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The Office (PC) artwork

The Office (PC) review


"You wanna know why I purchased The Office? I was blown away that a developer went out of their way to create a video game based on a comedy taking place in an office building. I just had to get it. So, coming into the game, I didn't have any high expectations, I just simply wanted to know how the hell it played. "



You wanna know why I purchased The Office? I was blown away that a developer went out of their way to create a video game based on a comedy taking place in an office building. I just had to get it. So, coming into the game, I didn't have any high expectations, I just simply wanted to know how the hell it played.

Thank goodness, too, because I would have been very disappointed if I was actually expecting a quality product here. The Office takes place on a single screen, where you look down at bobblehead versions of the American cast at their office. On this field, you'll take control of one of the cast characters, Jim, competing against his co-workers in an attempt to win a paid month's vacation. I would have preferred selectable, playable characters, but I guess that was too much to ask for... Basically, the gameplay involves doing the same thing again and again, over the span of five stages, each containing eight levels. You simply have to keep performing simple tasks until you meet the level's required amount for completion, and before your rival beats you to it. So, with the aid of your mouse, you'll have to click your way around the office, giving folders, copied papers, and more folders to co-workers requesting them.

It's as simple as it sounds, and it does have a slow start when you're going through the first stage. Things get a little hard at the start of the second stage, with your rival being a bit smarter this time, managing to carry around two items at once! Gasp! However, that small taste of difficulty gets snatched away from you a few levels later, when the game actually goes out of its way to make things easier. You already begin The Office with the ability to prank your rival, which you can only use when the prank meter is full. Once it's filled up and activated, your rival will be distracted for a short period of time, leaving you the opportunity to get in the lead. But later on, the competition becomes absurdly easy when you're forced to pick multiple power-ups, in the form of co-workers, before the start of each level. They range from getting more points with certain items and slowing down your rivals after pranks, to being able to fill the prank bar faster and starting a level with a full bar. Sealing the deal, the developers also threw in a power-up that appears constantly in each level that boosts your running speed. With all these aids combined, you're guaranteed to never fail.

That's not to say The Office is a bad game, it's just not terribly challenging. The only time I felt threatened was during the final stage, and even that felt like a piece of cake. It would have been nice if they had given you the option of tinkering with the difficulty, like giving you less power-ups to work with, or making your rival's AI smarter. The main thing that this game really needed, however, was a multiplayer mode. I can easily imagine this game being more fun to play just by giving you a real rival to fight against, who also has the same abilities and tricks as you. But, all we have is this, and honestly, I think that's what the developers intended it to be: a game that fans (and I mean fans fans) will dig for its simple gameplay and the numerous references it makes to the show. Like that one thing Michael says all the time.

No, I'm not going to say it...

Rating: 5/10

pickhut's avatar
Community review by pickhut (January 14, 2009)

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Lewis posted January 15, 2009:

Sounds like an abominable, lazy cash-in on something that clearly only works in its original format (and, in all honesty, I mean the British one, too).

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