So you’ve ripped your pants (trousers) at work. You’re in a panic. You don’t have any spares. You can’t go out and let everyone see the damage. You don’t know what to do. After a few deep breaths, inspiration hits. You whip out your smartphone and ask Google to solve your problem. What did everyone else do in this situation? You click on the link and here you are. On this page. Bad news, this is a game review, and not just any old game review. It is one that makes light of the dark and horrifying reality that you find yourself in. The good news, however, is that you’ve stumbled upon a fun and charming game that you can come back to later. After the therapy sessions you will inevitably need after experiencing one of the most socially awkward situations known to man that is.
If, like me, you saw the game’s title and chuckled then you will probably find much to like about this game. Part of Ripped Pants At Work’s (RPAW from here on) charm is the intrigue and lightheartedness it instantly creates with its name. The idea that trouser ripping scenarios can be the premise of a video game made me very curious as to how it would work, and if it would actually amount to a good game or not.
RPAW begins with a new employee starting his first day at work. Mere seconds into what is already a nervous experience, the new guy bends over to pick up a pencil and of course the worst happens, his trousers split and the nightmare begins. The story and setup is simple but efficient, a point that is directly mirrored by the gameplay. The idea of the game is to sneak out into the city and find a new pair of trousers, in order to save yourself from embarrassment and to save your job. Your new workplace and the city it resides in is a scary and unforgiving place. When its inhabitants see our half naked protagonist, they will make comments and cause the embarrassment meter to rise. The longer he is exposed to the embarrassment the faster the meter will rise and ultimately result in failure. It is essential to break the line of sight with the inhabitants to reduce the meter, and this can be done in a number of ways. The game gives the tools needed to hide from onlookers, there are bushes and clothes rails to hide in, desks that cover the correct half of the body and people’s backs offer a route to sneak behind. The other method is to simply run away; the more embarrassed the protagonist gets, the faster he moves and the quicker he can escape. In a bustling city, however, this can lead to failure as often as success.
The task of finding new trousers is mostly quite easy, but collecting all of the available clothing poses the biggest challenge. The gameplay loop of split trousers, find trousers is addictive and along with exploring every nook and cranny is what kept me playing. The biggest problem here is there are not many of the previously mentioned nook and crannies to explore. The city itself is particularly small and consists of a square area with the office building in the centre. It doesn’t take long to become familiar with the surroundings. The size of the map greatly reduces the replay value of RPAW, once you have collected all of the available trousers there really isn’t much else left to do. The small size of the map would work better, in terms of replay value, if the world was procedurally generated. This way there would be a sense of a new challenge every time, giving the game no real end and in turn longer legs.
What the game lacks in depth and content it makes up for in its charm. The lightheartedness found in the game’s name transcends over to the looks, the gameplay and world, there is a real synergy at work between all the facets of the game. The dialogue in particular kept me smiling, as I hid in a bush, passersby would announce their love for their trousers and make trouser based puns. The game requires you to explore everywhere, and in doing so treats the player to some entertaining scenarios. Even the concept of the game, the idea there is a conveyor belt of new employees at this company due to trousers splitting feeds into the game’s unique character.
Ripped Pants at Work (Reviewed on Windows)
Game is enjoyable, outweighing the issues there may be.
The biggest flaws in Ripped Pants At Work are its relatively short game length, small world size and lack of a deep reason to return once finished. These problems, however, are negated somewhat by the quick gameplay loop, a charming world and small price tag. RPAW will provide quick bursts of smile inducing fun and is worth a go at its price.