Pig Brother is watching
1984 might be the most popular novel written by George Orwell, but Animal Farm, Orwell’s allegorical take on the Russian Revolution of 1917, is also fondly remembered for being batshit crazy and fairly eye opening. Using animals as stand-ins for many political figures, the novel took a deep look at Stalinism and how destructive political figureheads can be for the world. It is ranked as one of the greatest pieces of English literature and is typically a staple in high school curriculums.
So, why not turn that into a video game? Fully endorsed by the estate of George Owell, Animal Farm is getting an “adventure tycoon” styled game. You play as one of the animals in the Manor Farm prior to the events of the revolution. In the words of the developer behind the game:
“The Animal Farm game will be an adventure-tycoon, placing the player in the Manor Farm as one of the animals just before the revolution, and will follow their journey through the ups and downs of Animalism. The gameplay will combine story choices and the running of the farm into a consistent narrative, giving players a chance to experience the consequences of their decisions first hand.”
The team behind the game is assembled by many industry veterans, including such people as Imre Jele (founder of Bossa Studios, which has published Surgeon Simulator and I Am Bread), Georg Backer (who worked on Brave Plan and Fable), Andy Payne (founder of Just Flight), Kate Saxon (who worked on Mafia 3, Alien: Isolation and The Witcher 3) and Jessica Curry (of The Chinese Room). They clearly have some development chops under their belts.
As Jele puts it, “Over the last decade some governments started using language eerily similar to what I heard growing up under a communist regime. So I can’t help feeling personally challenged to spread Orwell’s dystopian warning by adapting Animal Farm into a game.”
Um…I’m not quite sure how I feel about that. I understand gaming can be more than just shooting things or reacting to simple stimuli, but how does Animal Farm really fit into the gaming landscape? The entire point of the novel is to open people’s minds to the evils of the world, not have them experience running a farm and making “tough” choices.
Then again, the unique experiences that gaming offers might be able to shed a different light on the narrative of Animal Farm. Orwell was taking an outside look at how absolute power can corrupt absolutely, whereas this game might show us, first hand, how corrupted one can become.
However this turns out, there aren’t any announced platforms or even a release date. This is just something that is happening, so look forward to hearing more in the future.
Official Animal Farm game is an adventure-tycoon [Eurogamer]