In the grim darkness of the future, Robots rule, and the few remaining Humans are kept busy doing "jobs" in a vague reconstruction of what it was like when Humans were the dominant force on Earth. Job Simulator, the hilarious first title from Owlchemy Labs, remains one of the most successful VR games to have ever been released. It's successor, Vacation Simulator, took those few remaining Humans and set them up in another important tradition, taking a vacation. It expanded on the original concept with tons of creative new ways to interact with the world and no shortage of fun vacation gags.
In a free expansion dubbed 'Back to Job,' Vacation Simulator sets you up with another essential part of the summer vacation experience by letting you work a summer gig at the cabana by the pool. And best of all, you don't have to finish Vacation Simulator to access it. Just hit the Back to Job toggle switch when loading your character at the beginning of the game. What you get as soon as you enter this world is exactly as fun as you'd expect, but underneath all of that cute is a ton of adorable criticism of the gig economy as we see it today.
A fulltime gig...someday
At its core, Vacation Simulator: Back to Job is the ticket-based interaction system from the original Job Simulator set in the summery world you encounter in Vacation Simulator. You are a new hire being trained by Gigbot, who lets you know that if you work hard and get enough five-star ratings from your interactions with your customers, you might eventually someday get hired on full time!
The jobs you get from each ticket vary in complexity and silliness, from making a bot a five scoop cone of ice cream with cold brew coffee on top to making a stack of pancakes out of ketchup with a slushie made from the actual bottle of chocolate syrup and a mushroom. It's adorable, and exactly what you'd expect from the amazingly creative Owlchemy team.
The longer you play, the darker things turn. Your customers include social media influencers who will totally leave you a great review if you get them something for free and writers celebrating their script being optioned only to get a call later telling them their dreams had just been dashed. At one point, there's an actual, genuinely deep conversation between two bots about not letting your job define you and living for you instead of living for your work. Of course, this happens as you, the human, sit there ready to serve them whatever they eventually ask for.
And when you do actually reach that fabled day when you have enough five-star reviews for the company to reward you with a full-time job, there's a massive data breach that resets all of your stars, and you have to start over. There are even back to back unlockables rewarding you for both gaining and losing your job to drive this point home.
If you already own Vacation Simulator, this DLC is hilarious if a little dark and all too real at times. It will give you hours upon hours of additional playtime, either alone or with friends, if you are the type to share your headset. And if you've never picked up Vacation Simulator, there really isn't a better time to jump into one of the more entertaining puzzle games in VR today.
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