What's under the blanket? A PC Gamer investigation


On January 5, a game called What's under your blanket!? appeared on Steam, and with it came a tantalizing mystery. Here's how the developers describe the game:

It is about a guy, who gets into an awkward situation in a not suitable moment, and tries to overcome it. We all faced such difficulties :)

What's under your blanket !?
Even we, the developers of this game, have different opinions.

I decided to investigate in an effort to determine what, precisely, was under my blanket. This is how the game works: you lie in bed and click on the blanket as fast as you can, trying to fill the meter before time runs out. As you click, a little mound under the blanket appears, roughly at crotch level of the game's young protagonist, and moves up and down. Periodically, you are interrupted by someone opening the door and peeking inside, or sometimes entering the room. If you're spotted engaging in the act of clicking, or if you're caught out of bed, the game ends (though sometimes you need to chase an intruder and click on them).

After playing a few rounds, I came up with a handful of possibilities as to what might be under your blanket, and why you are vigorously and secretly manipulating it with your hand.

It's a hamster or mouse that you are fondly petting

Evidence: The mound under the blanket is fairly small (probably between 5-7 inches long) and so could certainly be a mouse or hamster. A curious cat sometimes wanders into the room that you need to chase and catch (by clicking on it) before you can continue. If the protagonist has been told by family members that he cannot have a pet mouse, and the other residents of the house are suspicious of an illicit pet, it would explain why they are continuously checking on the protagonist. One level takes place in a hospital room, which could indicate the mouse has bitten the protagonist and he is being treated for some sort of rodent-borne disease.


It's a small barbell that you are lifting

Evidence: A skinny youngster, perhaps one who has been teased or bullied, may desire to lift weights in secret, fantasizing about transforming into a musclebound hero. Though I didn't reach it, there is a level set in a gym, which would further suggest an interest in body-building and fitness. And, it would also explain why there are intermittent arm-wrestling competitions between levels that take place in bed, which the hamster theory does not address.

It's a small trophy that you are polishing

Evidence: The trophy would explain the arm-wrestling sequences—perhaps the protagonist is a champion—and the need to hide it under a blanket while he polishes it as perhaps his family doesn't approve of such a dangerous and physical sport. I'm not sure why he'd need to hide the trophy from a cat, however, or polish it while sitting at a computer (unless he's watching a trophy-polishing tutorial) or while in the hospital.


It's a beverage that you are shaking

Evidence: You do have to sometimes shake pre-packaged drinks before consuming them, and if the beverage is a fitness supplement it fits in with the arm-wrestling levels, and the gym. Hiding the drinks fits in with the disapproval of the family for the arm-wrestling career, and the hospital visit could be for side-effects of drinking a beverage that has not been approved by the FDA. The cat's interference could be the result of the beverage containing dairy.

It's a metaphor for the troubling state of the housing market

Evidence: The protagonist clearly lives in a crowded home with several family members and pets, and thus wishes to move out on his own. He is secretly and hurriedly filling out loan application papers under the blanket while searching fruitlessly for affordable houses online (hence sitting at the computer). The cat must be shooed because cats love to sit on paperwork which gets it all crinkly, and family members must be avoided because they rely on his extra income earned from his arm-wrestling career and don't want him to move out.

As for the hospital stay, it symbolizes the difficulty in trying to qualify for a good 30-year fixed rate loan. That kind of stress would make anyone sick.


What say you, readers? It feels like I've covered all the possible under the blanket bases here, but perhaps there's something I failed to grasp. I wouldn't want to feel like a jerk.


The first PC game Chris owned was Choplifter in 1982, and since then our staff writer has played at least three other games. He has a love/hate relationship with Early Access survival games and an odd fascination with the lives of NPCs.
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