Fantastic Fetus is a Tamagotchi-style pregnancy simulator and a protest • Eurogamer.net
There’s a game called Fantastic Fetus on itch.io right now and it’s a Tamagotchi-style pregnancy simulator.In it, you look after a woman through nine months of pregnancy, making sure she’s fed, medicated, happy and keeps her home clean. But don’t overfeed her! If she gets heavier than 99kg, she’ll die. But she’ll also die if she gets too fearful or if she gets very ill. It’s a challenge, frankly, keeping her alive.But every day you do, you’ll be rewarded with a dream – a dream in which you can design your own fantastic foetus. Your own fantastic foetus with superpowers. Will the baby have a unicorn horn? Will it have tentacles for arms? Will it have bat wings or angel wings? There’s quite the assortment on offer.Night by night you assemble your super-baby until the big day comes and out the baby pops. A day for celebrating! Or is it?You see, the thing about Fantastic Fetus – the thing which elevates and justifies it – is it’s a protest game, designed to open eyes to oppressive anti-abortion laws in Poland, which give women almost no say in the matter.
Specifically, the Black Protests of 2016 sparked the game’s creation – the Black Protests being what rose in opposition to a movement to outlaw abortion altogether. Thankfully, the course was averted, but another almost as backwards “stop abortion” bill is now apparently in the offing. A grim state of affairs.Fantastic Fetus shows the situation from a Polish woman’s point of view – and, indeed, is designed by a Polish woman. It’s striking how, as a kind of Tamagotchi pet, the pregnant woman has no control – not of her day to day life, nor of her baby, which you design. Give it a go. It’s only short – around 10-20 minutes – and it’s a powerful example of how a game can get under the skin in a way other media can’t. It’s also fantastic to see a game being used for this kind of purpose, so thank you Aleksandra Jarosz and team. We hear you.