- Developer: Paladin Studios
- Publisher: Nintendo
- Release date: 26/3/2020
- Price: £17.99 / $19.99
- Review code provided by Nintendo
Introducing: Good Job! Switch Review
Like many of you, I was a little caught off guard by the Nintendo Direct mini that happened recently. It appeared but vanished just as quickly, leaving behind an array of new games in its wake. There were only a small handful that actually caught my interest, but since some of them were out immediately, I rose from my Animal Crossing coma and grabbed ahold of Good Job, the one that felt the most appropriate for me as I currently work in a corporate office.
So, tell me about yourself…
In Good Job, every single person is a little stick figure like you would see on a wet floor sign, yet somehow they seem to have a created a bustling corporation with just about every department you could think of. Your parent is the head of the company and has been bringing you to the office for years. You even cut the ribbon at the opening ceremony for the building! You’re an adult now, though, and it’s about time that you got a job, but not without a little help from nepotism. The head of the company gives you a key-card and now it’s up to you to climb the corporate ladder floor by floor.
It’s a cute little concept and the character animations really sells all of it. There’s not a word of dialog here but the expression though movement gets across everything that you need to know. Since this visual storytelling is so good, it is a little bit of a shame that there are so few cutscenes in the game. Does the game actually need more than it has? No. But would I totally watch a series of animated shorts about these little sticks? Absolutely!
How did you learn about this job opening?
You don’t really have a set job description, but from the costume that you wear when you start the first levels of the game, it’s not too far off to assume that you are part of building maintenance. Unlocking new areas is framed as a promotion, though, so you don’t stay that for long. No matter what your job really is, though, you’re going to be spending your time going from area to area of the building and fixing the little problems that crop up. Clean up the toys at the pool, clean the chemical spill in the research lab, and make sure the marketing team has Wi-Fi. You know, the usual boring office stuff!
Thing is, nobody really cares how you do the task at hand, just that it gets done. Most of the environment is destructible, so if you would rather slingshot the packages that you are meant to deliver across some ice rather than carry them one by one, go right on ahead! There is a score and ranking system that rewards you for moving quickly and destroying as little as possible, but unless you’re someone that cares about scores and rankings, you can run free to your heart’s content. The areas are small enough and the tasks simple enough that Good Job makes for great pick up and play material. I very rarely had an area that took me longer than fifteen minutes to complete and there were some that I was able to manage in less than three. There is a nice range, so if you can remember what areas took you how long, you can really set your replay sessions to be as rapid or slow as you want.
What would you say is your greatest strength?
As for how you’ll be getting things done, there is actually a wide range of mechanics that you will be working with while you climb up the floors of the building. Some of the more simple ones come back time and time again, such as using a stretched out electrical cord as a slingshot to move something across the area quickly or bust down walls, but others only show up in certain areas. It does make sense, after all, that there would be a forklift in shipping area, but not in the zen garden. The game introduces new mechanics at a good clip though, and you will never go a whole floor without getting something new to play with. The lobby areas of some floors will even tease you with what is to come, with a few elements related to the new mechanics scattered around the hub area of the floor.
Once you have finished three levels on a floor, a fourth will unlock that is a larger challenge than the other three that you did before. These were the ones that were typically the longest and tended to combine the mechanics that had come before. It’s a really great progression structure that allows you to learn mechanics in isolation before combining them in interesting ways. This isn’t the case with every fourth area, as some do tend to just bring back one of the more fun mechanics and stretch them out into a wider experience, but even then it was usually the mechanics that I had the most fun with so I never really minded.
Why do you want to work here?
Most of the fun comes from figuring out the little puzzles that have been set forth before you and seeing what funny things you can make happen. There was one point where I had been tasked with gathering up the workers that had left a meeting out of boredom. I found one in an office playing his Nintendo Switch. There was just something funny to me about the fact that I could snatch the switch out of his hands and walk away with it, my little stick figure holding it up like he was playing it himself.
There’s also a nice variety of costumes that you can get for your little stick person in each of the levels. Most of them are pretty thematically appropriate to the area, but sometimes the game will throw you a silly curveball that’s just as fun. There’s no reason that I should have found a crown in that shipping container, but that wasn’t going to stop me from playing at least the rest of the floor with it on. There are even a few special pieces for beating the game, which is always a nice touch.
Do you work well with others?
Some of the other fun, however, comes from finding out that you can destroy this office with a friend. The game has a robust co-op mode that allows you to basically play through the entire thing but with another person to make the tasks easier (Or depending on the person in question, more difficult.) While I have not yet had the chance to replay the entire game in this mode with one of my siblings, from what I have played, it does make for a great couch co-op experience.
I can’t tell if the co-op play affects your score in any way, but everything looks about the same to me. It might be worth giving the game a shot with a friend just to see if you can bring those scores up. The utility of having another person who can move furniture out of the way before you come through with your printer does make it easier to manage destruction, but if both of you happen to get into forklifts… well, those packages didn’t need to be sent anyway!
I think we’re done here
Overall, Good Job is a game that’s going to be sticking around on my Switch for as a fun little distraction when I just need something to pick up and play for a for little while and smile. I may have run through the entire thing in one sitting the first time around because I was having so much fun, but I am looking forward to coming back to it in smaller bites in the days to come.
- Effortlessly destructible environments
- Wide variety of mechanics introduced at a good pace
- Robust couch co-op
- Tons of collectible costumes
- IT’S FUN!
- Controls were stiff once in a blue moon
Delightful and wacky, there’s no way to do your job wrong in this one.