in Wellington Wells where everyone does exactly what they are meant to do – be happy. How your character interacts with the citizens of Wellington Wells, and behaves within the world, influences how others perceive you. In We Happy Few’s current build, other characters can quickly become uncomfortable with your actions and start to threaten, chase, or attack you. Your character can fight back, run for the hills, or find the nearest phone booth that dispenses Joy.

Village (on Joy) - We Happy Few
When you’re on Joy, everything turns pretty, and rainbows line the streets.

Joy is a drug that makes your character exponentially happier than they should be, and is the key to We Happy Few. Without Joy everyone in Wellington Wells would be severely depressed. Although with Joy, everyone is insanely happy, but they can turn into manic lunatics if anyone else isn’t as happy as them. In other words, don’t threaten their happiness or you will meet their wrath.

Shelter - We Happy Few (Concept Art)
Weapon crafting and 100% safety is available in your Shelter.

When your character isn’t under attack, We Happy Few allows you to explore Wellington Wells. Exploration can occur by entering homes, finding food or other items, and crafting weapons. Everything accomplished during the exploration phase will severely dictate how successful your character will be as the game progresses.

While Compulsion Games has created a fantastic, really early build of We Happy Few, Compulsion is still very interested in fan feedback. Multiple members from Compulsion Games were on hand at their PAX East booth, including Guillaume (Creative Director), Whitney (Art Director), and Sam (COO). Each were asking players what they liked, didn’t like, and had lists of notes, so all feedback was taken to heart. With We Happy Few’s current solid base, and fan feedback, We Happy Few might easily snag Game Of The Year!

We Happy Few Gameplay – PAX East 2015

We Happy Few (More Media)

Uncle Jack - We Happy Few (Concept Art)
Concept art of news anchor, Uncle Jack. Compulsion has since recorded all of his broadcasts with a live actor.

I like playing games, but there's not enough time to play all of them

Further reading

Dolmen | PAX East 2022

Surrounded by darkness, jump scares, and bosses you have no business defeating (unless you got skills), Dolmen brings the same feeling as Dead Space...

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