Winnie the Pooh is the star of an upcoming body horror title that's seriously pushing the boundaries on what can be done when a beloved character goes public domain. No release date has been given yet.
The debut title from indie game studio Twice Different, Winnie's Hole places you in control of a raging and rapidly mutating virus that's developing inside of the beloved children's book character. The changes you make are there to: "refine his primitive form" according to the upcoming game's Steam listing.
The trailer shows off some in-game footage where it appears to be a kind of internal Tetris of all things. As you correctly line up block patterns inside the blood and organs of the honey-craving bear successfully, new mutations can happen as the split view showcases how your changes have an impact. This could mean extra limbs, more mouths, another set of eyes, and other Cronenberg-esque delights to power up Pooh as the virus spreads.
Things don't appear to be purely cosmetic either. A screenshot reveals the skill tree in how you can choose different strains for more damage, and presumably to become stronger, faster, and more deadly in your pursuit of infecting the unlucky wildlife inhabitants of the Hundred Acre Wood. One moment shows Pooh vomiting onto Piglet, so that's really something.
Winnie the Pooh went public domain back in 2022 as US copyright law states that works are available to use either 70 years after the original author's death or 95 years after publication. Seeing that the original book was written all the way back in 1926, it's the second option here.
Surprisingly, Winnie's Hole isn't the first to take advantage of the character's free-use status, as the Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey movie claims that 'honor'. It was far from a success, sporting a measly 3% on Rotten Tomatoes and 3/10 on IMDb. Here's hoping that gaming is the medium that gets a horror spin on him correctly and gives us all nightmares in a more pleasing fashion.
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Aleksha McLoughlin is the Hardware Editor for TechRadar Gaming and oversees all hardware coverage for the site. She looks after buying guides, writes hardware reviews, news, and features as well as manages the hardware team. Before joining TRG she was the Hardware Editor for sister publication GamesRadar+ and she has also been PC Guide's Hardware Specialist. She has also contributed hardware content to the likes of Trusted Reviews, The Metro, Expert Reviews, and Android Central. When she isn't working, you'll often find her in mosh pits at metal gigs and festivals or listening to whatever new black and death metal has debuted that week.