Top 10 Games Based on Boring Jobs
Over the summer I needed some extra money so I did landscaping at a private golf course. For forty hours a week I was raking sand traps, digging holes, and mowing acres upon acres of grass. The job wasn’t bad at all but it was definitely boring. On this job I found myself thinking up numerous ideas for blogs and lists. However, the very first idea I thought of, was the top 10 games about boring jobs. So it’s the first one I decided to write.
Now there are a lot of games about epic adventure and magical worlds however sometimes video game developers want to take the menial and make it epic. They make games about average people, average locations, average jobs and make them amazing… or completely average. Either way I wanted to count down my top 10 favorite. First, we’re going to need a few rules.
- Only one game per franchise.
- Most games are from the fifth generation (PS1, N64) and prior, except for two exceptions. However, they made their debut in the arcades so I’m allowing it.
- All games must be about jobs I consider boring.
- This list is not meant to offend anyone, if you do one of these jobs then more power to you.
- In every game you must actually do the job… kinda. So no Mario Bros because they’re plumber. I don’t recall unclogging toilets in those games.
- This is a personal list, so you may not agree. That’s fine, everyone is supposed to have different opinions.
- Before you ask where’s Tapper? Being a bartender is not a boring job, I know from experience.
10.)Wall Street Kid
Now this is a game, I’m sure many of you have never played or even heard about. That’s understandable, because it’s quite boring but also interesting and everyone should give it a go.
Wall Street Kid is actually a Japanese game for the Famicom it is the second game in the Japanese series of The Money Game, and it’s all about stocks. That’s right… stocks. In Wall Street Kid, your goal is to get as much money as you can. You do this by playing the stock market and investing in fake companies such as YBM, Yapple, Strayhound, and Carnivore Cruise Lines. If you make the correct choices you get more money, but if you cannot afford extravagances then you will lose. You must buy a fancy car, home, and castle… also you must spend much of your hard earned money to keep your trophy wife happy with shopping sprees and gifts. This game is pure capitalism but kind of fun, and I’m surprised it exists.
9.) Pizza Tycoon
Have you ever wanted to own your own pizza franchise or design your own pizza? Probably not, but Pizza Tycoon lets you do just that. The game was made in 1994 by Software 2000, which is a bit confusing.
While this sounds like an entirely idiotic idea, it was quite fun and funny. You manage a pizza restaurant and control every aspect of it, like a simulation game. You do this to try and become the best and most profitable pizza restaurant in your fictional city. You do this by making the best pizza you can, entering cooking contests, and you can even call the local mafia to take out your competition.
The best thing about Pizza Tycoon, is that it doesn’t take itself seriously. There are numerous funny messages, graphics, and even some celebrity/political faces thrown it.
8.) 18 Wheeler: American Pro Trucker
18 Wheeler Pro Trucker is one of my exceptions to the “retro rule”, however, this game cannot be overlooked. In addition, the game was first released in arcades in 2000 and you try to find an arcade nowadays. Arcades are retro… DONE.
In this game you play as an 18 wheeler truck driver, and your goal is to drive a truck… ADVENTURE HO!!! Okay, it’s a little more complicated than that. Your job is to haul cargo across the county. Unfortunately, you have an unforgiving timer and a rival you must beat in every level. When I was a kid, I hated this game. If you made one little mistake, you would get a game over. It was tough!
However, it was fun. It was especially fun crashing into vans that game you extra time and the risk/reward system of picking a heavier load that was tougher to haul and worth more money or a lighter load that was easier but worth less. I can see how this game about driving a truck, was ported nearly everywhere.
7.) Wrecking Crew
Now Mario and Luigi are plumbers, but they’re also done other jobs. One of their other jobs was in construction, or rather deconstruction.
Wrecking Crew was a game released in 1985 for the NES. As I mentioned above, you play as Mario or Luigi and your goal is to destroy everything with your trusty hammer. The hammer is so heavy, Mario cannot jump. In this way, the game is very similar to Lode Runner. You have to avoid enemies, and make your way across the level by climbing and planning a strategy.
One of the greatest features of this game is that it was one of the first games with a level editor. Also there were bombs… and bombs are always cool.
6.) Dig Dug
Somehow, I feel like I’m cheating in this entry because I don’t know what the main protagonist of Dig Dug’s job is. I assume he’s some sort of miner. He’s a miner who inflates dragons and red tomato monsters. Okay, let’s just say he’s a miner.
Dig Dug is one of my favorite retro games of all time. It started as an arcade game but has been ported everywhere. In addition, there are numerous sequels and remakes. In this game you play as a man obsessed with digging and murder. The goal of the game is to kill everything before they kill you. You can drop rocks on their head, but it’s way more fun if you break out your trusty air pump and inflate the monsters to death.
Now this game is tough. The original arcade version goes to over 250 levels with the final level being an unbeatable kill screen. I personally never got past level 14… I don’t think I should be a miner.
This is probably the sleeper on this list, and that’s saying something considering a lot of these games are REALLY obscure. Nevertheless, TaleSpin started off as a Disney cartoon starring some of the cast from The Jungle Book. The TaleSpin cartoon followed Baloo from The Jungle Book as he tried to run his air cargo shipping company. He has hazards, enemies, and competition trying to stop him along the way. There have been three TaleSpin video games with a fourth fan-made game on the way.
So the TaleSpin games are all about delivering cargo… kinda. This is another one I might be breaking the rules with. The first NES game was more of a Shmup game where you had to shoot down rival planes and enemies. The other two games are more sidescrolling platformers. While these games don’t focus on the delivery aspect of Baloo’s job, they incorporate the job into the gameplay. In each game you have to collect cargo and that will have an impact on your score and gameplay. In the Sega Genesis version you even have to collect the cargo to proceed.
All of the TaleSpin games are fun, and you should give them a try sometime.
4.) Crazy Taxi
This is the final game on this list that bends the rules because when it received a console port it was in the sixth gaming generation. However, Crazy Taxi like 18 Wheeler started in the arcades, so I’m accepting it for this list.
Crazy Taxi lets gamers live their childhood dreams of being taxi cab drivers, because all kids want to be taxi cab drivers when they grow up… right? I guess I’m the only kid who wanted to be a taxi cab driver. You can’t blame me though, I played Crazy Taxi when I was a kid and that game really lives up to its name.
In Crazy Taxi your job is to pick up cab fares and drop them off to their location as quickly as possible before time runs out. Crazy stunts and a quick delivery will award you extra points and time. The best thing is that the location is similar to San Francisco in California where the streets are beautiful and there are jumps everywhere. It’s a game the rewards reckless driving, and I wish being a real taxi cab driver was like this… well it might be in New York City.
3.) Pokemon Snap
In my opinion, professional photography is a boring profession. I know nothing about it, but from what I’ve seen, it’s a lot of waiting around for the perfect shot. However, Pokemon Snap fixes all that.
When we heard there was going to be a 3D Pokemon game on the Nintendo 64 we were excited. However, our excitement waned when we learned it was just going to be about taking pictures of Pokemon. This sounds like a terrible idea on paper but worked for numerous reasons. First off, there is no waiting around for hours for Pokemon to show. Instead you travel across a themed location on rails while Pokemon cross the tracks and hang out right on the edge. However, the main reason this game is so high on this list are all the secrets.
Remember the time you “made” a Charizard, or when you found the legendary birds, or when you finally took a picture of Mew? Those memories solidify Pokemon Snap in the number three spot.
Paperboy was the inspiration for this list, but unfortunately it couldn’t crack the number one spot. Paperboy was a series of games about being a paperboy… in case you couldn’t figure that out. This game was designed by Atari and was ported everywhere.
The gameplay of Paperboy is quite simple. You control a boy who has a paper route. He rides down the street delivering the newspaper to all customers while avoiding some of the craziest obstacles of all time. Seriously, the streets on this game are a hazard to anyone. There are criminals in daylight, fighting neighbors, ghosts, and even Death himself. Now I know I’m not the only one who preferred to throw the papers at people and windows rather than in the mailboxes. This game is pure nostalgia for me.
The thing most people remember from the Paperboy series is the training course at the end of the street. After you deliver the papers, or destroy public property you get to ride over ramps throwing paper at targets. I’d often blow through the paper route just so I could do this part over and over again.
1.) Harvest Moon
In this game you play as a farmer. That’s it. You are a farmer. Yet, the entire Harvest Moon series is one of the greatest video games based on a boring job, but it’s also one of the greatest video game franchises of all time.
Harvest Moon has way too many games in the series to list, but if you never tries any of them, I recommend Harvest Moon: Back to Nature because it’s the first one I played so it’s obviously the best. The Harvest Moon games are role playing games or RPGs. You control a character whose basic job is to take a run-down farm and transform it into a thriving business. You can farm crops, you can buy and ranch livestock, you can sell items, and you can gather materials. In addition to all that, Harvest Moon is similar to Sims games where many of the games allow you to form virtual friendships, enemies, get married, and even have kids.
Harvest Moon deserves the number 1 spot because it’s not just a farming game, nor is it just an RPG. Harvest Moon is an adventure, an escape into your own little farm where you control lives, and have responsibilities without real world repercussions. It’s the same reason so many people enjoy the Animal Crossing series, these games are masterpieces.
Now these are all great games based on boring jobs, but there is one I couldn’t include because it was never released except for being just a flash game. The game I’m talking about is…
Desert Bus was originally going to be a mini-game in the unreleased Penn and Teller’s Smoke and Mirrors. Smoke and Mirrors was going to be released for the SEGA CD and be one giant trick. It was supposed to be composed of several mini-games where the owner of the game could basically trick their friends into playing a horrible experience. The most popular of the mini-games was Desert Bus. In Desert Bus you drive a bus from Tucson, Arizona to Las Vegas, Nevada… in real time. The bus only goes 45mph, the road is straight, there is little to no scenery, and the entire trip takes 8 hours. That is 8 REAL LIFE hours and not just 8 in game hours. In addition, you must be paying attention the entire time because if you veer off road you’ll be towed back to Tucson… also in real time. Also, you can’t pause. If you complete the journey you get one whole point.
While this game was never released in its original form, it has a browser based flash version you can play right here. Be warned… it’s quite boring.
The craziest thing about Desert Bus is that a guy has 90 points on the flash game. That means he played for 30 days, 6 hours, and 28 minutes. 30 days of driving a bus… that guys day job must be really boring.
Next time, we’re going with something more action oriented.