The Office Quest will (probably) answer your prayers and let you escape reality. It is a port of a mobile point-and-click adventure game. In it, you play as a bored office worker who wants to experience the thrills and joys of an adventure. He leaves behind his boring and unfulfilling desk job to pursue a glowing ball of light. Along the way, you encounter other people going about their daily routines.
That’s more or less the entire story of The Office Quest. It’s a simple plot which only exists to drive you forward. There is no world-building or compelling narrative to see here. The tone of the game is lighthearted and filled with humor. Most of it is slapstick humor and other types of silent comedy. It’s hit or miss, but a good effort, regardless.
The standout aspect of the story is the nameless main character. This guy is a jerk and he owns the role. He manipulates and uses everyone around him to achieve his selfish goals. Throughout the entire game, he wears a bored expression and nonchalantly hurts others. Often he’ll look in your direction and give a mischievous grin before ruining someone’s day. I am convinced this guy has no soul. He’s the embodiment of destruction.
The Office Quest is a short and simple experience with almost no depth: You chase the glowing ball of light while solving puzzles along the way. The variety of puzzles was actually a great surprise. The game will have you solve all types of puzzles, from memorizing sequences to deciphering patterns. The puzzles can be challenging, too. They increase in complexity as you progress through the game. You never feel the puzzles are unfair or impossible to solve. The Office Quest strikes a good balance between hard puzzles and fair progression.
While there are a lot of types of puzzles, they lack context. There’s no real incentive to solve them. Most of the time they feel tacked on and don’t connect with the story. The puzzles also don’t live up to their potential. While they do increase in difficulty, there isn’t a single puzzle that will leave you stumped. The most you’ll have to spend on any given puzzle is a maximum of 10 to 15 minutes. When The Office Quest feels like it’s about to surprise you, it abruptly ends.
The Office Quest uses an old-fashioned cartoon art style. The dull and washed-out colors are fitting for the theme of the game. It also contrasts well with the bright red glowing ball you chase after. The character designs are goofy and bursting with personality. The exaggerated expressions and animations help to keep you engaged during the short cutscenes. There’s a certain charm to this game that makes it fun to watch unfold.
The music lingers in the background with no real impact. Occasionally there is a good track that adds to the atmosphere, but this is a rare occurrence and happens three or four times at most. The sound effects are better at setting the tone. Since The Office Quest uses a lot of slapstick humor, it’s important they nailed the sound design. What’s in the game is fine, the problem is that it is limited in usage. Good slapstick finds a way to incorporate sound into the jokes. The Office Quest doesn’t blend these sound effects with the slapstick. It can feel a tad odd at times.
The Office Quest is infuriating as it never lives up to its potential. The groundwork is here for a solid adventure, but the game never reaches top speed. Certain aspects of mobile game design are holding it back. The main offender is how streamlined the experience is, leaving little room for exploration and secrets. That may be okay for a mobile game which you play sparingly. However, for a title you play on PC, you’d prefer a more substantial adventure.
Arshad reviewed The Office Quest on PC through Steam with a code provided by the developers.