One of the first paid jobs I had was helping out on a farm shoveling llama dung. It was dirty, tiring work, but it was a way to earn money in a time when I had none and that was enough for me. For awhile, that is. The more times I returned, the more endless the job seemed to become. Everything I did seemed to immediately undo itself, the same task replicating itself upon each visit, numbing my senses until I adopted a mindless rhythm and went forward on auto pilot. Over and over, always the same job for the same pay to be repeated again shortly thereafter.
Job Lozenge feels like a digital replication of this perpetual working grind. Crates drop in from the sky, which are then to be dropped into the abyss on the other side of your small village. There to ensure your cooperation and ability to perform your task is a bossy observer, showering you with praise when you finally finish your job but always with the assurance that there will be more crates the following day.
It’s not that moving the crates is difficult or exhausting, it’s simply monotonous and eternal. As my second day ended I began to ask myself “is this all there is”, to which Job Lozenge curiously replied by removing the box I had been thinking within. Suddenly there’s a whole new side to the game, which begs the question: “what else have I been missing?”
The intrigue and mystery that seems to erupt out of Job Lozenge with each new discovery is tantalizing and always indiscernible. Little things like the minimal color palette or the arrangement of plants adopt a new meaning, leading me through a trail of circling and crossing bread crumbs that answers each question with another. I’d discover new layers unintentionally and never be sure when I’d actually found them all. Even upon its ending I found myself in the dark, unsure if I’d seen everything or missed one of the small crucial details I felt for certain existed around me. Oddly though, I don’t think I ever actually wanted the lights to turn on. The mystery wasn’t meant to be solved, but to allow my mind to wander and hope to find its own resolution.
"Quick Thoughts" is a subset of my normal reviews for smaller games which might not fit into a full review but I still have something to say about.