What’s the Hype About Job Simulator VR Game?

Owlchemy Labs, a creative game development studio born in 2010, did not aim to create the most epic RPG or a shooter that would draw in large audiences. Instead, the Austin, Texas natives focused on creating games that would work around the limitations that the hardware and software placed on them. Regardless of the nascent phase of VR devices in 2016, the game studio managed to launch arguably one of the most iconic and popular VR games to date. 

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Job Simulator VR Game

Illustration: Milica Mijajlovic

Job Simulator VR sets players into 2050, where they are put into a simulated world with a variety of tasks. Robots replaced humans in the workforce, and players must learn how to do their job. Initially, the game launched on the HTC Vive, and moved onto Playstation VR, Oculus Rift, while in 2022 it launched on Oculus Go. The latter version contains all of the content from the original game, with some additional features created specifically for this platform. 

A Brief History of the Game and the Studio Behind it 

Job Simulator is a VR game simulating various jobs in a comic-book-like world with quirky and funny interactions. At the time of writing, the game is available across multiple platforms, including Windows Mixed Reality, Valve Index, the Rift, PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift, Oculus Go, and HTC Vive. The game has been one of Owlchemy’s most popular game, selling out millions of copies. Even today, the game sits atop sellers lists as one of the most recognized and successful VR games.  

However, Owlchemy’s road to stardom was not that straightforward. As the studio began its journey in 2010, when the mobile games market was reaching saturation points, they started off their creative projects by utilizing slapstick humor still prevalent in their games. The best example of this is the Jack Lumber game, where players take on a role of a supernatural lumberjack taking vengeance because an evil tree killed his grandmother.  

Oculus Rift’s Kickstarter launched in 2012, and Owlchemy jumped on the opportunity to experiment with VR games, creating a game called Aaaaa!, in which players jumped very high, then fell back down quickly. This game put Owlchemy in front of Valve and other influential game studios, and the rest is history.  

What’s the Game Really About? 

In Job Simulator, players can choose to be a gourmet chef, office worker, convenience store clerk, or a car mechanic. The chef’s job is to prepare and serve food at a restaurant, but this will require players to read recipes and make adjustments. The office worker has to handle the paperwork and other aspects of a small business. The clerk assists customers in finding what they need, and the player needs to charge them for the items. Finally, the mechanic diagnoses and repairs cars.  

For all of these tasks, the players will need patience and a keen sense to serve the customers and get into hilarious situations while still managing to perform the necessary tasks. There is no shortage of unique experiences in the game, with various endings on offer, increasing the re-playability factor.  

Job Simulator Interact-Ability 

The game mechanics were very advanced for the time, allowing gamers to explore the game world and interact with the items in the same way people would in the real world. For example, when filling in a cup, players can spill the content, drink it, or take a bite off food items that they pick up. In essence, the game allows players to interact with almost all items, giving them a sense of being able to do anything.  

There is no movement in the game besides turning around and interacting with items in the surrounding. This is not a bad thing as it immerses players into the paradigm of being an employee in a cubicle where he/she needs to perform a certain job and meet customer demands, no matter how quirky or silly they may be.  

VR game 2022

Photo Illustration: Freepik

What Do Reviews Say?    

The VR gaming landscape looks pretty different in 2022, where heavyweights like Batman: Arkham VR, Doom VR, Resident Evil 4 VR, etc. dominate the top 10 lists. However, Job Simulator still has a place in a VR gaming library, which is confirmed by the stellar reviews it received and is still getting from reviewers. On Steam’s store, over 2,800 users have rated the game with a 90%, while recent reviews give the game a 95%. 

Full Dive Gaming, a gaming podcast on Apple Podcast recommends that everyone should try the game as it has very fun and positive elements. The fact that the game mechanics employ only two hands for the player with which he/she performs the jobs, removes the element of potential motion sickness some VR games can cause. Therefore, the game could be an ideal introduction to VR gaming for those new to VR in general, as it introduces mechanics and humor that can hook players onto VR gaming.  

Gamescom 2022 and the Future 

Owlchemy Labs’ smashing success with Job Simulator VR has placed it on the gaming map so much so that the studio was acquired by Google back in 2017. They tried innovating in the VR space, which they confirmed during the latest Gamescom in 2022. Though the game teaser was unimpressive, the mechanics of the game could be fun, and the influences from Job Simulator are evident in the implied game mechanics.  

Their latest game will be a pure hand-tracking game with a multiplayer option, a first in the world of VR gaming. The studio built its hand-tracking experience by adding it to their Vacation Simulator game in 2020. It could be argued that Owlchemy developed a new VR genre called “near-VR” where everything happens around the player, within reach of his/her hands. Therefore, the extension of the mechanics to the most logical part of the body, the hands, makes the most sense.  

The possibility of using one’s own body as a controller should make immersion into VR games much greater and easier for new gamers to get into VR gaming. The fact that in the near future we could use our hands to intuitively grasp objects inside of the digital world could be a game changer, that should excite technology, gaming and VR enthusiasts alike.  

Dino Kurbegović is a project coordinator and an investor and technology enthusiast with years of experience in managing complex projects. His journey into content writing began in 2014, covering finance, investing, crypto, technology and complex technical topics.