Title: Doug Hates His Job
Developer: Super Villain Games Publisher: Super Villain Games, A-Z Computers
Release Date: 04/24/2020
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch, Xbox One
Reviewed on: Nintendo Switch
Introduction: Doug Hates His Job is an endearing indie game that includes a variety of gameplay in one mockumentary storyline.
Synopsis: When you jump into the game, you are immediately presented with a clear premise: you are Doug, and you hate your job. Doug works in a typical corporate setting as a salesman. Between each chapter, you watch scenes play out very much like the TV hit-series, The Office, where characters would face the camera and provide their two-cents. You are also able to chose your responses to several NPCs, many of whom are quite memorable like Helen of HR and the fellow who thinks printers are going to take over the world. However, what makes the game unique is how diverse each playable chapter is.
As you navigate through a crappy day at work, you must fight your way through other co-workers, the elderly, and even an imaginary scenario with zombies. Most times, it’s a beat-em-up style; however, there is also a stealth segment as well as a platformer segment. There is a quick time event in an old Western-style level and even a driving mini-game.
After all the hell you go through for your boss, Mr. Smith, you end up at a holiday party only to learn that you won’t be getting that bonus. Enter, the final boss fight!
Analysis: The idea and premise are definitely there. The narrative is highly relatable, and the nod to The Office will bring a smile to players’ faces. I enjoyed the witty banter.
The graphics and music are simple, yet enjoyable. Everyone and everything is colorful in its polygonal graphics. I also appreciated the fact that this game respects the players’ time–which totalled about a half hour, more or less. If anything took up the most time, it was replaying through a level because I kept dying.
This brings me to my next point. I did feel at times the controls and execution of the game play itself were a bit clunky. I noticed that the hit boxes were unforgiving where as I approach an enemy, I could be within a micro-pixel, and I would immediately die. During the beat ’em up sessions, I struggled through the 2D format with 3D lane movement. While I was trying to pummel the onslaught of elderly, dogs would zoom through and one-shot kill me. I also noticed enemies blocks appeared more affective than my own. This was particularly noticeable in the final boss with Mr. Smith.
This had to be the most challenging final boss I have ever fought. I died after only a few hits, while my own punches and kicks barely made a dent. I almost wondered if he was secretly a cyborg. It got to the point where I had to look up any easy ways to defeat him (hint: you cheese the jumping kick). After several more attempts, I was able to take down the man who sweats money and taste sweet victory. The game even teased a possible sequel!
One final note I wanted to mention was that I got stuck on the quick time event on the Western level. The buttons never registered no matter how many times I rebooted the software or changed controllers. Thankfully, I tweeted at the developer who assisted me to move onto the next level. Thank you, Super Villain Games!
Verdict: 3 Stars
Doug Hates His Job is a quick and wicked video game with a funny story that most working adults can relate to. While game play could be a little more refined, it was still enjoyable for the time and price. I still recommend it, especially if it’s on sale. I know I will keep my eye out for a sequel.