By Dalton McClain / April 21st, 2018
|Title||Diaries of a Spaceport Janitor|
|Release Date||September 16th, 2016|
Diaries of a Spaceport Janitor is advertised as an “anti-adventure” game, where you play as just a normal janitor in a hub full of adventurers. So with a moniker like that, is the game really as mundane as it sounds? Let’s jump in and find out.
The visuals of this game are unique to say the least. Don’t get me wrong, I love the pixel art, and I’m a real sucker for 2D sprites on a 3D plane, but something about this just seems off to me. Maybe it’s the color scheme, or maybe it’s the flashing lights, but something about the game really bothered me visually. I couldn’t play this game for more than a few hours before I felt like I was straining my eyes. Like most of the things in this game, the idea and style are great on paper, but in execution they’re really not fun to look at for long hours.
The only thing in this game I can’t complain about is the music. It’s beyond charming and a perfect fit for a game like this. The music is surreal, but also somewhat nostalgic for me. It’s almost like the music you’d hear out of an old sci-fi cartoon, but with a bit more groove to it. I really can’t applaud the OST of this game enough—they did a fantastic job. If anything, I would highly recommend just looking up some of the music to listen to. It really shone through above everything else.
Sadly, now we get back to the disappointing stuff, the gameplay. This game isn’t just called the “anti-adventure” game for nothing. Your job is to be a janitor, plain and simple. You collect trash to either sell, incinerate, or trade with NPCs. That’s really the bulk of the gameplay, and it really begins to drag on after hours of playing. Doing mundane things is fun for a while, and there’s plenty of comedy to be found, but it’s just not enough to make it enjoyable. All of the shops and NPCs will have different things to sell to you daily which is nice, but it’s almost impossible to find them considering that there isn’t a map. So either you remember your way around, or just wander around until you find who you’re looking for. The only things I found really interesting about the game were that you would randomly change genders, and you needed to save up money so that you could eat and progress to the next day. You can either buy things from merchants to eat or eat what you find on the ground, but more often than not the food you find on the ground will only make your character sick, which you then have to clean back up. There are also small fetch quests you can do for the NPCs and those can be a bit entertaining, but they don’t usually last long. Those add a little bit to the game, but they still don’t really feel like the mechanics are implemented as well as they could be.
The only thing left to talk about is the story, but there’s not really much to talk about in that department. While on the job one day you discover a skull and become cursed. Now you must go and find three tablet pieces in order to rid yourself of the curse. It’s not a really complex story, but it’s still a pretty decent one. There’s nothing really good or bad about it per se, but it does the job well enough.
So my final thoughts on Diaries of a Spaceport Janitor are that the game is a great game hidden inside of a good game. There are a lot of really neat concepts here, but I felt like they weren’t really that well expanded upon as much as they could have been. The game is 10 hours long and is at a really good price of only $9.99 on Steam, but I wouldn’t recommend it unless you plan on doing a lot of tedious work for a few laughs. If you need a good game to play off and on again then I would give this a try, but if you’re looking for something to just sit and beat in a couple sittings then this really isn’t the game for you.
Review copy provided by the publisher
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