Imagine a world where people who are looking for work are treated like pocket monsters in the world of Pokemon. Instead of Pokemon Trainers, you have business owners, or at least kids of really stinking rich tycoons who are out and about capturing said new mons to work for their companies. You basically get Quick Turtle’s WorkeMon.
WorkeMon is a free-to-play strategy game from Quick Turtle that uses the Pokemon gameplay system set in a sadder, bleaker storyline. It can be played on both the Android and iOS platforms with or without an internet connection.
The game’s premise is simple. You are the 7th child of a really rich businessman. Your philandering father gives you a company that you can raise as your own business and tasks you to capture “WorkeMon”. These WorkeMons are basically people who are looking to have work for you, providing you with gold (the game’s currency) and experience so that you can level up. With a father who doesn’t really think you can make things work, and a slew of half brothers/sisters out to get you, you need to work on your own business acumen to be the top among your siblings.
WorkeMon’s gameplay system is almost similar to the established Pokemon formula. You basically go out and hunt the wild “WorkeMon,” capture them through battles (or in this game’s case, interviews), and bring them back to your company as work slav- *cough* employees. Depending on how you capture the WorkeMon, you can train them to improve their overall gold or experience output as they go on their sad lives as part of your company.
The game adopts the battle system in Pokemon in these WorkeMon encounters. However, instead of other WorkeMon battling for you, your avatar will be the one facing the WorkeMon in these interview encounters. The usual values of Pokemon in WorkeMon is switched to diff. attributes. The HP Bar is changed to the wanted salary of the WorkeMon and MP bar is now changed to the WorkeMon’s pride. Your moves will lower the value of these two stats, and depending on how you time these attacks, it’s going to make your capture of the WorkeMon easier or harder. To capture the WorkeMon, you need to have him/her sign the employment contract. As you start you will have only a basic contract, but as your avatar levels up you will have more contract signing options with a higher success rate, like intimidating the poor sod into signing the contract.
Battles in WorkeMon take on a different spin. Unlike in Pokemon where you have unlimited attack opportunities until you either lose all your Pokemon’s SP moves or when the Pokemon runs away. WorkeMon limits your attacks based on your avatar’s energy. At the beginning you start off with three energy points, and they get expended whenever you do an action. This forces you to strategize even before the encounters begin so that you can properly gauge if the WorkeMon you’re getting is worth it or not. You can however improve your avatar’s energy when you train your avatar in the gym to increase its base energy value and that opens up for more attack opportunities for your avatar.
You also have to take into consideration the heart value of your avatar in WorkeMon. All player-centric moves or abilities use up your avatar’s heart value. This value recovers in time and can be improved similar to the energy value through the game’s gym. You need to also think things through if you’re going to commit or not with the actions in-game because time flies really fast in-game. Day and night cycles are at 16 seconds real-time. Regaining hearts takes longer than the days in-game so you have to be smart in using them.
Moving on from the WorkeMon capture system. Once you have your stable set of slave *cough* WorkeMon, you then shift to office manager mode. Acquired WorkeMon need to feel satisfied or they’ll quit your company in the next pay cycle. The game gives you the option to pay or not to pay the salary of your WorkeMon and this affects their loyalty towards your company. The game doesn’t punish you when your WorkeMon leave, however, so you can just refill your ranks by adventuring yet again.
You can also improve chance values for your company as you level up your avatar. You can increase chances of getting a better payout at the end of the month, or more chances your employees work on weekends or do overtime. Though these values are in percentage, it affects your WorkeMon attitudes towards work. These company-wide stat bonuses also add on to the WorkeMon’s inherent stats so, for example, if you get a WorkeMon that has a +5% increase in working on the weekend, and you have the bonus of working weekends to +10% then there’s a 15% chance for your WorkeMon to spend the weekend at your company instead of resting.
Everything has a price
As you play through the game, it’s kind of understandable why your WorkeMon are hungry for a paycheck. Everything in game costs you gold. From upgrading your avatar, to buying new tables to put more WorkeMon into your company, to even opening up new locations to scout for more WorkeMon. You need gold, yet at the same time you need to also consider your avatar’s level.
Conclusion: Great (4/5)
I do have to admit, that when I started playing the game at first I found it cute that the game gets a bit tongue-in-cheek with the intro. But then I started to feel a bit bad on how the WorkeMon are looked down on by not only you, but also your siblings. If this game is a social commentary for how big companies treat their employees, well, message received.
Setting that unease aside, I find WorkeMon has a solid gameplay system even if it adapted it from Pokemon. I also like that the game doubles as a collection game aside from the simulation/strategy experience. WorkeMon counts every achievement and item you get on top of the WorkeMon count from the WorkeDex (I KNOW). So the game allows you to feel like you’re doing more than just getting WorkeMon and using them for your company. The game even has a Pokemon League like achievement system where you need to buy out the various companies your siblings have.
All in all WorkeMon is one of those games that is a really good time sink. You will have fun playing the game as long as you can stomach the terrible things your avatar and your siblings do to these poor saps. The game is a must have for simulation-strategy fans.
WorkeMon Gameplay Screenshots
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