The Job

by Fredrik Ramsberg profile

Slice of life
2021

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Don't clockwatch on this job!, September 27, 2021
by Andrew Schultz (Chicago)
Related reviews: PunyJam 2021

(NOTE: this is a review of the comp version of the game.)

The author redacted themselves from the competition they created, but The Job wound up making a decent account of itself, as I saw it. You are tasked with bringing back a necklace. It's hidden in a relatively cramped pub. But there's something special about the pub and how you escape it, which makes sense in retrospect--I missed a few good tries that would've clued it, because I recognized the riff on the classic puzzle this game had, and I started bulldozing the solution.

The author has made a few post-comp tweaks, but I'd also suggest (as of release 3) that they give some hint it's a timed puzzle and some idea of how long it might take until that timer expires. That, and a verb to shuffle similar sorts of items ("replace x with y") instead of "get x. (possibly) drop x (due to inventory limits). put y on z." There's a bit too much juggling, though fortunately, the solution isn't randomized. The inventory limits are again slightly confounding--perhaps the game could say "you can't carry too much more" or "your load is way too heavy" or even "you'd have to drop (weight X) to carry that."

These are a lot of quibbles but they were of the "interesting to reflect on" variety. I think they'd help the game get close to how fun the author wants the experience to be. As even with back and forth trips, the game gives enough time, you shouldn't have to save paranoically.

The following observations are big-picture to avoid spoilers. You'll find why the game is timed if you take too long. My first time through, I almost avoided this, so from this one data point, the game seems well-balanced.

It's straightforward but not bare-bones. In the first version, I felt the end puzzle was stronger and more natural and more rewarding than the lead-up.

The Job isn't a deliberate brain-breaker and doesn't need to be. It's a nice enough challenge where nothing's unclear. You may need a knowledge of standard Inform verbs to remove one blocking piece of scenery expeditiously, but I think it's not an obscure action.