Title: Dead End Job
Developer: Ant Workshop
Publisher: Headup Games
Genre: Shooter, Action, Arcade
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Age Rating: PEGI 7
Release Date: 13/12/19
Price: £13.99 – Rapid Reviews UK was very kindly provided with a review code for this title.
Halloween is known for many things, and the biggest things are ghosts. Ghost Busters kick-started the whole idea of catching them, and there are a couple of games that do that just fine. Example? The Luigi’s Mansion series. Now it is time for a new IP to take reigns and that is Dead End Job. When researching this title, it looked like a fun game. Was this game a treat or was it a trick? Read my Rapid Review to find out.
Now the game starts very interestingly. You get thrown in with an intro in your face, explaining the simple plot of the game where your partner dies by chocking on a pick. Now it is up to you to bring her back from the dead. Mind you that is it in terms of story. Sure, you met other characters, but they don’t matter.
The visual presentation is excellent. I liked the style the Developers chose for the game. I also do like the enemy designs, and how each of them has an intro. However, during loading screens between levels, there is a slowdown. Thankfully it doesn’t affect the whole game.
The game’s music is fine. However, it is the same song throughout the whole game, or at the very least no difference. Mind you that doesn’t matter since I consider this a game where you can turn your brain off and play while listening to something else.
As for the gameplay, it is good, but it has one HUGE issue which I’ll get to in a moment. Like I said at the beginning this is a Ghostbuster/Luigi Mansion type game in that you capture ghosts. However, there is a twist. This is a twin-stick shooter game as well. To capture these ghosts, you need to shoot them enough to stun them, and then you can suck them up. The variety of ghosts are great, and you are treated to new ghosts in very different locations.
Speaking of locations, to unlock new ones, you need a certain amount of money. To get this money, you need to go through the levels and capture a lot of ghosts, save civilians and finish the levels. You can also accept bonus jobs where you can do objectives to earn extra cash. During levels, you can find various items. They all do multiple things from open trapped rooms to healing and bombs. There is also an upgrade system, which when you capture enough ghosts, you can transfer them to get an upgrade. Some upgrades you won’t notice the difference right away, but other upgrades become a godsend.
While everything sounds so good about the gameplay so far, this is when it starts to fall apart for me. First of all, if you fail and get knocked out, then you lose all of your perks and start back at square one. I understand that it is supposed to be a challenge, but to get so high only to lose it all because of a cheap hit you didn’t see coming is annoying. There is an exception, however, if you can reach the top max rank, you get to keep everything you collected, so my advice to you is if you don’t have any healing items, then go and finish the rest of the level.
Then there is the lock-on aiming which the worst thing I ever encountered in the game, like sure it is great when it works. The problem is, it doesn’t work well and ruins the entire game. For example, I had multiple times where I was fighting a ghost, then either another one showed up, or my character would start attacking the stuff in the room. I had to fight to keep my character shooting the target I wanted him to, but he wanted to shoot the thing around the ghost. This needs to get fixed OR removed as it ruins the flow of gameplay significantly and changes the game from skill to luck.
That does it for my review of Dead End Job. While there is A LOT of good about this game from its visuals and gameplay ideas, the lack of music, the demotion system and worst of all the lock-on aiming being unfit for purpose makes the game slower than it should have been. Dead End Job should have been a treat, but it ended up being a trick.
Rapid Reviews Rating
You can purchase Dead End Job from the Nintendo eShop on the following link, https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Nintendo-Switch-download-software/Dead-End-Job-1679913.html#Overview
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.