Happy’s Humble Burger Farm is a mix of survival horror and fast food simulator complete with FNAF vibes and wrapped in a PS1-style package.
The latest horror title to hit Steam, Happy’s Humble Burger Farm, brings players into a PS1-style fast food simulator with a terrifying twist perfect for Five Nights at Freddy’s fans, especially with Security Breach‘s release date right around the corner. While October and its Halloween celebrations are already in the past, this eerie simulator released at the beginning of December still seeks to bring a frightful vibe to its players. Fans may recognize the game’s publisher, tinyBuild, from other popular indie titles such as Hello Neighbor and Graveyard Keeper.
There has been a recent surge in the horror gaming community involving the usage of retro PS1-era graphics, trading the disturbing detail of games like Dead Space for a more minimal approach that is arguably just as unsettling in the right hands. Notable examples of frightening games with less than advanced graphics include the escape room horror card game Inscryption and the annual Haunted PS1 Demo Disk series, which forego the realistic look of modern video games and utilize the lower levels of detail to craft a unique horror atmosphere that only this medium can portray.
Combining the popular horror subjects of PSX graphics and creepy animatronics, Happy’s Humble Burger Farm tasks players with managing and maintaining a fast food restaurant overnight. As seen in the trailer on the tinyBuildGAMES YouTube channel, the game starts off relatively normal. The player takes orders, cooks food, and keeps customers happy, like in a normal restaurant. As the game progresses, however, the atmosphere takes a darker shift, and players will have to deal with the restaurant’s “quality control” in the form of Happy the Cow and the rest of the restaurant’s cartoon cast, hunting the player if they fail to keep customers satisfied.
There is a lot more to the game than what’s advertised, with a dark mystery unraveling night after night as the story progresses, and unsettling monsters lurking in the shadows of the mysterious fast food restaurant. The blend of restaurant simulation and survival horror is a unique approach, but so far it seems that the idea was pulled off with success, as early critics have praised the game’s atmosphere and intensity.
The horror genre has been a cornerstone of gaming since the release of famed titles such as Silent Hill, providing an interactive experience that other mediums simply can’t capture in the same way. Putting a player’s actions at the forefront of the horror experience allows for a wide variety of subgenres and subverting of expectations that make unique titles such as this stand out even among the AAA giants like Capcom’s massive seller Resident Evil Village. With no signs of slowing down, even as the jolly holidays roll around, horror fans will have plenty of unusual content to last a lifetime if these trends continue. Happy’s Humble Burger Farm is a clear example that even with familiar subject matter like a creepy restaurant, developers can elevate their experiences beyond shallow clones of games like Five Nights At Freddy’s.
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