It’s not very challenging to guide a Sour Patch Kid from out of the wrapper into your stomach. People do it in movie theaters all the time. Much more difficult to maneuver, however, is the digitized version of the same experience in cartridge form.
World Gone Sour is a candy-originated video game, created by agency Mother NY. Players inhabit the world of a lost piece of candy on a journey through various food-themed obstacles, headed toward the promised land of a human stomach. If it sounds a little silly, then you are definitely reading it correctly, but the creatives at Mother NY are convinced that gamers will find Sour pretty sweet.
“We were tasked to turn the Sour Patch Kid into a pop culture icon,” says Jordan Chouteau, a creative at Mother NY. Considering that most pop culture junkies prefer their candy to be entertainment-adjacent, rather than the entertainment itself, this was no small feat. A straightforward game about the sugary treats simply would not work.
“We wanted to do something completely different with the Kids, which included exploring candy-sized characters for the first time,” says David Hohusen, an animator at Mother NY. “This then evolved into the final idea–if you lose a Sour Patch Kid it goes bat-shit crazy as it continues on its quest to be eaten. We all felt it was a natural departure that allowed us to create a deeper story.”
Since this was Mother NY’s first video game, the agency teamed up with production house, Beefy Media, and the developers at Playbrains. Working together, the three companies were able to make sure their collective vision around the game came to life: Uncharted playability with an Adult Swim attitude.
This attitude, embodied in the Method Man-penned theme song may not exactly be in sync with the candy company’s traditional image, but the team at Mother NY were given leeway to do what it took to reach for pop culture icon status. “‘First they’re sour. Then they’re sweet’ has always been the brand’s formula but luckily our clients were brave enough to stray, letting us introduce an entirely new idea,” says Chouteau. “The only thing we weren’t allowed to do was let the little guy talk, which was a challenge in and of itself.”