It was a tiny Kickstarter project that the creator, Joe Williams, described as a casual competitive 1v1 game. It’s a simple game about one player trying to stop the other from killing themselves.
The player trying to kill themselves is an infant child. The other player is their father. It’s called Who’s Your Daddy, and I can’t decide if this is horrific, genius, or something in between.
The basic idea, first spotted by Geek Bomb, is pretty simple. The baby crawls around, innocent creature that it is, and tries to find any object or implement with which it can happily terminate its life. The father, being a responsible parent, needs to prevent their suicidal offspring from acting out on their instincts.
It really sounds downright awful typed like that. And everything else above doesn’t make it sound much better, either.
Now watch the trailer — and you’ll discover something else entirely.
When that music kicks in, and you watch the scene of the father opening the oven door and the baby constantly trying to shut the oven door … well, it’s all a bit silly. Comical, even. Terrifying: not quite.
And then I look at screenshots like the one above from their Greenlight page, one where the baby won. By sticking a fork into a power outlet.
But then I rewatched the trailer and looked at the animations. They’re kind of half-baked in a way that takes the seriousness out of it all. And there’s a deliberateness to the way the father is moving around the house: why doesn’t he just follow the baby? Surely you can’t lose if you never take your eyes off the baby, right?
This is a game that successfully made it through Kickstarter a couple of months ago, although the goal was only a measly US$1500. Back then, developer Joe Williams pitched the game as a “very low risk project” that had a “unique experience others are interested in playing”.
I certainly can’t think of too many instances where the objective is to kill yourself, but anyway.
Williams was hoping to have the game out this month, but that release date has since been bumped to early next year. The game already has power ups “for being able to do chores”, unique character types, compositions “to be played on your baby’s piano” and builds for PC and Mac.
The idea is to add a single-player mode, pets, hats (because of course), achievements for being a great Dad, controller support and split-screen support, of which the last two you would think would be an immense priority.
I still can’t see how a game like this gets around the problem of someone playing it that just wants to win. It feels like it’d be best in an online hide-or-seek mode where players deliberately put limitations on themselves — a bit like what people used to do on absurdly large Counter-Strike maps.
But that’s not getting past the main premise: someone is playing a small child trying to kill themselves.
I can’t decide if that’s insane or insanely brilliant.