Thursday, January 17

Review: The Office Quest [Nintendo Switch eShop]


Classic “point-and-click” adventures truly have seen a resurgence in the indie space and that has lead to the genre being well-represented on the Switch. For anyone familiar with these titles there’s some degree of predictability to them. You’ll need to search for items, solve puzzles, typically talk to some people for a dash of humor, and periodically consult a FAQ or walkthrough of some kind to get through some convoluted section. The Office Quest only goes with a few items on that list, having no real dialogue, and working in a somewhat more linear fashion where items you’ll need tend to be used immediately, but its quirky sense of humor and weirdness, combined with its overall simplicity, do make it a fun variation.


Fascinated by a reddish flying ball of some kind you play as a costumed (everyone wears them, the fact this is never explained actually makes it more weird and funny) office-worker trying to track it down. Your progress will be thwarted by both physical obstacles as well as boss types who’ll yell a thought bubble to get back to work at you. That means that in each area you’ll need to solve a series of puzzles, which can be quite diverse, to set off some sequence of events that allow you to proceed. This is all typically pretty weird and a bit convoluted but also often entertaining.


Probably the biggest obstacle is simply that nothing is explained aside from possibly a visual prompt here or there. Initially this means you’ll need to work out how to move and interact with items in your inventory, but it all generally makes sense once you experiment a little. Later on there was a puzzle that required use of the left buttons/D-Pad that threw me at first, but these are just small bumps. Working out what you need to do in each area can be a methodical challenge but thankfully for the most part you can only interact with or grab useful things, so there aren’t any red herrings about to throw you off or get you down the wrong path. The fact that many solutions are a bit unorthodox can make them tough to figure out but the reward is often a humorous result at least.


While in some regards The Office Quest is a bit bare bones, lacking in any concrete story or character development, it compensates well by simply being weird. As with all titles in the genre frustration can, at times, set in as you try to figure out what you need to do but the relatively small areas you’ll be in helps to ensure there’s not too many options for what to do so stumbling onto solutions tends to happen at a decent pace. If you’re looking for something a bit goofy and fun, with some nice brain-teasing traditional puzzles thrown in along the way, The Office Quest can be a lot of silly fun.


Score: 7.5

Pros:
  • Some great traditional puzzles mixed with adventure
  • Full of weird and silly humor
  • Areas tend to be small enough that when you get stuck it doesn’t tend to take too long to stumble onto a solution

Cons:
  • No solid guidance on how to play is just a bit odd
  • The quality of the puzzle challenges varies a bit
  • A few sections like a maze just slow things down without much reward