Behold, the strangest video game of 2024

 A still from the video game Thank Goodness You're Here!
A still from the video game Thank Goodness You're Here!

I'm sure I'm not the only one who found some of the news at Gamescom this week a bit, well... boring. While games continue to make great technical advances, a lack of personality makes them merge into a generic blur. But one game stood out as a potential antidote.

Already looking like the oddest video game of 2024, Thank Goodness You're Here! features a quirky provincial setting, hand-drawn animation, real voices and non-stop double entendres. And it looks amazing (see our pick of the best Nintendo Switch games for our current favourites).

Thank Goodness You're Here! is described as an "absurd comedy slapformer set in the bizarre Northern English town of Barnsworth". If that doesn't sound like an exciting premise, it gets even better. Your character is a travelling salesman who has to take in the sites and perform a series of odd jobs for the locals. As you complete the tasks, more parts of the town are opened up, and the odd jobs get progressively odder.

It might not sound like edge-of-the-sofa stuff. But coupled with an absurdist sense of humour and beautiful visuals, the game looks like a true breath of fresh air. Several people have suggested that it boasts the best art direction of anything revealed at Gamescom, and indeed the entire design looks stunning, presenting a detailed open world through a mix of side-scrolling action vignettes and top-down exploration. The Yorkshire accents and nostalgic soundtrack are the icing on the cake.

A still from the video game Thank Goodness You're Here!

The game is the work of Yorkshire game studio Coal Supper, which has form with the odd The Good Time Garden game. The publisher is Panic, of Untitled Goose Game fame. It's due to be released for PC, Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 5 early next year. You can wishlist it at Steam.

For more on game design, see our guide to levelling up characters in Unreal Engine 5 and our pick of the best video game logos.