Lobotomy Corporation Early Access Preview

Lobotomy Corporation, developed and published by Project Moon is a funny little game. It’s not really to my taste for the most part, but that’s not to say you wont enjoy it.

You play as administrator of a company that houses monsters for the purpose of extracting energy from them. You can do this in several ways by assigning your staff (who you hand-pick yourself) to perform various tasks such as feeding, cleaning and amusing your monsters. This in turn produces energy, which is crucial to success. The way in which staff interact with the creatures is actually quite nicely handled. Each member of staff has an area of expertise and a particular disposition (optimist for example) and each monster has specific needs that when met, produce more energy.

As you may have gathered, the monsters, or “abnormalities” are central to the games identity, and thankfully they are all unique and interesting, as well as utterly bizarre. One of my first monsters was a floating skull with a cross strapped to its back called “One Sin and Hundreds of Good Deeds”. The monsters are very much the games USP and they are certainly well realised enough to keep players amused and invested.

The actual gameplay is spiritually akin to something like Fallout Shelter. You don’t directly control any one character, instead you direct your staff to perform certain actions in certain rooms. This is very much a time and resource management game. There is however no time limit on each day so you have as long as you like to collect the required amount of energy. I actually felt like this made the game a bit too easy.

What sets the game apart from many others is the story telling. At the start of each day you engage in a dialogue with an A.I called Angela. As you progress through the game you will learn more about what the abnormalities are, where they came from and their ultimate purpose. The writing does suffer a bit due to translation but overall I felt it worked well. It was at the very least intriguing.

The criticisms I have for the game are mainly regarding its early stages. There isn’t really a tutorial, just a simplified version of the game to mess about with on your first day. It isn’t made entirely clear how the staff-monster interactions are supposed to work and it all feels a little trial and error. There’s also no hiding the fact that the beginning of the game is just boring. There’s no strategy or critical thinking involved. Things get better later when monsters start to mess with you or escape, but the opening can feel like a slog.

There isn’t much to the game at present (more is promised) but if you are at all intrigued by the premise, I would give it a look. It’s weird and may not be what you’re used to but you may find yourself hooked. I think this game is an interesting first offering that looks set to get a lot better in the future.

Rob Webb

I was born in Oxford in 1998 and have been gaming for almost my entire life. I want to see this industry evolve as a storytelling medium and deliver experiences that stay with people. Interactivity is a narrative device that only games can employ, and I'm looking forward to seeing where it can take us.

So what do you think?

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