How far tubby honey bear Winnie-the-Pooh has fallen. Now that he’s entered the public domain, he can no longer merely stumble through the painless Hundred Acre Wood stuffing his face full of dessert with no pants on. Now, he plays the swollen and bleeding protagonist to the just-announced indie horror game Winnie’s Hole, and he still has no pants on.
The game comes from Australian-based studio Twice Different, which released its first title, the macabre roguelike card crawler Ring of Pain, in 2020. Winnie’s Hole, as an “accessible turn-based roguelite with auto battling elements,” a press release says, takes parts of Ring of Pain’s unorthodox roguelike experiments and applies them to, um, Winnie’s hole.
Despite your worst fears, the hole in question is neither a butthole nor a mouth hole, but something more unnatural—a toothed void in Pooh’s stomach that represents you, the virus contorting the bear’s once sugary body into an immovable series of tumors.
“You are that change beneath the skin,” growls the game’s haunting announcement trailer. “Spread disease, explore expanding piece-by-piece, [...] adapt your host, perfect their form” with twitching eyeballs, wriggling extra fingers, and fissures pierced with pointed teeth, spewing purple slime. Cool, so just like Ozempic, then.
“You’re bodybuilding an abomination,” Twice Different’s press release decides, “and with limited energy flowing through your host’s body, you also manage this resource by activating or deactivating parts to best create synergies, or to counter certain opponents.
“As you progress and infect more animals you’ll unlock new content including mutations, upgrades and playable characters, each with a twist on the exploration mechanics for an evolving challenge in this fresh turn-based dungeon crawler format.”
I am genuinely looking forward to playing this. I believe that all that most video game formats need to feel new again is more viral illnesses, and maybe even some pus, too.
Winnie’s Hole will be out for early access later this year, and only on Steam.