Review: Good Job!

Working for the man every night and day

Back in the day, I toiled away at a toy storage facility. The gig paid poorly, came with dreadful holiday hours, and frankly, was quite dreary overall. The only silver lining was the ample stretches of idle time I enjoyed, during which I’d frequently daydream about commandeering the forklift collecting dust in the remote corner of the warehouse and demolishing the whole edifice piece by piece.

Naturally, I never acted on those outlandish musings – which is why I’m an esteemed journalist at Destructoid instead of an inmate at Prisontoid. Nevertheless, the urge to visualize such wanton destruction lingers, even now that I’m gainfully employed in a job I adore. Fortunately, I can now satisfy those destructive impulses vicariously through Good Job!

Good Job

Good Job! (Switch)
Developer: Paladin Studios
Publisher: Nintendo
Released: March 26, 2020
MSRP: $19.99

In Good Job!, players step into the shoes of a boss’s child who must climb the corporate ladder by completing assignments in a company HQ that’s riddled with OSHA violations. The game’s opening montage is touching, despite the fact that all characters resemble those on the crosswalk sign. Starting with simple tasks like moving projectors and cleaning floors, the child progresses to more significant jobs, like hanging art and leading a gelatinous cube through a factory floor.

Though the company’s focus remains unclear throughout the game, players quickly learn that there are two ways to complete each task. The facility is incredibly fragile, and everything breaks at the slightest touch – water flasks, computer screens, even hazard cones. Players must decide whether to take their time and handle each job with care or barrel through the work as quickly and recklessly as possible.

In Good Job!, earning an “S” ranking for each room can be achieved without causing any damage, but where’s the fun in that? Instead, approach the challenges as if you’re throwing a party in someone else’s Air BnB – something you can get away with as the boss’s child. With copiers launched through walls and fire hoses unleashed on unsuspecting cubicles, there’s plenty of opportunity to indulge in mischievous mayhem across each floor. While new tools like forklifts, cleaning robots, and floor buffers add to the fun, some puzzles require you to observe and think logically about the actions of others on the floor.

Each floor consists of four rooms to complete, with your score based on completion time, the number of items broken, and the value of those items. A single clipboard can cost $5, while a golden vase could amount to $10,000. The scoring mechanism takes your highest rating in the three categories, so even if you achieve an “A” ranking in less than a minute but break 78 items worth $94,000, your final score will still be an “A”.

Achieving an “S” ranking in Good Job! can be accomplished by completing tasks with great speed or extreme caution. However, the latter requires a slow approach due to the game’s flaw of not identifying the correct item to be picked up. Almost everything in the company can be manipulated using the physics engine, and mishandling an object can cause a domino effect of destruction. In order to avoid this, one must be diligent in removing individual items from a stack or moving heavy objects like bookcases with care. Unfortunately, the game’s targeting system is unreliable, and even slight movements of the thumbstick can cause the player to accidentally pick up the wrong object, resulting in a failed attempt at a perfect score. The frustration only intensifies as the player progresses to higher levels with cluttered spaces of numerous objects. Therefore, it is recommended to focus on enjoying the gameplay and the satirical commentary on nepotism rather than obsessing over achieving the highest score. The “S” rankings can be saved for a subsequent playthrough.

[This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]