The year is 2055 and you’re in a fictional time where robotics and AI have taken over the majority of jobs available to us humans. But like all pastimes, looking back at what it was like is always an entertaining exercise. Thankfully, this is where the game, Job Simulator, comes in, this is humans only way to see what it was like to ‘Job’.
You start off in a museum-like lobby, full of floating robots going about their business. Soon, you’re asked to pick from four available job roles, in the form of games console-like cartridges. In each job experience, you get to sample what it was like to work in an office, as a kitchen chef, a supermarket assistant, and finally a garage mechanic.
Each job has you carrying out a number of tasks that were common to the job role you’re experiencing. For example, in the office role, you get to hire and fire personal, create presentations, cook the accounting books, photocopy items and shred paperwork and desk objects. All of this is possible within the constraints of your tiny office cubicle.
Over in the kitchen, as a chef you wash dishes, serve orders, become the next Gordon Ramsey, and build the hottest dish for a chilly-loving customer. In the supermarket job, you stack shelves, serve up hot dogs, supersize burritos and soft drinks and finally sweep up all the mess that you’ve caused during a shift.
Finally, there is the garage job mode, here you can tinker with clients car parts, replacing old with new, filling up liquids and fixing damaged parts. You can recolour vehicles and make them all smelling nice by hanging air fresheners on the rearview mirror before dropping the car back on its wheels, sending the bill and waving the client off as they roll out the garage, all the more happy with your job done.
You can play through each of these jobs in a single session, after which you soon realise each task was all about learning the ropes for each job role in preparation for the game’s Infinite Shift mode. As the mode’s title describes, you get to play through as many tasks as you like in any selected job role. You can’t really fail here, you simply carry out the task you are ordered to do, rinse and repeat. This is great for kids, but for me, after I’ve played through enough tasks, it does just feel like work and that’s less fun for me.
Other modes drop after each job has been completed in comical fashion, to enhance the game’s longevity. These come in the form of bounce and low-gravity modes. Sadly though, for me, these quickly applied game ‘enhancements’ didn’t give much of a difference to the gameplay to keep me entertained.
Its developers could have created a few more modes, like a night mode, where your vision is restricted, only to be lit by a repeatedly failing flashlight, or perhaps you could have had a timed mode where you had to complete each task against a set time limit. Each of these would have been just as easy to implement and give added depth and a challenge to each job role.
Unless more job rolls appear in the game, I honestly don’t think I would be returning to Job Simulator, now that each job has been completed. It was an enjoyable and comical VR experience from start to finish, and its £14.99 price tag is just about right for the level of enjoyment I had in the game. Its visuals and sounds have been faithfully ported over from the PSVR and Rift versions I have played in the past, however, the experience is much better on Quest because you are not being tethered to a cable as you spin around your play area.
It’s just a shame that Job Simulator’s entire experience is a little short-lived, but it will certainly be a game that I will continue to demo for newcomers to the Oculus Quest, and a younger audience will certainly be entertained for much longer periods in this game. If you’re curious what it is like to ‘Job’, even though they exist today, Job Simulator manages to make the mundane a very entertaining and enjoyable experience. If only each of these jobs in real-life were just as fun.