By Isaac Espinosa
When there are no rules about how to do your job, and no penalty for causing havoc, what’s the harm in a little collateral damage? “Good Job!” is a puzzle game developed by Paladin Studios and published to the Nintendo Switch. Here, you play as the son of the CEO of a megacorporation, charged with achieving a variety of goals on each of the company building’s nine floors. Let’s see how creatively we can climb the corporate ladder!
One of the greatest things about “Good Job!” is that the game doesn’t tell you how to complete the tasks you’re given. While jobs such as gathering all your co-workers for a meeting or watering the flowers on the recreation floor would typically be slow and mundane, “Good Job!” gives you the freedom to work in destructive and hilarious ways. Why drag that projector to the conference room for a meeting when you can use the extension cords to launch it like a catapult straight through the walls? Sure, the breakage will probably cost the company a couple thousand dollars, but the game never punishes you for inventing ways to get the job done.
The level design of “Good Job!” cleverly coincides with the cataclysmic capabilities of each puzzle. Each of the game’s nine floors has four rooms, and you’re given a description of what to do before you’re sent to do deeds in your creatively wild way. All of the spaces are different in ways that encourage various destructive solutions. For example, one of the Second Floor jobs is to gather green and purple containers and place them in their designated spots. You control a crane, which you use to drag boxes around to make way for the special containers. You can also use the crane to move around or destroy the smaller boxes and to throw the normal crates out of the way, so that you don’t have to worry about them in the future. This is probably not the most efficient way to solve the problem, but the level design allows you to use the tools at your disposal in whatever ways you can think of. And since every floor has at least a few new things to offer, nothing seems stale or boring!
Unfortunately, some of the missions of “Good Job!” are less exciting than others, like the recreation floor mission that commands you to water every single flower on the floor – more than 200 of them. So while it’s fun to use your hose to launch yourself like a rocket around the room, that doesn’t go very far toward accomplishing the mission. and it will likely cause you to miss some of the harder-to-spot flowers. Tasks like that force you to take things more seriously, which isn’t entirely bad. But it doesn’t allow you to commit some of the crazier actions like on some of the other missions. Also, the game has no online features. It would’ve been amazing if you could play with friends online and cause some office mayhem, instead of having to keep to local play.
“Good Job!” is still a wonderful bundle of charming and catastrophic fun, and each environment has a unique aesthetic, like the recreation floor, where the flowers, pools, and cushions make it look like a comfortable place for workers to relax. In contrast, the research floor just above is full of test tubes, workers in lab-coats and scientific tools, demonstrating that it’s a very serious workspace. In all honesty, though, a lot of my enjoyment came from all of the shenanigans that I could pull off with the tools provided to me, and the way my chaotic methods would solve the problems. After all, in these dark times, we could all use a good laugh.
Isaac Espinosa is a New York Videogame Critics Circle Intern. He’s the founder of the Lehman College Videogame Critics Circle.