Global Game Jam 2020: Free Hugs INC.

“Free Hugs INC.” by André Cássio Barros de Souza, Arlam Júnior, Betu Souza, Hugo Vaz, Miron de Lelis Gonçalves & Thiago Reinhardt Marten.

“People are getting more upset and you must share free hugs around to make them happy once more. Be careful that not everyone wants to be hugged, but the positive energy of a nearby hug can make them more open to receive it.”

This joyful, quirky game puts you into the situation of a caring creature, that wants everyone around it happy by offering free hugs. As the ‘owner’ of the “Free Hugs INC.”, you have to supply as many of these precious goods as you can. Nonetheless you have to be careful, as not everyone wants one immediately. First you must create a social space for them to grow into loving one of your hugs, and you can do that by giving your love to those that actually want it first.

The happiness does not last forever, though: Whenever a person with a bad mood rages around, other people walking next to it get affected by their sadness. Emotions spread virally in this cute game, positive as well as negative ones. So be patient and think strategically about the question where your chances of cheering up persons are the highest.

I love that “Free Hugs INC.” includes the concept of consent. While hugging is a truly wonderful thing, not everyone is up to letting strangers laying their arms around one. If you decide to do it anyway, you will get punished, as one of your three hearts will deplete. You simply cannot force yourself to other people, just like in real life; that is one lesson that this great jam submission teaches. But the other one is also equally important: Little acts of kindness can have huge effects. [PLAY]