I cut my gaming teeth on point-and-click adventures; from Oregon Trail to Quest for Glory, I dedicated countless hours of my young life adventuring, examining, and solving pixel art puzzles. I always delight in finding an excuse to return to the genre, so I jumped at the chance to explore Office Quest, a game about a dude in a fluffy onesie who just can’t sit at his desk a moment longer. Available on mobile phones and Steam, I settled in with the PC version to see what it takes to break free of office life.
I was initially drawn to the artstyle in Office Quest; the minimal colors, expressive characters, and quirky animal outfits all made for a truly delightful package. What I wasn’t prepared for was the slick animations and the humor injected into every aspect of the game. The protagonist has exaggerated and highly expressive movements, and the game fully embraces the ridiculous in the most charming of ways. At one point, I found myself laughing aloud and asking, “Did I just hide a broom in my pants?!”
The story of Office Quest is told without any words; other characters speak in gibberish, while text bubbles with iconography and pantomimes portray their true intent. I had no problem understanding their communications, though I did feel the iconography on some puzzles could have been more clear; there were a few occasions where I understood what they wanted from me, but could not figure out how the objects presented had any correlation to the question or each other.
Puzzles are challenging but, by and large, quite fair. As I mentioned above, I sometimes got stuck as to how the answers fit together, but even in these cases, I was able to trial-and-error my way through them with only a little frustration. That said, I could only handle a three headed centipede angrily pantomiming that I had no brain so many times before I needed to walk away. As you progress, puzzles not only become more challenging, they also grow in scope and scale. Before too long, I found myself controlling multiple characters, and, much to my frustration, found myself having to navigate not a puzzle, but a series of mini platformer games.
While these platformer mini games weren’t a huge focus, they were a major obstacle for me, and a sudden shift in the game itself. The gameplay was so radically different, and figuring out how to connect switches or scare someone so they’d drop a tool I needed caused me to lose momentum. I actually had to recruit someone else to tackle those mini games for me, meaning it’s probably a little too challenging for the novice gamer.
For those of you worried about enduring any more time in the workplace–even for the sake of a game–fret not! While the story begins in an office, you’ll quickly escape the confines of the concrete jungle. The main character is lured away from his desk by a colorful flower, the single most colorful element of the entire game, which takes on a new life and shape and flitters away. I really enjoyed watching his devotion to his flower, pursuing it across office space and woodlands, sewers and fishing holes, through electronic hellholes and deserts alike.
I can completely understand the benefit of playing Office Quest on a mobile device; it’s far easier to hand it off to someone else when you’re stumped on a puzzle or need to complete a perfect jump. That said, there’s something nostalgic and affirming about playing it on a PC, and it’s a title I think would feel right at home on any console. I enjoyed my time chasing after a whimsical flower, duping people in animal onesies, and riddling my way through this fantastical little world, though I could have, admittedly, done with a few more puzzles and a little less platforming.
Office Quest is a fun, light-hearted little romp rich in style. Great aesthetic, entertaining animations, and challenging puzzles make this title stand out, even if some puzzles are more vexing than others, and I didn't feel that the platforming mini-games fit into the overall game. It's a great little game, regardless of if you play it on PC or your mobile device of choice.