Being an office drone has never been so much fun!
Incompetent interns… User manuals that haven’t been updated since 1986… the faint burning smell wafting out of the office printer… and cubicles that stretch for miles and miles. Welcome to MegaCorp Inc., a new Facebook game that explores the quirks of office life in a big soulless corporation.
As MegaCorp’s newest hire, you’ll start by choosing a character and customizing his or her appearance. Then you’ll dive into a short tutorial that acclimatizes you to your new life as an office drone.
Much like the TV show The Office, or the Dilbert comic strip, MegaCorp Inc. satirizes office life with humorously exasperating situations. Your first task after arriving at your bland cubicle for the first day of work is to try to find the employee orientation manual, which you discover – after searching for three hours – that an Intern has mispelled “NewEmployeOrentashunManul,” making it almost impossible to find.
Gameplay is about being given a task, and then having to complete it by travelling to different rooms in the office (office kitchen, printer room, manager’s office, water cooler, and so on) and interacting with people or objects like the printer, your computer, or the office phone.
MegaCorp Inc. certainly isn’t the first Facebook game to have the player complete quests to earn experience points, but the quests are some of the most entertaining we’ve seen. The situations you’ll find yourself in – having to visit the IT guy to get antivirus software after the network becomes infected by someone’s pirated MP3s, for example – are fun to read, and might seem all too familiar to those who have actually worked in an office environment themselves.
Working saps your energy, which is cleverly depicted as an ever-depleting coffee cup. You can refill the coffee cup a little by spending some Brownie Points (a currency that you receive for completing tasks and keeping your cubicle clean), or give it a serious boost by forking over a bit of real-world cash on the game’s premium currency, Benjees. If not, you’ll have to wait 6 hours for the coffee machine to refill on its own.
Brownie Points and Benjees can also be spent in the shop to buy office supplies for your cubicle: desk lamps, potted plants, filing cabinets, coffee cups, paper shredders and more – exciting! While this feature wasn’t enabled yet at the time of our preview, you’ll apparently soon be able to use Benjees to purchase special abilities as well.
The social features of MegaCorp Inc. seem particularly well implemented. Any Facebook friends who have added the game become your co-workers, and you can do a lot more than simply visit their cubicles to say hello. Your friends will actually be featured in the tasks you receive, so you might find yourself logging onto their computer to install a file, taking them a proposal, or giving them a high five.
You can also recruit friends into the game as “New Hires.” All Facebook games try to get you to recruit new players, but some do it more aggressively than others to the point that it crosses the line into relentless spamming. MegaCorp Inc., thankfully, takes a much less thoughtless approach. When you decide to recruit a new hire, you’re actually prompted to design a character for your friend and send it to them. The friend’s profile picture handily appears in the corner so you can try to make the character resemble them as closely as possible.
We never could have imagined that a game about life in a cubicle farm could be so engaging, or that we could be so excited about upgrading our office walls from tan to grey, but so far MegaCorp Inc. is doing everything right. We only wish that the coffee would last a little longer!