What is Infestation 88? Mickey Mouse horror game explained

Emily Stander
Mickey Mouse in Infestation 88

Infestation 88’s reveal trailer dropped just hours after the earliest Mickey Mouse design became public domain. Here is everything we know about it. 

Infestation 88 is a new co-op horror game produced by Nightmare Forge, a developer who specializes in immersive horror experiences. The game is meant to infuse nostalgia and terror, sending players on a journey where their favorite characters are out to get them.  

Here is everything we know about Infestation 88.

What is Infestation 88?

Infestation 88 is a new survival horror co-op game that uses the now-public-domain Steamboat Willie Mickey Mouse design in a much more terrifying setting. 

The game is set in the year 1988, and players are going to have to deal with an outbreak of rodents in various locations, according to devs Nightmare Forge. The rodents, of course, have morphed into something horrifying. 

Players will be able to fight and run, depending on what the situation they find themselves in calls for. Make sure you can find a place to hide, as the game lets you climb into cabinets and other places to get away. You can also set traps and make use of CCTV cameras to try and stay ahead of the infection.

You will have access to a variety of extermination equipment to eradicate nests and monsters lurking about. The game takes place in episodes, and each one will have a main “distinct classic character or urban legend responsible for the outbreak,” according to the Steam page. 

When does Infestation 88 release?

Infestation 88 is listed on Steam for a 2024 early access release, and Nightmare Forge said they plan to have it remain that way for 6-12 months. 

The aim is to allow players access to the game so they can be part of the development process. Nightmare Forge has expressed that they want feedback from players so they can get the game in the best state possible for full release. 

An infestation nest in Infestation 88
Infestation 88 tasks players with removing the outbreak using extermination gear.

Currently, the game has a fully playable loop with four players being able to take the role of exterminators, with most features advertised in the trailer available to players. 

If you would like to wait for the full game to release, though, you can wishlist it on Steam now. We will be sure to keep you updated with any new developments.

Infestation 88 developers

Nightmare Forge is a fairly new developer made up of game industry veterans. They focus mostly on creating horror games, with Infestation 88 being their first.

The dev team describes their mission to “craft immersive, spine-chilling experiences that push the limits of your nightmares.” The team is comprised of developers who have focused on creating horror games since 2010, and Infestation 88 is the debut they are working on together.

They are focusing on player feedback for now in an effort to make sure the game is enjoyable for all fans when it is released fully. While there is no set date, development is in full progress and players will have the chance to play soon.

How Infestation 88 used the public domain

Nightmare Forge wasted no time in including the oldest form of Mickey Mouse in Infestation 88, announcing the new game mere hours after the copyright lifted. 

Steamboat Willie is a 1928 short film that includes a silent Mickey and Minnie Mouse. The short film made cinema history, forever launching Disney into one of the most prolific production companies in the world. 

The images from this short film are now available to the public, which means anyone can use them for any purpose without permission or cost involved. 

The announcement for the copyright lift was made in 2023, and Nightmare Forge were clearly taking advantage of the fact that they could make a horror-inspired game using the images. The trailer for Infestation 88 dropped on the same day the copyright was lifted, after all. 

Infestation 88 trailer

Infestation 88’s official reveal trailer dropped on January 1, 2024:

For more on new games we’re waiting to release, read about the biggest AAA games coming out in 2024 and the best games to play on Xbox Game Pass.

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About The Author

Emily is a Games Writer at CharlieIntel. Most of the time, you can find her playing RPGs and platformers - but she enjoys engaging in the rage of Overwatch 2 or Apex Legends from time to time. Emily has a Masters in Media Studies and has been working as a journalist for over 5 years, both freelance and full-time. You can contact her at [email protected]