World’s Worst Handyman is a neat little game that serves as the debut of developer Baby Lumberjack. It’s far from original, taking cues in the puzzles and even art from Untitled Goose Game to where it seems like a poor imitation.
From our impressions in our early access preview of it, however, the game has just enough charm to give it some space compared to already existing puzzle titles.
In World’s Worst Handyman, you assume the role of a man trying to save an animal shelter which has fallen into some hard times. Through dumb chance, he decides to become a handyman to raise the money to keep things running.
Of course for a comedy game, hilarity ensues as he’s far from competent at his job. It is nice that he’s a well-meaning man who just happens to cause chaos instead of being the chaotic force. Though it seems he’s far from the odd ball, as many of the clientele also have their weirdness turned up to 11.
Every stage seems to have the same formula, there’s a location that requires the expertise of a handyman and something there is not too happy said handyman is around. The something in this case ranges from gamer grannies to haunted scarecrows from the demo we tried out.
As expected out of an over-the-top puzzle game, the stages in World’s Worst Handyman all have their bits to make them stand out. For example, the second stage revolves around fixing a toilet as the “handy” part of the job. However there’s more to it as you’ll have to explore the entire house and backyard to collect chickens.
The reason for the latter is these chickens have to watch their favorite film in the home theater, which ends up turning into a mess anyway because our hero is just that bad at his job. Yet the client still gives a 5 star rating despite the mess we leave behind because we happened to find his long lost goldfish during all that chaos.
During these stages, you’ll have to contend with some person or other entity that’s roaming the map. They’ll chase you if they see you, resulting in some funny ragdoll if they happen to catch you. However, running away is pretty easy in my experience. There’s a sprint button, but you can keep distance surprisingly well in just the default running mode perfectly fine.
World’s Worst Handyman seems to be a pretty easy experience. The chases are way too easy to escape from and most puzzle sequences seem simple in the early stages of the game. Of course things could become a bit more complex and challenging towards the end, but there are only 8 advertised stages as of this writing.
I believe that World’s Worst Handyman will end up being a small, tight little experience from the short time I spent in the initial levels. It’s to be expected from a game taking inspiration from Untitled Goose Game, which itself wasn’t a long experience either.
However it’s a shame that they haven’t done enough to distance themselves from their obvious inspiration. There is promise in that some of the things chasing you are much more wacky with variety across them, but they’ll also have to provide unique difference in their chase and hunting down of the player to be truly interesting.
World’s Worst Handyman leans fairly heavily in its charm, which can come across as a bit too try-hard at times. That said, it’ll likely garner some attention with the right marketing.
Also as expected from a game about saving animals, you can pet the dog you find hidden in a stage, along with the many other animals you’ll run into.
World’s Worst Handyman is expected to launch sometime in 2023 for PC (via Steam).