NSFW ~ Not a Simulator For Working

A good comedy game is difficult to pull off, but I really needed one after a slew of games that left my mood soured. I needed to unwind and what better way to do so than with a game advertising it’s anti-work nature in the title.


You are Mr. Liem, a recent hire at a big firm in South-East Asia who has to take on graphic design projects. You have a 7-day trial period in which you need to proof your worth to the company or you will be fired. Work is boring, however. So boring you won’t make it through the day without a little break.

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As you start each day, a fun-meter begins to deplete while you work on your projects. By pressing the right mouse-button, you switch to a porn tab in which you play a mini-game to score points, with which you then buy new videos with different mini-games that award more points.

The challenge lies in keeping your activity hidden. You need to keep your fun meter high to avoid dying of boredom, but colleagues walk by that will be angry if they catch you watching porn. With a press of RBM you switch back to work, but it’s difficult to play the game and keep your eyes out for anybody walking past. You can also use the sound of footsteps to guess when a co-worker is approaching and different characters have different sound-effects. That is, if you can even hear those over the cheesy, “erotic” music that plays while you are goofing off.

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NSFW shouldn’t be mistaken for a joke game. It has a lot of comedy to it and I was particularly fond of the bizarre emails you can read before starting each day. The gameplay is well-developed, though, and certainly not to be compared with joke simulators that are plentiful on the PC platform. The core gameplay loop is very good and constantly complicated with new layers of challenge. The IT guy starts running automated scans of the computers, colleagues will chat you up while they walk by, some of them immediately turn back around to punish those who alt-tab back the moment they think someone is gone.

Once you have survived the initial trial period, you unlock a new mode where you keep playing the game with new challenges. You now have both the points to buy the “fun” mini-games as well as a second currency with which to buy new work software. You pick from a random selection of jobs each day and need to buy the software required to pull them off yourself. This also means you now have to do mini-games while working too and might switch to a completely different mini-game with different rules when you switch back to porn.

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The presentation around this fun gameplay idea is also quite nice. Each co-worker is given a silly personality with his or her own e-mails and dialogue. If you interact with them enough you unlock a special e-mail, a picture of them that reveals a secret of theirs, and a special mini-game with a video of them. And, while I have been calling it “porn” throughout this review, the videos themselves are all comedic. Doesn’t make it less awkward to have this loud “porn music” blasting with canned moans every time you score points.

If you can handle that awkwardness or intend to play it with headphones on, then NSFW is a fun comedy game. It’s a bit short, but the endless mode adds so much to the game that it’s recommended to try it out.

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