Poking Fun at the Monotony of Work on Facebook with Office Daze

Office DazeLet’s face it. Monday’s are rough in the workplace, and despite best intentions, many often find themselves off in a bit of a daze part of the day. This is where a new game from UK-based Zoe Mode comes into play. Office Daze is a virtual space, business sim that seeks to poke fun at the monotony of corporate work environments in an attempt to show the lighter side of work.

Well, that’s the idea anyways, as Office Daze attempts to follow in the footsteps of other satirical titles such as Office Heroes or the role-playing game, Ponzi Inc. with its humor. At times, the virtual space sim succeeds in this regard, giving the user something to smile at every once and a while. However, the times in which this occurs feels few and far between, and, as a whole, the game feels very dull with little reward and poor user feedback.

Since work itself can be dull at times, so in Office Daze, players are not the employee, but the employer. The idea is to build a successful corporation by building out their own virtual office space and filling it with quirky characters dubbed “minions” to do all the dirty work. That said, the methodology of play is exceedingly simple.

TasksThe basic business works sort of like Sim Hospital, in that players construct specific cubicle spaces within their office in order to do work. These range from secretarial cubicles, to data entry, to meeting rooms, with each one allowing for a different type of work to be done. This “work” makes up part of the game’s comic relief with jobs such as sending “Idle Gossip” as a form of data entry or send “Email Complaint[s]” as secretarial work. Each job takes a set amount of time to complete, and will earn some semblance of profit upon completion.

As one can see from the two examples, the jobs aren’t all that funny, and there is nothing more to them than the titles. Office Daze attempts to make up for this, slightly, with the minions one hires to do said jobs. Similar in respect to employees in Ponzi, each minion must be hired (candidates file in whenever the user creates a new cubicle space) and have a brief blurb describing their personality. For example, “Tatty Matt” is a “scruffy, charming and wholly underrated. Cooks for his girlfriend.” Again, though, it is attempt at humor that only sometimes earns a polite chuckle.

The game also incorporates décor, which is expected for any sort of virtual space oriented game. Unfortunately, the game is weak here on many fronts. First off, the décor works sort of like Nightclub City, in that it boosts the rating of one’s office. Unfortunately, the description of what this does on a functional level is said only once, in a brief tutorial blurb, and never accessible again. It is supposed to do something along the lines of keeping workers “happy,” but what that exactly means is unclear. If we had to make an assumption, it would be along the lines of attracting new, and more qualified minions.

MinionsEach minion has a set of attributes associated with them, shown by a star rating, as well as how much they cost to do a particular task. However, there are also two other stats that are icons of a happy looking character and a banana peel. As for what these mean, we have no idea as there isn’t even a mouse-over tooltip. Once again, we have to make an assumption and this probably affects how much money one earns from doing a task. Why make this assumption? Because upon completion, tasks have a star rating as well. The better the worker, the better the rating, and thus the more profit earned… we think. The game likes to keep secrets.