I was just paging through my precious, imported issue of Wired, and read a little blurb about Miss Management, a new game for Windows PCs. From their website:
Get ready to manage a team of zany animated coworkers as you step into the shoes of Denise, a young and beleagured [sic] first-time office manager. You’ll have to juggle incoming work tasks, keep everyone from getting stressed out, and help the coworkers achieve their goals, from flirting at the watercooler to getting more work done than anyone else! Office politics was never as hilarious as this!
Wow, just like real work! I shouldn’t mock. After all, The Sims enables you to simulate ordinary lives, and they’ve sold a few copies, haven’t they? Though, tellingly, there’s no SimWork.
Looking at the website, I’m unclear on the game’s target audience. Girls? Adult women? I’ve got nothing.
Why not download the hour-long free trial from gamelab.com? You may find that the target audience is… you!
I bought Diner Dash, also created by Game Lab, and I love it. I tried out the Miss Management free trial—the game resembles Diner Dash in terms of multi-tasking and creating strategies to handle or prevent crises. The game also requires you to move the office characters around to fulfill their given tasks, and sometimes it became frustrating when I couldn’t move them as easily as I would like to.
Honestly, I couldn’t care enough for the neurotic game characters to buy this game.
There is no ‘Sim Work’, however there is an expansion pack titled ‘Open For Business’ which is geared entirely around, you guessed it, operating your own business. I think if this game has the open-ended feel of The Sims, combined with enough humor of both the ‘I can relate’ type and the more quirky in-jokes similar to what Sims has, it could be a real hit!
The “casual games” industry has been growing huge amounts in the past few years. It started with simple games like Bejeweled, and expanded into big business. There’s a good whitepaper kicking around that delves into the audience: the majority are women, and older (like 30+ with a huge amount being 50+).
Somebody else mentioned Diner Dash which was a huge hit in the casual games space, where you played the role of a waitress serving tables as she worked her way up to owning her own restaurant. It wasn’t my cup of tea either, but I’m not in the target audience. Computer games are going mainstream, and it’s happening with new innovation that isn’t targeted at typical “gamers” at all.
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