Be a good citizen and obey all the commands of Friend Computer in the tabletop game turned video game, Paranoia: Happiness is Mandatory.
Paranoia takes place in a dystopian society where you as citizens must adhere to the demands and requests of an artificial intelligence known as The Computer. Those who don’t are considered a threat to the machine and will be destroyed.
But don’t worry, every citizen (or Troubleshooter) of the city Alpha Complex is a clone and each death means a fresh start in society.
Happiness is Mandatory is based off the RPG Paranoia released in 1984. It plays similarly to a game of Dungeons and Dragons except the dungeon master controls the actions of The Computer and every enemy or NPC players meet.
Designed and written by Greg Costikyan, Dan Gilbert and Eric Goldberg, the tabletop game recently launched a new edition through Kickstarter in 2017.
Players are tasked with hunting down traitors who seek to destroy Friend Computer and Alpha Complex. The gameplay is meant to be hilarious with each other character having their own agenda and secret mission. If The Computer discovers anyone acting against it, they will be punished. Players can try to persuade the machine, but risk the chance of making things worse. One feature of the RPG is knowing and understanding the rules is seen as an act of treason. To avoid this, players may have to pretend not to know anything in order to please The Computer.
Happiness is Mandatory will see you in charge of four Troubleshooters working for The Computer. It’s a game where dying is actually a goal and rewards players for doing so.
While you control the Troubleshooters, everything you do will be monitored. It will be interesting to see if the developers will translate the concept of knowing the rules to the video game. For instance, if you press the correct button during combat, will Friend Computer see that as a treasonous act?
It’s being published by Bigben Interactive and developed by Black Shamrock and Cyanide Studio. Paranoia: Happiness is Mandatory is releasing for Xbox One, PS4, and PC in 2019.
Scott’s been gaming since he could hold a controller in his hands. He’s a journalist who loves Dungeons and Dragons, video games, tabletop RPGs, and comic books. He has an intelligence of 6, he knows what he’s doing.