Knowing that wombats’ dump is a little stackable cubes was one of the fun facts I learned at school (it was either a rhetorical proof for or against the existence of God; I forgot which). This knowledge comes in handy for understanding the game Hardhat Wombat, coming from George Fan (of Plants Vs. Zombies fame), with Andy Hull (of programmer on Spelunky fame). Out later this year, it’s a combination puzzle-platformer and construction game in which you play a wombat, wearing a hard hat, who constructs increasingly complex things out of his own feces. That’s no way to make a skyscraper, wombat.
It appears that the aim is to poo in a way that conforms to a given template in each level, although it’s not all toilet based. In later levels you can eat things to produce blocks with different qualities, eg eat bubblegum and you’ll spit out a pink bubble that you can float on, and there are vines made of broccoli. Which is one way to persuade kids that eating vegetables is cool, I suppose. I do have some concerns about the part of the video that appears to show the wombat shitting out entire drinks cans, though. The Steam store promises “92 levels”, including “brain-bending Dynamite levels and action-packed Beetle Hunt levels”, and indeed in the trailer you can see beetles that seem to be hazards, because you can crush them with poo blocks.
There are, obviously, so many jokes one could make about this game, so I leave you to do your own string of increasingly tenuous puns in the comments. But that aside, I think this game looks super cute, and looks like it has the potential of a puzzle of something sort of adjacent to a World Of Goo, but with sokoban-ish elements, and logic like Stuffo The Puzzle Bot. Plus both Fan and Hull have pedigrees working on good games with smart design. So I’m on board. It helps that the animation of the wombat pooing is quite cute.
Hardhat Wombat is still of no fixed release later this year, but you can wishlist on Steam now.