Hot off the back of the release of the Steam version of The Office Quest developed by 11Sheep, we jump in and see just what this point and click puzzle game has to offer.
The story is one that many people can relate to. Whilst working in an office, the protagonist of The Office Quest gets bored with turning up each day, dressed as a weird hippo like thing, and pushing the same buttons over and over again. So, when a random flying red ball appears, he thinks. I should chase after that. So he does.
Ok, when I say a situation people can relate to, it probably doesn’t go for the dressing as a hippo thing or following flying red balls. Still, you get the idea. Ultimately, the tale takes the hero through his office building, through forests, deserts and seas, meeting a variety of bizarrely costumed characters as he attempts to find out the meaning of the red flying ball. It’s an odd story but it does tie the puzzles in together and the slight suspension of belief that’s required for some of the situations is well done.
When you look at the gameplay itself, what you have is a fairly standard point-and-click adventure game. You don’t move the character himself, just simply click on the object you want to interact with, clicking on the edge of the screen moves you to that screen, if available.
Throughout your quest, you will pick up a variety of items that will help you on your way, but you don’t need to physically select the object in your inventory and use it on things. When you click on the main screen, if a part in your inventory can be used it will be automatically. You don’t need to systematically go through and use each object on everything on your screen.
At certain points within the game there are various non-point-and-click puzzles to solve. There’s a puzzle like Simon Says, a memory game one. There’s even a platform game that has you moving a tiny bird around flipping switches before a timer runs out.
I love the look of The Office Quest. The monochrome style and the artwork is perfectly matched. The music is jaunty and fades into the background nicely. There are sound effects, but no speech. Another good idea, not only does it save you cash on translating the speech into all the various languages, but it adds another element to the puzzle, as you try to figure out what they’re saying via a number of pictogram speech bubbles.
The Office Quest is not an overly long game. I completed all three chapters in around 3 hours. There are a few puzzles that took me a while to solve, but ultimately there usually aren’t that many things you can click on, so if you did need to resort to systematic node-clicking you’ll probably get there eventually anyway. For me, this meant that the difficulty was set just right. Of course, others prefer insanely taxing puzzle games that take weeks to solve, in which case this might not be for you.
As with nearly every puzzle game I can think of. There aren’t a great many reasons to go back and play The Office Quest once you’re done. Some of the puzzles were enjoyable enough, but they’re not so fun, that you can do them multiple times. However, because the price is so low, playing it only once is still enjoyable and worth the cash.