Developer: Owlchemy Labs
Release Date: Out Now
Nausea: Limited/Dependent on VR Experience
Controllers: Two Move Controllers Required
Have you ever wanted a change of career but weren’t quite sure what you’d be good at? Look no further than Job Simulator!
When trying to explain this game to friends I was often met with replies of, “That doesn’t sound fun.” And to be fair to them I understand what they mean. When telling someone that there’s a game out there in which you do twenty minute shifts in various mundane jobs, you do have to question your sanity. But Job Simulator is fun, if not a tad short on content.
The game is set in 2050; humanity has created a subservient robot race to undertake all jobs and so humans enter simulations to see what working life used to be like. A robot guide leads you through each simulation and, as the robots never existed back when humans did these jobs, some details are amusingly wrong.
There are four jobs to choose from: gourmet chef, mechanic, office worker and shopkeeper. The latter was the first job I tried out and, having worked in retail myself I have to say that whoever wrote and designed that level was bang on the money. They have to have worked in retail themselves. All of your typical customers were there: the mother with the unruly child, the bastard on his phone and the old lady who insists on paying by cheque. There were moments where I actually felt like I was back at my old job. Your job as shopkeeper is to scan items, bag them and take the money, with hilarious variations.
The gourmet chef was another highlight, especially in the free-cooking sections where you were allowed to create meals with any ingredients you wished. I may have concocted an interesting soup containing dry white bread, hot sauce, a CD and a cactus. I was told it was delicious. Another customer wanted a sandwich and I was free to use any fillings I wanted. Who doesn’t love a raw sausage and bacon sandwich with a block of cheese and olive as garnish? Other meals ask you use different cooking equipment, such as a microwave, toaster and kettle.
Although the four jobs are quite different from each other they all progress in the same manner. You grab a ticket as the shopkeeper, pull the chain as the mechanic and check the order as the chef. Doing so will move the level forward and a new customer will come along demanding something from you. It’s a easy way to save progression through the level if you want to quit and come back, or want to replay a certain customer again without playing the whole level.
This was one of the first games I played in VR, but have replayed it since and am still blown away by the immersion. You really feel like you’re behind the counter in the shop or seated at the desk as the office worker. Looking at screenshots or videos you wouldn’t think, given the cartoony look of the game, that you could feel that immersed, but you really do.
The game does require two move controllers and there are some tracking issues when you try and grab objects that are off to the sides. It can be annoying but I’ve never failed to pick up the objects, eventually. When the tracking does work, it’s amazing. The controllers feel like an extension of your real hands. There’s no learning curve, you instinctively know what to do.
Before even thinking about purchasing Job Simulator you must make sure the room you intend to play in is big enough. For the tracking to work properly you need to be seven feet away from the Playstation Camera and in order to grab in-game items you need to make sure you have enough room to each side, close to the floor and above head height. I found this out the hard way when I first played the office worker only to find the coffee machine it wanted me to drink from was actually half-way through my real-life bedroom wall. I could’t reach it. If I hadn’t been able to move my furniture around several of the levels would have been unplayable. The game is best played standing, unlike most other PSVR games.
The game is fun and has ample amounts of humour that ensures a few chuckles through your first playthrough, but there isn’t much replay value here. Once you’ve played through each level a couple of times and collected all the trophies, there’s very little reason to go back. Considering each level takes about twenty minutes to play and there are only four levels, you can play through the games entire content in just under an hour and a half. For over £20 that doesn’t seem like a lot for your money. It would’ve been ideal to make the levels more randomised, with different combinations of customers coming in every time you played, but I understand this would’ve added a lot to the development time.
Although I had a lot of fun with the game, if you don’t have a lot of spare cash and want your money to go a little further it may be best to buy another title until there’s a sale on. It’s a real shame I can’t recommend everyone buys it regardless of the price, as a lot of love has been poured into the game. I just wish there was more of it.
Verdict: 7/10 – It’s a really fun game that’s lacking on content. Definitely check it out at some point though.