Elevator Joe review: A day in the life of an elevator operator
Xairylle | On October 29, 2013 at 3:25 pm
This game is probably what happens when an elevator guy loves his work so much he decides to go all out for his passengers.
Elevator Joe is a time management game by Philippine game development company Kuyi Mobile. It tells the story of Joe, your friendly neighborhood elevator operator who is the embodiment of having “passion for work”.
Gameplay: Up, down, get off the elevator and make it snappy!
As Joe the elevator operator, your job is bring NPCs known as Chibizens to their desired floors in the fastest, most effective way you can. In exchange for your service and depending on their levels of satisfaction, your passengers hand you Chibiyens, the in-game currency. You can use this money to upgrade your lift, improve the floors or even add new floors to the tower. You initially start with four floors including the basement, and can add more as you progress. A total of ten floors can be added to the game.
It was at this point that I started wondering if Joe owns the tower. What rights did a simple elevator operator have to renovate the tower his lift belonged to? Maybe he was an eccentric millionare who owned the tower and thought he could cut costs if he operated the elevator himself. I’m not sure.
There are different kinds of passengers in Elevator Joe. Sometimes they’re in a hurry, sometimes times they aren’t. The regular passengers are outlined in white, and they turn red when they’re tired of waiting.
Another type of passenger is the VIP one, who is distinguished by a pink outline. These range from celebrity-looking Chibizens to superheroes and aliens that come from the sky. What is this tower again, exactly? Anyway, these VIPs give you big tips if they are satisfied, so make sure you give these people priority. Money talks! I have no idea how aliens have the same currency, but if he’s paying me properly then we’re good.
There are also green-outlined Chibizens, who seem to have a back story of their own. I’ve met the robber and the cop playing cat and mouse. You get extra points if you help the police catch the robber by having them in the elevator at the same time.
Also, I would like to warn you about Joe’s relative. This Chibizen is outlined in yellow, so you could mistake him for being just another regular passenger. But be watchful! His role is to distract you and piss you off by getting into your elevator and then not getting off for long periods of time. All he does is stay in the lift, take up space, and talk about irrelevant things. He doesn’t get off the lift even if you stop at his designated floor! Sometimes, he only steps off the elevator when your shift is over! You can’t name Joe’s relative (I wish you could), but if you start calling him after an annoying person you actually know, it changes the whole experience. You’re just all: “get off my lift, _____!” the whole time he’s there.
Audio and Visuals: Cute sounds, cute designs, but needs work on laggy parts
The characters in Elevator Joe remind me of Lego figures. They’re like cute little blocks put together. The text is readable with their choice of font being neat and large enough. The menus also don’t look cluttered. I also like how they managed to pull off a shiny golden-yellow theme without it becoming an eyesore.
The game’s buttons are easy to tap, but people with large fingers playing on a smaller phone may have a bit of trouble tapping on the floors. The message boxes could also use a bit more design on them. Their simplicity makes the messages easy to read, but I feel like Kuyi Mobile could have added a bit more detail so that you actually know if you did a good job or not. The audio is also catchy. I particularly like the “Yeah!” that the VIPs say when they get off their floor. I’m just glad they didn’t give Joe’s relative any audio catchphrases though – I’d definitely hate him more.
One problem I encountered when playing this game is that it tends to get slower where a dinosaur randomly comes out. I’m still not sure exactly what that dinosaur is supposed to do there, but I assume it’s to distract me with all that stomping and roaring. The screen will shake when the dinosaur stomps, and the game slows down and lags, but I’m not sure if it is intentional. If it really is intentional, it certainly doesn’t seem that way.
Elevator Joe is a great game that I enjoyed playing. It is simple, but gets more difficult as the game progresses, and wrong decisions inflict really harsh penalties. I made the mistake of adding a floor before my elevator was up to scratch, and I was going bonkers trying to save enough to upgrade my lift.
Although Elevator Joe sits in the same genre as Diner Dash and Grave Mania, it presented itself uniquely enough to keep me playing. Still, even though it has a light-hearted theme and cute, vibrant designs, it isn’t for someone who would like an easy game to breeze through. It requires you to focus and pay attention to your work to avoid having a bunch of angry Chibizens who will give you little to no money and thwart your plans for elevator-man-dominance.
While playing this game, there were a lot of “I wish” moments. I wish they had made the Chibizens more rowdy towards the end of the week; I wish they had made Mondays busiest during mornings. I wish Kuyi Mobile had more about passenger temperaments and I wish they had included a back story of why aliens are suddenly falling out of the sky. More than anything, I wish they had allowed me to push my annoying relative out of the lift.