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Review — WTF aka Work Time Fun

posted on July 6th, 2007 by tyson

I am a masochist, I have to be. There is no other explanation for why I go back to a game that urges me to put as many caps on as many pens as fast as I can. There is no reason to keep chopping wood so fast that when a helpless little bunny gets thrown on the cutting block I can’t stop my swing in time and that little bunny become a bloody mass of flesh and fur. Such is the “game” that is Work Time Fun.

In Work Time Fun, you play a temp in a job agency in Hell. Various demons staff the job search desk, all of them offering the least helpful advice possible. There are tons of boring, grueling jobs to choose from (over forty I think) and they range from being a bouncer at a concert to the examples I described in the introduction.

Fun!

Why would you play a game that consists of dozens of boring minigames, you ask? Good question. Here is why I do it. I am a collector by nature; a pack rat if you will. When you play the minigames in WTF, you get paid. You then take that money and spend it at different vending machines. Some of the cheap vending machines will give you little toy men that make up a set. Some of the more expensive ones give you better toys to collect. Every once in a while, the machines dispense a new minigame that gets added to your job pool.

At this point, one should be asking why in the world would you play a game just to collect little virtual toys that have no use or meaning? This game takes advantage of the same element that makes Pokemon fun; the drive to keep collecting. When I find myself playing WTF much more than I should, I think the reason is to just see how boring and depraved the game will get. It is comparable to watching a train wreck on your PSP. WTF is basically the Warioware for burnt out, Japanese businessmen. This game, like many unusual games, originated in Japan. It has been localized in English but the game is so Japanese, it is very difficult to convey its theme outside of the game’s native island wonderland.

The vending machine bit of the game deserves a little bit more attention and some explanation. Japan is the vending machine capital of the world. You name it and odds are good there is a vending machine somewhere that is happily spitting out whatever it is you are looking for. There are items ranging from the mundane beer or condoms to the slightly more odd, women’s panties and men’s ties. Then there is the market for capsule toys. Think of all of the goofy things you got out of a vending machine when you were a kid and multiply that by ten. I have seen toys that were nude models of anime characters come out of these things.

Kill it!

This is just one part of Japanese culture that you need to know a bit about when delving into the obscurity of Work Time Fun. In the real world, just like in this game, there are people that spend a good chunk of their adult, virginal lives collecting capsule toys.

Work Time Fun lives up to its acronym. It is an extremely odd and very Japanese game. The minigames are pointless and boring like many real world jobs. You also occasionally get emails via the in-game email system from your friends, telling you how miserable they are. The email system will also send you spam like any virtual computer network worth its salt. I encourage people to play WTF just for the Japanese flavor and the creative twist it adds to games like Warioware. If you find yourself going back to WTF over and over, like a white trash, nineteen year old mother of four to her abusive boyfriend, don’t blame me.

2 Comments

  1. christian said on July 9, 2007:

    Collection is a very gripping design choice, one that always seems to work, so long as the requirements to collect things are feasible. Part of me wants to see a move away from it, but it always hooks me in any game that prominently features it, as seems to be the case here.

  2. TrueTallus said on July 9, 2007:

    There are so many great, painful games in WTF. I know the putting-pencaps-on minigame is a great metaphor for unpleasant jobs of mind numbing ruitine (I particularly like the bad lighting and grating machinery noise), but my favorite job is “The Net”. Having to sit around and litterally do nothing except look at the unimpressive scenary (sometimes for hours on end) just so you can be there at the right time to do 2 minutes worth of work captures certain real-life jobs so precisely it’s scary.

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