Job Simulator. A single player job simulation game, developed by Owlchemy Labs. Available on the Oculus Rift, Rift S, Quest, HTC Vive, Valve Index and Windows Mixed Reality headsets. The game fully supports handheld VR controllers and game pads. The game is rated for players aged 3+
Game Languages: English, French (France), German, Japanese, Korean, Spanish (Spain)
Gameplay Duration: Approximately 3 hours
In recent times, VR simulation games have ventured into all sorts of real-world environments. Why should the jobs sector be any different? We’ve seen Graveyard manager simulations and forklift truck simulations in VR, to name just two. Job Simulator has the aim of joining up job simulations with crazy antics for you to have fun in an original way as you go.
In this game, you can take on four different job roles: Office Worker, Gourmet Chef, Automotive Mechanic, or Convenience Store Clerk. The four jobs each have a range of tasks that are mission-based. When you have completed the set missions, you unlock a different mode in which you can play around within the space.
The Office Worker job makes the usually boring job of being in an office cubicle come alive. There are a variety of the usual mundane office tasks, but they are completed in a unique and interactive way. The office has the usual office space gadgets: file cabinet, printer and copier, waste bin, doughnuts, coffee maker, and, of course, computer. On your first day on the job you work through such tasks as taking on and letting go of workers – essentially hiring and firing. You are also tasked with a presentation and photocopying as well as other office-based tasks.
When trying to complete your office tasks, the other employees call in to set more tasks and ask about your day. There’s also a rather memorable ex-employee who’s mad about your having fired him. You can play with lots of things on your desk including a magic 8 ball, throwing paper planes at colleagues, and copying everything in sight on the photocopier!
The Gourmet Chef role will allow you to take orders from customers and make items such as shakes, sandwiches, cakes, and put out the inevitable kitchen fires. There’s even a special visit from a guest who wants a song played as you cook up a special engagement meal with a ring hidden within it. The kitchen is fully interactive. There is a revolving pantry and a refrigerator stocked with dry goods or chilled items. The microwave, sink, and blender area allows you to switch between the appliances to make up the meals ordered.
There are robot patrons that come into the restaurant and cheer or jeer at the service, timelines, and completed meals. As with the Office Worker choice, you can get up mischief by making strange food combinations such as fish with cookies.
As an Automotive Mechanic, you fix up vehicles for the town residents. The garage door opens interactively and you wait for a patron to come with their truck or car. You then assess it and start working on it. There's a lever on the wall that switches between items such as fluids, tyres, gifts, and decorations. The vehicles can also be painted in different colours.
As a mechanic, you’re able to open up the hood, top up fluid levels, change air filters, and replace the battery. There are cool interactions such as cleaning the filters by shaking them or putting in an air freshener hanging from the mirror. Of course, it wouldn’t be the same if there weren’t the characters to run into! There are many personalities who want to come and have their car fixed.
The fourth simulation is at the Convenience Store. This one has two interchangeable areas changed by a dial with a freezer, fridge, snacks, and safe, or the other area with hot dogs, jump sizing things, display cases, and the slush machine. These gave lots of interest, but could have been used more to reach the same level of interaction as the other three jobs. This job also came up short when it came to interacting with customers.
There was still plenty of humour included, with a colleague having to use a magazine because of a lack of toilet paper, as well as a Bandit brandishing a banana as a gun and demanding all the cheese. Although they’re funny, the interactions could be better in this job simulation. There’s also no crossover between the jobs, which would’ve been a great addition; for example your raging customer in one world shopping for cereal in the next.
There’s real fun to be had in trying to complete your tasks in the craziest possible ways. You can throw food at the restaurant patrons or make things super-size in the store. There were some interactions that were a bit unreliable. For example, when walking past an object sometimes it zoomed up into your hand even if you didn’t want to pick it up. This did sometimes make things easier, because you didn’t have to bend down in the real world!
As mentioned, certain aspects of the game can be a little unreliable but, generally speaking, Job Simulator does a good job of being immersive without necessarily being photorealistic. This works as a great advert for other games that don’t rely on photorealism in their bid to be immersive.
In fact, it is the aesthetic design that gives the great unique experience of this game, making it so inviting and wonderful. It is certainly a memorable experience too, thanks to the humorous dialogue, varied presentation, and musical score.
The game uses the room-scale feature of HTC Vive but doesn't need great areas of play space. It would make a great first foray into VR for those who haven’t tried it out before. It’s funny and not too difficult and there’s the added benefit of pretty much endless expansion.
You could even play this game with a group of friends, watching how each interacts with their environment, by casting the gameplay to your phone, tablet, or TV. Some tasks do need to be carried out in a linear way and you’ll definitely find yourself playing through the mission structure at least once before you can switch to the Overtime mode.
Probably the most popular aspect of this game is the Gourmet Chef scenario, as it displays the game’s interactions working well together, being able to mix things up with temperature, ingredients, manipulating objects, etc. A firm favourite is seeing how the fish in the tank react when things are thrown their way!
Each scenario has these little moments. In the office environment, there’s a basketball hoop. It explodes with confetti if you score a hoop with any of the office objects. The random comments from the instructor are also funny. Furthermore, because the game is so intuitive, there is no need for a tutorial. You just need to pick up the controllers, strap-on your VR headset, and start following the instructions. It’s as easy as reaching out to open the refrigerator door and taking out an object. It’s intuitive and there isn't a gamepad insight so there's nothing to break up the reality you're in.
This fun game is hilarious and a great introduction to what VR can offer. Even if you’re more experienced with VR, there’s plenty to keep you wanting to play this game even after you’ve completed the missions. A few more scenarios would have been nice, but the beauty with this type of game is that there’s definitely room for add-on expansion packs
Did you know, Job Simulator is listed in our review: Best Oculus Quest Games.
Have you played Job Simulator? Share your thoughts and opinions with me using the comments box below.
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