Work Time Fun (or WTF) seeks to do what Wario Ware did so brilliantly: stick a bunch of minigames into one title and keep players occupied and happy for short spurts of gaming. It's a good idea and high-concept games like this are made for portable systems. Here's the thing though, Wario Ware sought to do this by actually making the minigames… well, games. You were supposed to be playing the goofy ideas of Wario as you went through the game.
In contrast, Work Time Fun makes its minigames work, and the idea is so terribly bad that you have to wonder who gave this idea the thumbs up. "You see, we're going to simulate the work environment of many people by making the game tedious and repetitive!" It doesn't sound like a good idea, and it certainly isn't one in practice.
One game has you putting the caps on pens. Over and over. Sometimes you have to flip them to get the cap on the right side. I made one hundred pens or so before being convinced that was all there was to the game, and then got my $5 check. Gee. I'm having fun. I used that money to buy something at the vending machine, hoping to get another minigame or something else that's fun. Nope, I got a pencil eraser. You see, you collect trinkets, but they don't really do anything. Does this sound fun to you?
The other "jobs" can be taking orders at a restaurant, playing Rock Paper Scissors (most of the players use the same attack over and over, making the game mostly trial and error), or running across the street collecting mushrooms. You have to do these things many, many times to make any money to spend on your trinkets. This isn't fun, and it does feel like work. So I guess it's mission accomplished on the game design.
You can unlock more jobs, but it's never fun. You count people as they walk past, and you do this for a few hours, and you unlock some more trinkets. No thanks. There are also "tools" you can buy from the vending machines that do different things, such as a flashlight, or a pair of creepy eyes you can move around, or even a tool to help you split the bill at a restaurant. Fun for a few seconds, but again nothing that’s really going to help your enjoyment of the game.
The graphics are interesting, and the design work of the game is very strong. The "e-mails" you get from the main menu are also pretty funny. It’s clear that someone spent a lot of time making sure the game looked appealing and fresh. It's a shame that kind of work wasn't put into making the games actually fun. Of course, when you're modeling work, that may never have been in the cards.
Developer and Publisher: D3 Publisher of America
ESRB Rating: Teen
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