Game: Part Time UFO
Genre: Puzzle, Action
System: Nintendo Switch (also on Mobile)
Developer | Publisher: HAL Laboratory | Nintendo
Age Rating: US E10+| EU 3+
Price: US $8.99 | UK £8.09 | EU €8,99
Release Date: October 28th 2020
No review code used, I purchased the game myself
More famously known for the Kirby series HAL Laboratory has made many games over the years including the mobile title Part Time UFO. Finally, free Jobski has now graced us on the Nintendo Switch with the ability to bring a co-worker for couch co-op.
Looking For Work
Jobski is a little UFO who arrives on Earth and picks up a temp gig helping a farmer pack his ute. From there you rent an apartment and become a freeter picking odd jobs out of a catalogue. Gameplay consists of dropping your crane catcher like a claw to pick up objects and place them in the designated area. The controls are simple but you must avoid knocking things over and can push things into place if needed. Your jobs vary wildly from stacking a cheerleader pyramid, piecing together a T-Rex skeleton or building a robot. Making it a crane game in the style of physics puzzler. Though thankfully you’d have to hit or hitch onto something to lose your grip.
The levels in Part Time UFO are on a timer but placing a blinking item in the goal will add to your time. Whereas taking damage from hitting a fish or being shot decreases your time. You can also pick up additional objects to add to your score, which is your pay. If time run out those bonuses won’t apply. Each level has three objectives to complete like grabbing one of every fish or not taking damage from ninjas throwing shuriken at you. Further levels are unlocked by collecting enough medals, while money can be used at the store. If you complete the level with all three goals in one run, you’ll unlock a harder version of that level. Whenever you complete a stage you’re given a prompt to share your picture on social media. If you do so you’re rewarded with a unique illustration per level type.
The Switch version is playable in two-player co-op and the levels aren’t changed however you will have to watch out for each other. One stray UFO could knock over an entire pile of pancakes!
Take A Break!
At the store, you can buy alternate costumes complete with a colour alt for co-op and a unique emote. Some of these outfits change how your UFO controls too like making it easier to stop, or increasing the claws speed. On levels, I had trouble with I found that changing my outfit helped me to reach my goal.
After beating the final levels you earn yourself a vacation. Treasure Island mode is more like an adventure mode where you must put your abilities to the test to find treasure and navigate the temple to gather keys and unlock the next room all while under a time limit. Further trips to this island require you to buy a plane ticket
Tower of Infinity is a mode where you are given random objects that you must stack up as high as you can. There is still a time limit so you’ll need to place things sooner than later. After reaching certain heights the shopkeeper can place a floating block for you. Though you have to time it right or it’ll disappear.
Asides from all that there’s an inbuilt achievement system that rewards you with cute animations. Some can be pretty tricky like asking you to complete a level with only so many claw uses. Certainly a bit much for the likes of me!
The soundtrack has only the slightest variety as most all songs have the main theme in it, in one way or another. Generally, it’s quite cheery but the repetition could get on one’s nerves.
The game has a cute pixel art style with lots of adorable outfits, expressive backgrounds and a Qbby hidden in most levels.
Being a mobile port it runs perfectly fine. In fact, my only qualm with the game is when playing co-op the camera perspective changes can get a bit annoying as it tethers you. While not my preference it would’ve been good if they’d kept touch controls as an option.
A physics based puzzler isn’t my idea of a good time and yet Jobski’s hard working charms won me over. I think this is a great game for couples or someone with a slightly older kid so you can spend a quick gaming session together. While it might only take a couple of hours to beat there’s plenty more to come back to.
Final Verdict: Two Thumbs Up