Laughter and Leaps in Store: Thank Goodness You’re Here Ushers in SLAPSTICK 2.0

In a world in which video games already lean into a blurry boundary between realism and fantasy, one title seems almost gleeful in its propensity to cartwheel over that boundary and challenge players to jump in and swim around. Thank Goodness You’re Here, out August 1 from Panic, the publisher behind the sillily satisfying Untitled Goose Game, is already shaping up to be one of the most talked-about titles of the year, and it’s definitely the most quirky.

Understanding the HIGHLIGHT of Slapstick Platforming

Imagine if your default state were to laugh: to be fall-on-the-floor, cry-with-laughter, slap-your-knees funny. That ethos runs through the heart of Thank Goodness You’re Here, a 2D Cel-Shaded Platformer, or as the game calls it, a ‘slapformer’ or slapstick platformer. You’re plonked down in a fictional Northern English town called Barnsworth, where the streets are cobbled and the sky is a sherbet colour in that unrealistic cartoon way that Cartoon Network dreams are made of. You have been assigned the task of skidding on your backside through a series of increasingly outlandish scenarios that are as much about your button-timing and finger blur as they are about your sense of humour.

British Charm Meets Cartoon Network Aesthetics

One of its most appealing characteristics is its gallows humour that is distinctively English, set in a recognisable but absurd location. Barnsworth is a playground for physical comedy, yes, but also an homage to British eccentricity, a work of nostalgia conveyed in bright, bold lines that conjure the cartoon-network aesthetics of the 1990s and early 2000s.

The Star-Studded Voice Cast

A second draw of ‘Thank Goodne... ...

Conclusion: Embracing the Joy of SLAPSTICK Gaming

‘Thank Goodness You’re Here’ will land this August 1 – a much-anticipated event, and a perfect example of the shifting quality of video gaming as a medium. It’s been part of the gaming calendar for years, promising not only a return of the farce but the joy of gaming together for the sake of playing. Now, Barnsworth is more than a game, it’s a place where treasure hunters and goblin-slayers and platform jumpers can come and fall and laugh together, another step our medium seems closer to rediscovering the simple joy of play.

What Makes "Highlight" Stand Out in Gaming?

The phrase ‘highlight of gaming’ is familiar and made-up, and refers to moments or features within a game that make this sound in their heart, make their fingers dance, and stick in their collective mind. What ‘Thank God You’re Here’ brings – is not just its novel slapstick gameplay, is not just its gambolling aesthetic, but rather, that its zany humour, its artistry, its play of interplay calls to mind the gladness and fellowship that undergirds gaming. This game is a highlight because it makes us laugh, make us jump and make us, well, more life.

Jun 08, 2024
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