Let me get this out of the way right now—Job Simulator doesn’t sound fun on paper. Hell, it doesn’t even look fun watching someone else play it. But trust me, Owlchemy Labs’ VR exclusive title is a lot of fun, which surprised me because you’re tasked with completing mundane jobs.
That’s the game.
What makes these jobs fun is the humor and wittiness the writers injected into the characters and throughout the objects you’ll interact with. I couldn’t help but chuckle at things like Ramen being called College Noodles or the method in which you burn a CD.
The basic premise is by the year 2050 computers have taken over all human jobs and we now do who know’s what. You play a human in a museum that lets you simulate four jobs humans did long ago: an auto mechanic, a store clerk, an office worker, and a gourmet chef. My two favorites were easily gourmet chef and office worker with auto mechanic seeming to drag on a bit. Throughout these jobs you’ll find yourself on a reality TV cooking show with Ramsey Bot, learning how to cook the books as requested by your Office Space inspired boss, stuff a banana in the tailpipe of a car so it passes emissions, and more. There are numerous pop culture references to laugh at—the game really is clever.
I’ll never forget the first time I played Job Simulator. It was at IndieCade 2016 on the HTC Vive and was only the second game I ever played in VR with The Heist being the first. Even with all of Sony’s marketing muscle behind The Heist it was Job Simulator that sold me on the magic and immersion of VR. Why? Because you can interact with just about everything and the jobs and items are real, making the whole game that much more relatable. At IndieCade I played through the Gourmet Chef job and I felt like I was a part of the cartoon world Owlchemy Labs created. It was effortlessly natural. Each job you’ll play through consists of about fifteen tasks that you can burn through if you simply did what you’re tasked with, but that’d be doing the game and yourself a grand disservice. The real fun of Job Simulator comes in combining objects in odd and hilarious ways to finish. Making soup? Why not combine a flower, wine cork, plum, and chocolate chip cookie? Why throw out that rancid donut when you could eat it instead and see what happens instead?
You don’t have to take my word for it—Daney, Omar, and my wife were skeptical of the game’s premise until they went hands on with the title and each one played through a couple of jobs, laughing and smiling the entire time. Having played on both Vive and PSVR I can say the game experience is ever so slightly better on HTC’s headset due to it’s superior tracking. However, I rarely had tracking problems and almost never experienced wobble or shifting of the environment in PSVR. If you’re getting Sony’s headset, a demo of Job Simulator comes on the disc along with the seventeen other demos so you can see for yourself what you think. My only moment of sadness came at the credits because I wanted more jobs to do. Upon completion you can replay each job again using Job Genie cartridges that enable low gravity mode or a high rate of object bounciness. You can also pick a particular task to replay or play around in free mode. II can’t help but long for more of Owlchemy’s humorous takes on other boring jobs like maybe a computer technician, or a USPS person behind the window. Anything really. For now, I’ll wish for free or even paid DLC, but even if that never comes I’ll be keeping a close eye on what this clever dev is working on next.