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About the Story
Exactly 14 hours before the sprint review, Manny from the California office has finally fixed the bug you've been bothering him about for weeks. He kicked a new build, which will take about an hour and a half thanks to his awful spaghetti code. You need to verify the bugfix before you go home.
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Number of Reviews: 3
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Quit Your Job Simulator 2014 (originally titled "Harvest") is a small game. Its limited scope is likely due more to its origins than anything else; it was written over a weekend for the Naked Twine Jam.
The nice thing about a small game is it gives you a chance to really exhaust all avenues available to you. It won't take you long to do so with this game, but the game is compelling enough that I played through it a three times in order to hit a good variety of endings.
(Spoiler - click to show)I'm left wondering whether the first half of the game is in fact a dream, as suggested by the unreadable gibberish text found when you try to view social media or read your supervisor's writings. If it is, then how is it you can force open the IT employee's steel desk drawer while dreaming, then awake (resign) to find the drawer still open?
I'd enjoy a more fleshed out version of this, with more back story filled in. As it stands, it's an enjoyable light horror romp. It won't change your life (unless it inspires you to take up Twine yourself!), but it's well worth the few minutes of your time it will take to play.
Let's get this first little tidbit out of the way, as it's been a carnivorous tick in my ear from about two minutes into booting this game up:
The title. Oh, the damn title.
When you slap a game with a moniker like Quit Your Job Simulator, you instill the player with pretty solid list of expectations - perform a marginal amount of the character's everyday work, get a feel for the tooth-grinding tedium of a cubicle's long-term resident, bear the assault of tyrannical supervisors and braindead colleagues alike, and take in some mind-numbing office lore around the water cooler. You know, before going postal on the copier and making obscene comments to anyone within earshot as I steal copper wiring out of the walls.
"But it clearly states that it's a horror story," I hear nobody in particular say. And I would point out that just in case you've never had a job that required you to clean a bathroom used by more than three people, there are a lot of jobs that would merit a 'horror' genre tag - even without all the surrealist imagery this game throws at you.
That aside, I enjoyed the short time I spent with QYJS. It's certainly well-written, and the author's done a fantastic job of giving you the basics of the situation without brow-beating you with details and poetics. The game is built with Twine in the gamebook style, making it user-friendly to those without IF know-how, while also making it far easier to speed through multiple replays when hunting alternative endings. The map is laid out well, to the point where you'll have a very clear mental picture of the office's layout and contents after your first backtrack.
(Spoiler - click to show) QYJS plays around with altered perception, and almost reminds me of a more intelligent application of the concepts behind a movie like The Happening. Or it would, if the game didn't end so quickly after the big reveal. You can escape the building by simply heading to the front door after submitting your resignation letter, and any possibility of death is placed squarely on player curiosity, which is a bit of a drag. The only real puzzle in the game is figuring out how to make your character angry enough to actually quit his job.
I would love to see the author expand upon this basic construct. Perhaps he could use this entry as an introductory chapter in a larger mystery, (Spoiler - click to show) or alternatively detail other individuals' encounters with the freaky spores.
The only thing keeping this from a higher rating is the scope of the story, though as a rapid-fire contest entry it's a solid little gamebook.
This game is your basic FML office game with some horror thrown in. I played once. (Spoiler - click to show)Wandered around a bit, then died. Did the coffee poison me?
Very well written. I liked where this might have been going, but I think I'm happy with the (Spoiler - click to show)"Failed to quit my Job" resolution to my quest!
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