Simon Boxer and his studio Twice Different, best known for the excellent roguelite dungeon crawler Ring of Pain, have announced their sophomore game. It’s called Winnie’s Hole, and it’s themed around the premise of a horrific, ever-mutating Winnie The Pooh. Yes, that Winnie the Pooh.
The game itself is described as an ‘accessible turn-based roguelite with auto-battling elements.’ Player will embody a virus within Winnie the Pooh’s body, and focus on exploring Pooh’s innards, capturing cells, and informing just what kind of monstrosity Pooh will transform into.
The action will be visible from two perspectives simultaneously. One portion will show you what’s happening with the virus inside Pooh’s body, as you navigate a procedurally generated body by placing Tetrominos, which carve away paths and collect resources.
The other perspective will depict what’s happening in the outside world as Pooh changes and interacts with his friends, and by ‘interact’ we probably mean ‘devour’ Twice Different says the design goals of the game were focused on exploration and discovery.
Okay, but what exactly is the ‘Hole’ in Winnie’s Hole?
The provocative title is likely designed to be deliberately ambiguous and a bit gross, but Simon Boxer tells GamesHub that it has some well thought-out logic behind it. ‘The hole is multi-meaning,’ he tells us. ‘The main reference is to a “Feeding Hole” which is the first mutation to appear on Winnie, a mouth in his belly which consumes organic matter.’
‘Also, currently the title screen has his home being the hole of a cave, and zooms in on that.’
That won’t stop people from thinking about somehow even more unsavoury meanings, of course. But rest assured that Winnie’s Hole is likely a clean, wholesome game about a hideous Winnie the Pooh.
Given some of the monstrosities seen in Ring of Pain, Winnie’s Hole seems like a natural next step for the developer, as bizarre as that sounds. The trailer also features rhyming narration, another carry-over trait from Ring of Pain, which suits the messed-up children’s book theming.
For those unaware, though Winnie the Pooh is well-known from the original A.A. Milne books and the Disney animated properties, the US copyright that protected the character expired in 2021, allowing Pooh to enter the public domain. Disney seemingly still has the rights to the bear in the UK, however.
Winnie’s Hole will release in Early Access sometime in 2023. It will also feature playable characters other than Pooh. You can wishlist it on Steam now.