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PAX East 2023: Hell Of An Office Is An Engaging Spin On The Rocket Jump Concept

Posted on March 27, 2023 by Nick Moreno

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What is entertaining to realize is that some of the most reliable mechanics used for speedrunning happens to be the most fatal for users. For example, the rocket jump has been utilized in countless games to gain an advantage (literally) overcoming obstacles and other story segments.

But what if that is fully realized for a game focused solely on making the best time? Well, title Hell of an Office does just that. Developer 43 Studios fully incorporated the rocket jump as a primary mechanic to scale its growingly difficult stages. And what this team offers in the realm of literal approaches is even in the name sake, ‘Hell of an Office’. Booting up the game equips you with a stapler and your sole goal is to progress to escape this hellish desk job. Speaking with one of developers at the booth shared this concept sourced from an inside joke.

When originally working on a project, the studio wanted a new game to use a stapler as the main weapon of choice. It wasn’t until the developer incorporated the speedrunning elements to where Hell of an Office began to shape into what we see now. As work continued, elements such as the rocket jump and dashing came into play where the game further evolved and the team embraced that. In total, there are 4 chapters for the Early Access build of the game with two more planned; the full scale is expected to welcome 10 stages by then. Each features a new overworld and with that also brings a new gameplay mechanic.

When speaking on what future stages are to introduce, mechanics such as wallrunning & jump pads are said to be added. Additionally, the possibility of a level editor has been brainstormed for Hell of an Office was considered, but is said not to be fully realized with the current work laid ahead.

Overall, gameplay does prove to be energetic as you swiftly pick up the controls. Simple platforming turns into white-knuckled moments attempting to meet the other end of the stage. When commenting on the gameplay, the developer shared the rocket jump namely brings new opportunities to the experience even on linear levels.

“The gameplay comes into itself,” he said. And that is certainly true. At least playing on the capable PC demo on the show floor, the game is responsive for quick moment decision-making. But for the game to be enjoyable, frame-to-frame moments will happen and you do not want that jeopardized.

Right now, Hell is an Office is playable via Steam Early Access. But, it is noted console versions are being considered for a later project depending on how the game performs currently. You can visit the official Steam page for Hell is an Office by heading here.

Hell is an Office is out now via Early Access on PC.

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