Ever wanted to hunt ghosts? Dead End Job lets you live out your ghost busting dreams in a procedurally generated world. Although here ghost hunting is nothing more than a more lethal pest control. There’s no glamour or glory in navigating through its levels. Instead, there are sharp jokes about bad jobs and a lot of fun. It’s currently scheduled to release next year on Steam, followed by PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Switch.
Without your help, your mentor and partner will be trapped forever as a ghost. An unfortunate but common fate in your line of work. You have till the next full moon to prevent this. You’ll be clearing each building of ghosts, amassing as many perks as you can along the way. Dead End Job lowers the supernatural to the mundane, without making it obnoxiously dark or boringly realistic. Instead cartoonish jokes leak through. The visual style reflects an appreciation for 90s Nickelodeon cartoons. It’s Ren and Stimpy meets Ghostbusters, as a twin-stick rogue-lite shooter.
Busting Ghosts Doesn’t Pay Well
The art style really is a joy. Retro pixel art has been overdone, especially in this sort of game. Dead End Job takes an aesthetic that’s rarely seen and presents it with a high level of polish. The cartoonish graphics are a call-back to Saturday mornings. The approach to humor in the game fits this perfectly. It gives every different boss or mini-boss a unique flavor.
Beneath the aesthetically pleasing and well-written dialogue is a fun and novel approach to a two-stick shooter. Getting rid of guns seems to reinvigorate the genre. Most interactions with ghosts feel more fulfilling than pointing and shooting should. Despite being procedurally generated, Dead End Job isn’t about exploration. The labyrinth seems to exist only to organize the waves of ghosts and spread out the bigger fights.
Perks in Dead End Job can be power-ups to make your life easier or hindrances. You’ll unlock these as your performance propels you through the ranks of your pest control operation. You might even reach the dizzying heights of a paid intern. Each job seems marginally better, but essentially as crappy as the last. If you avoid eternity as a ghost, your career is still one long grueling death march to retirement. In Dead End Job the only thing to strive for is slight improvements to your working conditions and rescuing your friend from the fate awaiting many in your line of work.
A Dead End Job for Two
Dead End Job features drop in and out local multiplayer. With its easily accessible gameplay, this makes it a great contender for casual play. The second player takes on the role of the mentor. It’s ideal for including friends without the burden of having to complete an entire campaign together. Procedural generation also makes it quite repayable, if the co-op experience proves to be a hit. The perks available provide plenty of scope for un-co-operative co-op.
Dead End Job will also feature Twitch integration. This will allow twitch streamers to give their viewers control over the perks they earn. Giving viewers the power to influence the game and interact with the streamer in entirely unique ways. Viewers will be able to inflict negative perks on those playing instead of always allowing them a bonus. Utilizing fan communities in this way makes it a great contender for streamers. This kind of creative use of media is exciting, especially in a game as fun as Dead End Job.