After achieving success on iOS and Android mobile devices, amassing over four million downloads to date, indie studio 11Sheep have branched out to other platforms with their quirky point and click adventure, The Office Quest. Now that it has launched on Xbox One, it’s time to discover whether The Office Quest possesses the necessary attributes to thrive within an increasingly saturated market for the aforementioned genre. Should it have just stayed on the mobile scene, or is this a quest you’ll want to be scrambling to embark upon?
Fortunately, it’s the latter and there are many reasons why The Office Quest is almost the epitome of what the point and click genre is all about.
There’s nothing quite as monotonous as an office job is there? Well, our protagonist spends his time at the office performing the same repetitive tasks and attending sleep-inducing meetings. That is until a magical red light appears and begins floating nearby, leading this unnamed guy to become drawn to it. Wherever it moves to, he shall follow and thus kicks off the most exciting day he’s ever experienced in his life. There will be obstacles in the way though, and so every trick in the book is going to be required if he’s to sneak out of work… and beyond.
It doesn’t seem too out of the ordinary so far, but there’s an elephant in the room – not literally an elephant, at least until later in the game – and that’s the fact that every character is wearing rather cute types of animal and food themed onesies to work. Bizarre is an understatement, however the sheer silliness of the outfits adds to the comedic vibe; The Office Quest gets it spot on right from the start in many ways to conjure laughter and the chuckles will continue throughout. Weird and wonderful is the order of the day, which can catch you off-guard in combination with slapstick style humour.
Despite the story itself being a bit thin on the ground as an overall narrative, there are plenty of unique characters telling little stories within the limited time-frame given to each. Considering the lack of dialogue between folk in-game, aside from some gobbledygook here and there, the developer still does a cracking job at conveying their personalities. As you progress, you’ll encounter a wide range of onesie wearers with outfits resembling the likes of a pig, a giraffe, a tree man, and even a portion of fries. These are a constant reminder to not take any of the goings on too seriously, but then the problem solving comes into play and a bit of focus, as well as brain power, is certainly needed to advance.
As a point and click adventure, the general gameplay involves interacting with various things in each environment. This is just one of the ways to acquire the items required to bypass certain obstacles; for example, locating a suitable replacement to do the old switcheroo with a workman’s tool, or grabbing a pair of scissors for cutting a rope attached to a spoon. In a clever move, some problems are a tad trickier and lead to you having to take note of in-game manuals in order to work out what to do. Arguably the funniest interaction though is centred on an owl, because whatever you do to the owl happens to the bloke dressed as an owl – the poor bloke has a really bad time.
The puzzling mini-games are where The Office Quest shines the brightest, mainly due to the sheer variation and vast amount of them present. Fancy partaking in versions of classic puzzles such as the sequence repeating Simon, Noughts & Crosses, Sudoku, and a matching pairs memory game? It’s got you covered. But then there are also Mensa style, IQ testing conundrums delivered by a three-headed worker on the loo, which want you to figure out the next picture in a sequence using logic. To add another string to the multi-faceted experience, there’s an entire mini-game that’s essentially a platforming section.
The great thing is that there’s always another trick up this game’s sleeve, and at around the halfway mark of the four chapter adventure, a second playable character joins the foray. This creates a number of puzzles making use of the second character’s musical talents to enable our main guy to carry on his business. It adds freshness to enable the enjoyment to continue on into the final furlong of the quest.
Visually, the colour palette is incredibly beige, but as a result, it brings more attention to the very well-drawn characters and the alluring red light itself. Even the environments are suitably interesting to gaze upon, so it’s an ideal design choice really. In regards the audio, and well, it does a good job of ensuring a relaxing tone to proceedings amidst a slew of increasingly tricky problems waiting in your path.
It’s fair to say that The Office Quest on Xbox One ticks almost every single box for what makes point and click adventures great. There are a ton of fun mini-games, an array of inventory-based puzzles, and a load of quirky characters to fill in the gaps between the two. The experience may only last a couple of hours, but there’ll be plenty of laughs and success-related joy to be found for sure – as well as a fairly straightforward 1000 Gamerscore. The only drawback is the fact that the story could do with a bit more depth.
Nevertheless, anyone who’s after a puzzling affair should definitely pick up The Office Quest and let the adventure begin!