We Happy Few is a game currently in development by Compulsion Games. There were originally seven people working on the game and they started building prototypes for the game in January of 2014. The studio has since expanded their team and placed the game on Kickstarter. After four years of development and a delay, the game was released on August 10, 2018. The studio describes the game as a "game of paranoia and survival, in a drugged-out, dystopian English city in 1964." The game will be available for Windows, MAC, Linux via Steam, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
We Happy Few is about an old English town set in the alternate city of Wellington Wells. It is haunted by the ghosts of its recent past. In 1933, this world deviated from our own, and the Germans successfully invaded and occupied England during World War II. Most of England is rubble, as is a fair part of Wellington Wells. However, during the Occupation, the Wellies all had to do A Very Bad Thing. To calm their anguish and guilt - and forget what they’d done - the Wellies invented a miracle happy drug they called Joy.
The citizens started rebuilding their town, leading areas of the town to become blended messes of futuristic technology and leftover rubble from the war. Everyone is 'happy' as long as they are taking their Joy, and wander around doing the things they should be doing- but, of course, they take the time to keep an eye on the player character.
There are currently three playable characters that serve as the protagonist of their own act Arthur Hastings is the protagonist of Act I, Sally Boyle the protagonist of Act II and Ollie Starkey the protagonist of Act III. Each one has their own set of characteristics and abilities. The character is known as a "Downer ", and nobody likes a Downer. The player will need to figure out how to survive in the environment without raising the suspicion that they are not taking the "Joy " pill. They will need to hunt for supplies and craft devices and weapons that will enable them to get out of town alive. Player interaction with the NPC's will allow them to figure out what makes them suspect the Downer as being a Downer and what makes them happy. If an NPC is happy and does not suspect anything, they will wish you "A lovely day for it!" and be on their way. Skilled players will learn to hide in plain sight by blending in. They could take their 'Joy' to blend in, but every option comes with a disadvantage, one that may get them killed. If the player only 'pretends' to take it, the local Doctor might figure it out. There is also a Crier, who snoops around. Players will need to be careful with their actions if they hope to escape.
If the player wins or dies, the game will start over in a brand new Wellington Wells. The basic strategy will be the same but the world will change allowing replay-ability.
- During the early development in 2014, the game was initially titled "Glimpse"; then, later, it was renamed We Happy Few.
- We Happy Few is inspired by St. Crispin's Day speech in Shakespeare's "Henry V".
- We Happy Few shares certain themes and plot points with the novel Brave New World and it may have a possible source of inspiration.