I vividly remember getting on a train to my first Reading Festival. It was 8 am, I had just finished my GCSEs, and I was armed with all the booze I could get my friend's older brother to buy us. We were all packed on the train like tinned tomatoes, red in the face from our first beers. I looked at a man, wearing a suit, just trying to get to the office for a normal working day, and I thought, "I never want to be someone who works in an office. How fucking boring."
I, of course, believed I was going to be a rockstar. Little did I know that 10 years on I would be heading into an office five days a week to work for one of my favorite publications. I got lucky – even if I'm not a rockstar. But most galling of all to my 16-year-old self, I actually enjoy going into the office – something that has been put acutely into perspective thanks to the lockdown and Good Job!
A few days into social distancing/quarantine/the end days, Good Job! was released on Switch. As someone who enjoys a puzzle game, this seemed perfect, though the setting felt slightly on-the-nose considering current events. Did I really want to head back to that land of broken printers and annoying co-workers (by which I solely mean GamesRadar+’s features editor Josh West)?
Turns out, Good Job! is a simple, addictive puzzler that sees your nameless protagonist – the son of the company’s CEO – attempt to fix everything going wrong in the office. You go floor-by-floor, through accounting and logistics and the board room, helping clean up pink goop and making sure the plants are watered. These mundane tasks, though, are anything but boring. This is a puzzle game, after all, and the idea is that you avoid doing damage to the company’s property in hopes of getting that all-important S-grade at the end of each challenge (but, if you do have pent up anger towards your office, you can destroy almost everything in this one). Good Job!’s mechanics work remarkably well. Apart from the odd glitch, the game is intuitive and the tasks, while increasingly difficult, have straight forward answers once you’ve worked them out.
Importantly, the setting is familiar. It's an office. Sure, some of the floors are slightly different to what you may be used to – our office, for instance, doesn’t have a goo factory or swimming pool, as much as I am pressing the CEO for both – but it's still comforting being back where we spend so much of our time. In fact, it’s strangely therapeutic, crashing through each department like a literal wrecking ball. That's not to say I want to take my computer and throw it across the room at all times, but doing exactly that is pretty cathartic in Good Job!
Even if you're not someone who does the nine-to-five slog, Good Job! is an enjoyable puzzle game that has a strangely heart-warming ending. But for those of us missing that routine and familiar setting – one filled with actual, physical other people, and not just Star Wars Funko-Pops – then Good Job! is a nice reminder that the office can be, dare I say it, fun. Normalcy will hopefully one day return, but for now, you can get your office kicks from Good Job! And yes, I can feel my younger self calling me a loser right now. I don't care, younger Jack, you spend all your time playing World of Warcraft in your room, so what’s the difference!
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