Review: good job!

Work for man every day and night

Several years ago, I worked in a toy warehouse. It was a lousy job with lousy pay and lousy vacation hours. But it also provided me with a lot of downtime, and during that time I often dreamed of jumping into the forklift that was sitting collecting cobwebs in the farthest corner of the warehouse and destroy this building piece by piece.

Of course, I've never done that, which is why I'm writing for 2022 and not Prisontoid, but those types of heartbreaking fantasies stay with me, even now that I'm at a job I love. And while I may never make those fantasies a reality, I can at least fake the havoc I would wreak with Good Job!

Good work! (Switch)
Developer: Paladin Studios
Publisher: Nintendo
Released: March 26, 2022
MSRP: $ 19,99

Taking place at the headquarters of a company that is plagued with OSHA violations, good job! casts players in the role of the boss' child as they climb the corporate ladder. The opening montage of the kid and his parents together is actually quite touching, considering everyone in this game looks like the guy at the crosswalk sign. The child is tasked with completing a set of tasks on each floor, starting easily by moving the spotlights and cleaning the floors before eventually being assigned to larger tasks such as hanging artwork and guiding a gelatinous cube around a factory floor.

While it's never fully explained what this company does, it's pretty obvious right off the bat that there are two ways to go about completing each mission. Because the first thing you'll probably realize about Good Job! is that it is a fragile installation. Everything is prone to breaking at the slightest tap. Water bottles, computer screens, and even dangerous cones will shatter if you're too careless. So you'll have to decide if you want to go slow to get it right, or play it safe in the wind and get through each task as quickly and as recklessly as possible.

Although there is a way to complete each task in Good Job! without breaking anything, thus guaranteeing the "S" rating for this room, it's much more fun to treat each challenge as if it were a party you throw against someone else's Air BnB. And don't worry, because you're the boss's kid, no one will ever blame you. From slingshots through walls to unleashing a fire hose on an unsuspecting set of cabins, there's plenty of opportunity for mischief and mayhem on every floor. New tools like forklifts, cleaning robots, and floor pads only add to the antics, but you can't just solve all the challenges by tearing the place to shreds. There are small logic puzzles that you will have to solve by observing the actions of other people on the ground.

Each floor houses four different rooms for you to complete, and you are scored based on your completion time, the number of items you broke on your attempt, and the cost of the items you broke. It's possible to smash a single item and have it cost $5, like a paperweight, or have it cost $10, like one of many golden vases you'll find in the most inopportune places. It looks like the scoring mechanism will consider your highest score in all three categories. So if you complete a challenge in less than a minute earning an "A" rating, but break 000 things worth $78, you'll get an "A" as your final score.

In my experience, I don't know if it's possible to get an "S" rating based on time alone. I repeated the first room in the game several times, finally finishing it in 43 seconds, but only managed to get an "A" rating. Several of the coins I secured coveted the “S”, but it was often a struggle that required many restarts and rested through many loading screens.

To get an "S" rating, you can't break anything, no matter how small, like a cup of coffee or an empty can. You have to be careful and slow down. In fact, take it very slow because the only hiccup I found with Good Job! it's that it doesn't do a good job of identifying the item you're trying to grab. Almost everything you see in this business can be picked up or pushed and pulled. With the physics engine in play here, pulling something too hard could send something stacked on top of it, like books in a bookcase, crashing to the floor to break. If you're as careful as possible, you'll want to delete the individual books first before moving the library. However, when you're standing in front of the bookcase, it's all about whether the game will correctly highlight the item you're trying to grab. And if you move that controller just a little bit, it can completely aim at the wrong object.

I've had many attempts at perfect filing ruined because I inadvertently picked up a box when I wanted to pick up the item sitting on top of the box which ultimately broke when I moved the box. This inability to switch between targeted objects with the press of a button only becomes more irritating the higher I climb the corporate ladder. The worst example of this happened on the second to last floor where there were so many objects in a space that I literally had to place my character next to the thing I wanted to grab, but face them in the opposite direction just to get there recognize the correct element.

If you want to get the most out of Good Job!, forget about trying to get the highest possible score and have fun destroying your father's company as this commentary on nepotism plays out slowly. This is when the game is at its best. Save these "S" ratings for a second analysis.

(This review is based on a retail version of the game provided by the publisher.)

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