Dead End Job is a wacky twin stick shooter that combines Ghostbusters/Luigi’s Mansion and The Binding of Isaac with the art style of Ren and Stimpy.
Genre: Action, Shooter, Twin Stick
Developer: Ant Workshop Ltd.
Release date: 13 December, 2019
Dead End Job is an indie twin stick shooter that feels very much like a mixture of Ghostbusters/Luigi’s Mansion and The Binding of Isaac or classic Zelda. It also utilizes a wacky art style that’s very reminiscent of the classic cartoon series Ren and Stimpy. If this sounds like something you’d find interesting, do read on for more details.
Ghosts and Locations
Since there isn’t a lot story-wise going on in this game, we’ll move right on to it’s the ghosts and locations you can visit. The game starts off in the main character’s office where you can view the job map, your handbook, and check out online jobs that people wish you to complete (They’re basically challenges you get rewarded for).
There are 4 job locations that you can travel to but you start with only one of them unlocked. The office building is your starting location and is filled with various office themed ghosts. Each area has it’s own unique layout and ghost designs but they’re usually part of the same classes of ghosts no matter how they look. There are some ghosts that act as bosses like a secretary ghost or a ghost-themed after the ZX Spectrum. These ghosts are much tougher than regular ghosts and can take a beating. You’ll need to outmanoeuvre them and continually shoot them to take them down.
In order to unlock new locations, you must first earn enough money through busting ghosts. The first location is unlocked at $50,000, the third is unlocked at $250,000 and finally, area 4 is unlocked at $500,000. It’s pretty easy to make money though so it shouldn’t be much of a problem to make that much money, it’s just time-consuming.
Busting Ghosts and Earning Your Pay
Your main objective in each run through an area is to suck up ghosts and rescue civilians in the process. To do this you must first weaken the ghost by shooting it with your gun. Once their health is drained they will become stunned, which is when you employ your vacuum cleaner to suck them up and earn your pay. Each ghost you collect has a different price, with the tougher ones earning you more money.
Your vacuum also has a meter that fills with every ghost that you collect. Once it reaches maximum, you can then press the R key and this grants you a promotion. When you get promoted you’re able to choose a perk to benefit you as you explore and destroy ghosts. Perks range from increasing the damage of your gun to showing you where ghost traps are hidden on your map. There’s also some that boost your character’s movement speed. They all impact how you play the game in some way and it’s pretty fun figuring out the best combinations.
As you explore the rooms, you’ll also come across various gadgets and items. Each one has a unique ability but some can be kind of useless, like the beans, which only make your character shoot out a giant fart cloud. There are also healing items but they tend to be pretty rare.
If you happen to run out of health during a run, you’ll still be paid for the ghosts you busted but you won’t get a level completion. To get a level completion, you must complete your objectives, then reach the exit.
Overall, Dead End Job is a pretty fun game, it’s not really groundbreaking or earth-shattering, but it’ll kill a few hours in between games. It’s also not bad if you don’t have a lot of time on your hands because each run goes by fairly quickly, depending on the difficulty level. It’s definitely not something everyone will enjoy and it’s not working with Steam Remote Play Together yet sadly (I ran into some bugs that prevented me playing it with a friend). In the end, I’ve decided to Save for Later on this one. If you’re a fan of Ghostbusters or Luigi’s Mansion you may find the novelty of the game pretty neat, like myself, but I will admit that the novelty does run out fairly quickly and it gets kinda boring after an hour or so.
Editor’s Note Re Linux
I’m pleased to report that the Linux version works flawlessly – played on both Arch and Ubuntu 18.04 for a few hours, no problems at all!