The Company Man is a 2D action platformer. You play as Jim, a standard every day salary man, a guy that works for a company, you know, blue suits and all that shit. Well he gets promoted to a pretty high position in the company, then he’s stabbed in the back by someone he thought was his friend, and gets demoted, nearly fired. He’s now fighting for his job and doing everything he can to get promoted again because he wants to be the CEO. He ends up firing people on a regular basis to get boosted up in position, sometimes even firing people that he’d rather not, because he is, as the game says, a company man.
The game is an allegory to working in an incredibly toxic office and it amuses me. You fight for your job by firing people and that’s seen as you literally beating them out of existence. You’re armed with a keyboard which becomes your sword, and emails that you can send which become various types of bullets you can fire, all in order to fire people, including heads of departments which gives you access to higher floors as you get promoted back upwards to vaulted position of CEO *I wiggle my fingers mystically for effect*. You gain new email abilities and you also get a free coffee coupon for beating bosses. When you’re back in the lobby you can use that coupon in the coffee shop to get an upgrade, from more damage with the sword or emails, to more health, more energy to fire the emails with, faster regen, it has it all. And the best thing about this, if you’re bad at the game, like I was at first, you can simply farm the first boss over and over until you’ve bought enough upgrades to beat the next boss.
Along the way you get introduced to Alice who you speak to between every mission. She’s the company’s receptionist in the main lobby, right across from the coffee place. She quickly becomes Jim’s love interest even though there really isn’t much in the way of chemistry between them. You meet some others as well that talk to you jovially. But just because someone is nice doesn’t mean they’re productive for the company, and this company is all about churning people out that aren’t productive, hence your job of constantly firing people.
Every level is a different floor of the office and each has their own unique look to them from one being a cog machine prison, to another being a frozen vault of money. There’s not just other employees battling you, you have environmental issues to face in each area, from spike filled traps, to fire, explosives, even slicked ice floors. The game isn’t too hard, some enemy types will likely cause some issue, and some bosses can be confusing to fight for the first time but it’s all down to learning their very limited move set and avoiding things while running in to smack’em with your trusty keyboard of company… or something like that.
There’s not a lot to say, the controls are pretty good. The story is okay, I enjoyed it but it’s just okay. Bosses were really fun, most of the environments and levels are pretty fun, there are sections that are kind of bullshit, but overall most of it is pretty good. Combat is simple which is good for me as I suck at this kind of stuff. I beat the game in just under four hours, so it’s not too hard thankfully, though I did have to farm the first boss for a handful of upgrades before I was able to start taking things on properly, because, again, I suck at these kinds of games.
A review copy of the game was provided by the devs.
darkmikasonfire awards The Company Man the Indie Gamer Team Seal of Approval.