Job hunter 202X is a free role-playing game (RPG) For Windows. This game was a personal project from developer BubblyOasis (Joanie Rich), who was unemployed when she created the game for the Low Effort Game Jam 13.
You play a writer who, like many other people, has lost their job as a result of a recent pandemic. Just like in the real world, you must find a new job before your money runs out or you're emotionally exhausted. For a more traditional RPG, MapleStory is worth considering.
You play a writer who lost their job during the pandemic. You have to drive around town and visit local businesses looking for employment. You’ll face the challenges of completing application forms and writing cover letters.
While you’re doing so, you have to make sure that you take breaks and eat at the right time. If you get it wrong, the combination of stress, hunger and fatigue will take their toll, and you'll collapse. At that point, it's ‘Game Over’.
Thankfully, once you get past the first level, the game automatically saves your progress, so you can choose whether to continue or quit and start again.
Job Hunter 202X was created using RPG Maker MZ, meaning that it offers keyboard and mouse support for playing the game.
It's extremely important to be aware that the game contains depictions of depression and anxiety. Therefore, if you’re in a delicate mental condition or are susceptible to strong emotions, it's best not to play the game.
Hunting for work
Job Hunter 202X manages to take a very serious subject and use it in the context of a game. However, it in no way trivialises unemployment or mental health. The developer states that creating the game was therapeutic for her, so you should consider whether it's appropriate for you to play it.
If you play the game, you'll find that it has attractive retro-style graphics, simple gameplay and classic elements of turn-based RPGs. Putting the act of restarting a career in the context of an RPG, where you’re fighting against the bureaucratic foe of application forms and cover letters for employment, is a clever concept. It made us look at the subject in a different light.