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Toilet game offers a pithy treat

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Piss.

It's something we all spend a great deal of time contemplating. Where does it come from? Where does it go? Does it taste good? Why does it smell like dead rabbits?

Now there's a video game to help you spend some more time with your favorite bodily function. Urine it to Win it! is currently at concept stage and is aiming for Greenlight on Steam. The reception thus far has been golden. One commentator noted that, "it's time for this." Another made the cogent observation that "it's not a shit game, it's a piss game."

Urine it to Win it! is the creation of Republic, which previously made ICBM. In that game, players sat at a nuclear launch console and waited for an order to respond to any inter-continental ballistic threats. Even though nothing ever actually happens, it was a fun and provoking celebration of old MicroProse games, the Cold War and video game user interface design.

Urine it to Win it! once again pokes gentle fun at game design, taking a Cookie Clicker approach to incremental games, in which players follow repetitive chores in order to gain virtual goodies, so they can continue following repetitive chores in a more pleasing and personalized environment.

The chore in hand, so to speak, is peeing into a toilet. There's no skill or aiming involved. The player simply clicks and nature does the rest. Various upgrades become available to be spent on more efficient streams of pee, or on ever-swankier repositories.

Urine

According to the game's Early Access page, Urine it to Win it! will cost $1 if and when it launches, with no in-app purchases or advertising. "We just want to see if people think something like this is worth one U.S. dollar," states the game's developers. "We're of course prepared for the answer to be 'No'."

"For all the thousands or millions of people who have played Cookie Clicker, the majority of the billions of people on Earth have not," says co-designer Michael Davis, when asked if the world really needs another such game. "Hopefully this can get in front of some of those people and be their introduction to the maddening rabbit hole that is incremental games.

"I haven't seen a lot of incremental games with really polished user interfaces. They're often very experimental with programmer art or very cash-grabby, where it's clear the entire thing exists solely for tricking the most addictive of us into paying insane stacks of money on in-app-purchase trash.

"I wanted to make one where a lot of old-school effort had been put into polishing the UI and the mechanism supporting the sole interaction that the entire experience centers around."

urine

Davies claims he has no great interest in toilet humor. "As weird as it sounds, we're aiming for a sterility to the body humor element of it that would still keep it E for Everyone, if that even makes sense. Certainly it's not a game where you see poop go into a toilet. That's an entirely different head-space. I've had buddies suggest we should 'make it like where you're trying to piss with a boner' but that's pretty much the opposite direction of we're trying to go.

"To me, earning points from peeing into a toilet is just a funny phrase, I don't know how to quantify why exactly. Trying to aim pee at a moving target moves away from that funniness, for some reason. I don't really know how to chart it."

His own first idea for the game's name was rejected by his wife, who is co-designing the game. "As far as the name goes, I was going to call it 'Inure'," he says. "It's an anagram of 'Urine' that means to acclimate someone to something unpleasant over time, which I thought had a fun irony to it. But my wife said that the game should be called Urine It to Win It! and since that day literally 100 percent of people have preferred her idea to mine."

Davies is prepared for criticism that the game appears to be male-centric in its design. "Hopefully, if players can mentally sidestep around the fact that it is indeed projectile urine, every other part of the experience is as unisex as possible. It was certainly 50 percent designed by a woman."