Game: Job Simulator
Developer(s): Owlchemy Labs
Publisher(s): Owlchemy Labs
Platform(s): Windows PC, PlayStation 4 with PSVR (reviewed)
Release Date(s): Windows PC April 5, 2016, PlayStation 4 October 13th, 2016
Job Simulator is probably one of the most talked about games for any of the three main VR platforms.It was the first game announced for the HTC Vive, and the headset included it at launch. However, the Vive was a bit out of my price range, so I had to wait for the PSVR version which launched just last week. I haven’t had many VR experiences since the launch of PSVR but of what I have played Job Simulator is without a doubt the most complete and entertaining VR game.
The premise of Job Simulator is a simple one. In the year 2050, the world is controlled by robots, so humans like us get to use the simulator over at the Job Museum to see what it was like to work one of four jobs, office worker, gourmet chef, convenience store clerk, and auto mechanic. A group of robots that look like floating CRT computer monitors with faces guide you through each simulation and act as your co-workers as well as customers.
The gameplay isn’t anything too remarkable. You use the PSVR headset with two move controllers to manipulate objects within each simulation. Office worker has you performing tasks like making coffee, shredding documents and making presentations on the computer in your cubicle, while in auto mechanic you’ll find yourself changing tires or repainting vehicles all while racking up huge bills for the customers. It’s the level of interaction in Job simulator that makes it stand out from other VR games. Almost everything in the simulated space can be picked up and manipulated. There’s something strangely satisfying about picking up a bottle of wine in the gourmet chef simulator and pulling the cork out. Simple interactions like tossing an object from one hand to another also feel weighted and satisfying. Every interaction feels real, and nothing is more important than that when trying to engross a player in a virtual space.
Job Simulator features a spectator mode in which the player in the headset can place virtual cameras throughout the 3D space that affects what players outside the headset can see on the TV or computer monitor the game signal is being sent to; I would hope this idea becomes a standard in VR games going forward. It allows for a unique way to observe VR gameplay as an outsider.
Job Simulators well-polished VR experience isn’t all that makes it stand out. The games humorous writing stand out in a big way which isn’t terribly surprising once you realize the game was worked on by Community and Rick and Morty co-creators Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon, the two even lent some voice work for Job Simulator. Some of the more witty dialogue has the museum curator Job bot, pointing out on more than one occasion how human jobs were constantly at odds with the efficiency of machines. At one point he even makes reference to an event called “the human uprising of 2027”. For those who want some extra laughs, turn on the boom box in the auto mechanic simulation. It features a few diffrent stations, one of which is a talk show featuring Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon that fans of Rick and Morty may find similar to the Intergalactic cable episodes of the show.
For those that have already dropped the hefty buy-in price required of and VR headset, Job Simulator is one of the funniest and most polished and complete feeling pieces of software available and at its very reasonable thirty dollar price point is worth every penny. As of writing, this Jb Simulator is the only VR experience I would call must buy. I can’t wait to see what other ideas the team at Owlchemy Labs cooks up for virtual reality.
Score: 9 out of 10