Job Simulator is just one of those wacky games that grabs your eye when you see it. An absurd concept made in a very colorful and outlandish way. It is a great hook with the added bonus of being at the forefront of VR, an interesting prospect. So how is it?
Developer: Owlchemy Labs
Publisher: Owlchemy Labs
Platform: HTC VIVE, oculus touch, Playstation VR(Reviewed)
Release Date: April 5, 2016 (HTC VIVE/oculus touch) , October 13, 2016 (PSVR)
This is a review coupled with a supplemental video review. You can watch the video review above, or read the full review of the game below.
The visual style is extremely simple and cartoon like. Filled with pastel colors, the world of job simulator is very vibrant. Almost everything you see is or can be used as a visual gag.
Everything visually screams “Pick me up!” and while all of it is simply illustrated it does not mean everything is simply designed as Owlchemy Labs took time to think about how people would pick up and play with the items in the virtual world that made.
With that said, there is quite a bit of clipping in the graphics, depending how you interact with items in the world, and they could have taken steps from preventing it from happening if they spent a little more time polishing and taking play action into account. While that might seem like a minor grip, when you are playing VR games, it really removes you from the experience.
When we look at gameplay, I have to add a caveat that despite my upcoming criticism, it is extremely fun to poke around the world of Job Simulator. Now with that said let’s break down how VR works in this game.
First, you will need the whole VR package if you are going to play this game. A full HTC Vive set up or Playstation VR with two Move controllers as well as the Playstation Camera, so the barrier of entry for this VR experience is quite expensive.
You will be using your two controllers to act as your hands to push or pick up objects, squeezing the controller trigger to “grab” objects. This movement feel good, as long as you have the space to move around while playing. I can not stress enough, you need allot of space to play this game.
My tiny apartment barely accommodated the space I needed to play the game, and I am rather minimalist with furnishings as I am a tech junkie. I had about a three to four foot radius around my center but still bumped into the desk, wall, and green screen that was behind me. So if you don’t have the space, you will be hurting.
Another notable obstacle is that even when you are in a spacious optimal setting, your controls can bug out suddenly if you are moving around spastically. Once again, this is something that just really depends on the person, but if you are moving and shaking about, be ready for the controllers to freak out.
Now that that is out of the way let’s actually talk about how fun the game can actually be. This is game that is fun to play and poke around solo, but is just magnified with friends or family around. The humor of the world and the absurdity of a “Job Simulator” for bored humans of the future is highly entertaining.
The four main jobs of Auto Mechanic, Gourmet Chef, Store Clerk, and Office Worker reflect a level of parody through action that had me grinning throughout the experience.
There is also something extremely cathartic about taking the place of someone doing a retail or service job, purposely performing the job as poorly as possible, and knowing there is no reproduction, only reward. I am guessing this feeling is the joy of working in a union.
While all the jobs available can be highly entertaining, even offering up a sort of free roaming do whatever you want mode, the game can be completed and somewhat fulling explored in only a couple of hours. And it has to be said, that was with artificially extending my time in game by testing just how far I could take a situation.
Sound design is definitely one of the stronger aspects of the game. It really has to be, as VR heavily relies on this to make the experience immersive. Its subtle in the best ways possible, and even though it’s a cartoony world, they never go full “Blam Co.” when delivering sound.
Voice acting is also especially well-done and fun. The robots guiding you through the experience tend to be highly amusing when delivering their lines, which with keep you grinning throughout.
Now, the game does not have a story per se; you take the role of a human in the future, where jobs are a thing of the past, but there is still some great dialogue and concepts here to explore.
Banter from the robots and dialogue are highly comedic and well written. The game heavily relies on this to make the experience fun and entertaining. Owlchemy Labs walked a really fine line of funny and cringe, luckily landing on the side of funny.
Job Simulator is a fun game that utilizes VR well if you have the space for it. The sometimes issues with controls can break the experience, but won’t overtly ruin it. The interactions are fun and light, being accessible and enjoyable to the whole family, but the experience is rather short.
There is some replayability if played in groups, which makes the experience a lot better. Even with its shortcomings, and suffering from the issues that new tech normally faces, Job Simulator is cute and charming. If you are looking for something for the whole family to enjoy on Playstation VR or HTC Vive, this is most likely your best option.
Job Simulator was reviewed on Playstation VR using a digital copy provided by Owlchemy Labs. You can find additional information about Niche Gamer’s review/ethics policy here.
The Verdict: 7.5
- Cute and Charming game.
- Witty dialog and clever comedy.
- Accessible for the whole family .
- Can have buggy controls.
- Extremely short experience.
- You will need lots of space to play.