The Dairymen and developer Nerial (Reigns) have announced the release date of choose your own adventure game Orwell’s Animal Farm.
As previously reported, Animal Farm was originally published in 1945, and was a critique and satire by George Orwell of Stalinism and Joseph Stalin. Inspired by the events of the 1917 Russian Revolution, farm animal rebel against a human farmer hoping to make their society more equal and free. The pig Napoleon however, becomes a dictator.
The game allow players to take on the role of Napoleon, dictating how the farm should be run, and whether the story will fold out as the original book did or in entirely new ways. The press release (via emails) states Abubakar Salim (Bayek in Assassin’s Creed: Origins) shall be narrating events.
The game has the full approval of the Orwell estate, and is set to release December 10th on Windows PC (via Steam) and mobile. The project’s founder and writer, Imre Jele and Emily Short respectively, shared their thoughts on how they feel the story is still relevant in the current year.
Imre Jele, Project Founder:
“I have long wanted to explore how, through video gaming, we could design an experience which immerses the player in Orwell’s vision. As the project has come to fruition in 2020 it has felt increasingly vital to bring Orwell’s study of inequity, power and control to a new audience. As I watch world events unfold – Brexit, Trump, Putin, Orban, Erdogan – and see numerous leaders use tactics from the populist, nationalist playbook: it sometimes feels like Animal Farm is not fiction, but reality.“
Emily Short, Writer:
“Animal Farm tends to be remembered for how its powerful characters destroy the truth through gaslighting, hypocrisy, corruption and greed – all distressingly recognisable to people living through the political events of 2020. But the book also says a lot about why altruistic characters support horrible outcomes, and how values like hard work, cooperation, and loyalty can be warped in obedience to unsound goals. Video games are powerful at telling stories about systems and enabling ‘what if?’ questions. My goal was to capture Orwell’s very relevant observations in a form that players can explore.”
You can find the brief VOTE! trailer below.
You can find the full rundown (via Steam with additional excerpts from the emailed press release) below.
“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”
In Orwell’s Animal Farm, the animals have fought off their exploitative human masters. Now they’re in charge. Assign their tasks, upgrade their buildings, choose their laws, and direct their propaganda. Determine which of the animals will make sacrifices and which will be “more equal than others.”
George Orwell’s 1945 novella was a scathing critique of totalitarianism in the early days of the Soviet Union. Since then, it has spoken to people of many ideologies in countries around the world. It offers a powerful awareness of how power can be abused – and of how generation after generation seeks a more just and equal society, where the many do not suffer at the hands of the few.
Orwell’s Animal Farm brings the familiar characters and situations to the medium of a game, and to the context of 2020. Depending on how you play, you may encounter situations very close to those in the book, or others influenced by events Orwell never lived to see.
Play it to explore a classic tale from inside. Play it to try your hand at running the farm – or because you dream of spreading Animalism across the world. Play it because you’ve always wanted to oversee a construction project by a herd of cows. Play it because Boxer deserved better.
Key features of George Orwell’s Animal Farm video game are:
Pick Your Own Adventure
- Cultivate, subvert, or sacrifice the different animals who live on Manor Farm and see their different political strategies play out.
- Guide Manor Farm through seven years of Animalism. Can the player avoid its manipulation and the descent into decadence?
- Manage the affairs and feelings of Manor Farm’s animals as the fortunes of the farm evolve.
- Fill your handbook with information about each animal and log events.
Strategically manage the resources and defence of Manor Farm
- Rally against the two-legged enemy: human beings.
- Prepare for battle by building the Farm’s defences and increasing resources production, including building the Windmill.
- Idyllic springs, sweet summers, golden autumns and bitter winters must all be navigated in each passing year as Animalism marches on.
Multiple Endings and unlockable achievements
- Choose your political machinations: Surveillance, Reeducation or Bloodbaths.
- Reach up to 6 destinies and find 8 different endings.
- Complete all 48 achievements in the Farm’s handbook.
- Bring in new creatures to the Republic of Animals, and open up new possibilities for the direction of the Farm.