The Office is one
of the most popular shows out there, successfully bringing the mockumentary
format to prime-time TV in the US (the original “The Office” appeared on the BBC
in the UK) and making Steve Carell a household name. With the show’s dull
corporate setting and sharp wit, the series has accumulated a huge fan base, and
one that is no doubt clamoring for a video game based on the TV show. At least,
that how casual game publisher MumboJumbo feels on the matter, as they release
their own take on the TV show in The Office for the PC.
While many out
there would agree that licensed games are getting a bit out of hand these days
and many would agree that a video game featuring The Office would make as much
sense as Jim and Pam getting sucked into the Mushroom Kingdom in an upcoming
episode, MumboJumbo’s addition to the fray plays it pretty safe, by presenting a
light take on the arcade-classic Diner Dash and setting it with the familiar
Scranton, PA branch of Dunder-Mifflin. Sure, the gameplay is nothing new and the
storyline isn’t terribly compelling (at least not when compared to the show’s
great writing), but those fans of the show out there looking for a light and
casual time-waster could do worse with their time.
The Office puts
you in the shoes of everyman Jim Halpert as a competition goes down in the
office to be the most efficient salesman at the Dunder-Mifflin Scranton branch.
Over the course of a year (40 levels), you race against other workers to print
and file paperwork in record time.
Whereas on the
show, Jim is an actual salesman, in the game he seems more like a glorified
gofer, taking paperwork from one desk to another, printing it out and then
filing it once complete. You have to move quickly, as you’ll have another
character hot on your heels trying to file paperwork at the same time as well.
This gameplay mechanics works within the tried-and-true Diner Dash formula, and
feels natural with the mouse controlled mechanic, and shouldn’t overwhelm the
casual audience to which this game is geared.
You’ll also have
access to gags throughout the game, which serve to tie your opponents up. Pam
helps you in this regard, stealing cell phones and causing back-ups in their
productivity. You’ll also have access to boost items, like coffee, which will
allow you to run across the office faster.
storyline isn’t truly compelling, and even the short cut scene interludes don’t
really capture the spirit of the show. There are also a few sound bite snippets
here and there taken from the characters on the show, but nothing too
game is pretty much on par with any number of casual games, opting for a
sprite-based look that will work on just about any computer as opposed to a
flashy 3D aesthetic. The characters are bobbleheads with huge heads and little
bodies, with faces that cartoonishly represent the actual actors. This feels
like it was done for comedy sake, and feels a bit too contrived at times.
The Office isn’t
really for the hardcore gamer, as it’s simple and approachable formula is more
for those who like the show but only have a passing interest in games. While the
game isn’t terribly original or complex, it should appeal to its audience just
simple and not complex, the gameplay borrows heavily from Diner Dash.
the best you’ll find on the PC, the bobblehead look feels a bit too silly at
Minimal sound bites from the show and a MIDI-esque score.
very original, as the Diner Dash concept has been done many times before.
Office is a casual game that borrows heavily from Diner Dash and will appeal to
fans of the show who have a passing interest in video games, and not really much