This is a quick turnaround. I bought The Office Quest last week but switched it on for the first time last night, and completed it this morning around 6 am. Now, I didn’t pull an all-nighter, but I woke up early and the Switch was there, so why not?
The Office Quest, by 11Sheep, has been showing up in my Nintendo eShop ‘feeds’ for quite a while. It’s always been cheap and intermittently on offer. I would assume that it was a lot of tat and Nintendo were trying to offload it. Looking at the graphics and the game genre, I still added it to my watch list and consequently purchased it after months of seeing it there.
By the way, I don’t exclusively play Nintendo Switch games – I’m a PlayStation fan and a bit of a retro collector. One of the many reasons I like the Switch so much is the pick-up and play mobile-like games that are available for it. Getting lost in a PlayStation game is so common, I end up getting absorbed. The Office Quest looked like a quick game, so that’s where our story begins.
Working 9 to 5
The opening of the game is set in an office, ironically, and you take control of an office worker facing the monotonous daily routine of data input, meetings and all that other nonsense we all like to avoid. A strange red shape appears in the room, and with that, our ‘hero’ enforces his distraction techniques and skives off for the day.
You follow this enigma from room to room, eventually leaving the workplace altogether. All the while, you solve a few simple point and click sequences and some very challenging riddles/puzzles. It’s a modern take on the LucasArts or Sierra games of old, though with a lot fewer options and dialogue, but incredibly witty and a fantastic environment to explore.
Without trying to salivate too much, the character design and overall presentation of The Office Quest is superb. Easily one of the best looking games I’ve played that is also excellent. With Nintendo eShop games, it’s often one or the other, but not both. The Office Quest is the double whammy and is my game of the week. I don’t have a prize, nor is this a ‘thing’, I just want to go on record that I love this game.
Onesies Are Cool
All of the characters in the game appear to be in animal onesies that are also alive and react accordingly. It’s such a unique approach that it made me dig out mine. Alas, society still frowns upon grown men wearing Disney loungewear. I’m not even a Disney fan – I got it to entertain the kids, but it’s so soft and warm…
Each scene is no different than a conventional point and click adventure – albeit on a smaller scale. You find a point of interest and click to pick up an object or interact with it. There are no verb wheels here, so you aren’t expected to combine those most ridiculous items (looking at you Stranger Things 3 The Game) to solve a problem. Instead, you click on the thing you want to interact with, and as long as you have the appropriate item needed, it will automatically be selected. As a veteran adventure gamer, I liked this approach. It made the game much more fluid without faffing about by going back and forth each time (except for an area that has you crawl through an air vent).
The interaction bits are simple, and you’ll solve them effortlessly. As for the puzzles… well. Some of them are so bloody hard that I did feel a rage quit brewing, and possibly a flying Switch (I played this in handheld the whole time while I was in bed). Each puzzle differs – such are memory games and others are logic. Equally, a few of them were a piece of cake – the sudoku and a mini-game of sorts where you control a bird. Others had me clawing my face and peeking at YouTube video solutions. Fortunately, in terms of experience, each playthrough can differ, so there aren’t ways to cheat. I did this on 80% merit, 10% searching for a hint, 10% autopilot.
Quest? More Like an Errand
My only criticisms are the difficulty of some of the puzzles mentioned above and the length of the game. I want more. As much as I’d like to say I completed this in an hour or two because I’m so smart, I didn’t. It took me a few hours in the evening and a couple in the morning. Adventure games aren’t for speedrunners, but this was too short. And when I say that, I mean it with respect as I could happily play more of this.
There aren’t any additional options unless you want to change the language (doesn’t matter as it’s all visual) so once you finish the story, that’s it. Of course, you can play it again. While that is an option, and something I will definitely be doing, it will be even quicker the second time around. One of the bonuses though is the puzzles; they’ll be slightly different, so you don’t go ahead and tank through it. As for the point and clicking, that would be the same.
The Office Quest hasn’t reinvented the wheel. Other than onesies and the sepia colour scheme, there isn’t much here that hasn’t been done before. However, what has been done though is borderline perfect. Except for the difficulty and duration. From looking up details on 11Sheep, I saw that the game was on mobile first. That makes sense. I’m not a mobile gamer, but if I were, this would be top of the list.
Any Chance of a Promotion?
As far as I’m concerned, The Office Quest has everything going for it: entertaining, challenging, visually appealing and one of the best gaming qualities – escapism. If you haven’t picked up my tone, you should know that this is the best thing since that sliced loaf over there. Well, it won’t change your life, but it’ll make you enjoy it more. It’ll also reiterate your opinions on office life.
The next step here would be for there to be a sequel or something similar in the same universe. Either that or some DLC. I seldom purchase DLC, but I would be persuaded to get it for this if it meant more time in the game. This is a classic example of me pre-judging a game, thinking it will be a quick fix and then not played again, but I’m on a bit of a home run lately what with Skyhill, Maddening Euphoria and now this.
Disclaimer: I’ve worked in an office in some way or another for the majority of my adult life and have continually looked for ways to get out of it. The character I played in this game might as well have been me, it feels tailored to my being and embraces the novelty onesie. Long live the novelty onesie!