Dead End Job from Ant Workshop and Headup Games is a quirky twin-stick action game with a paranormal twist on Nintendo Switch. Learn more in our Dead End Job review!
In Dead End Job, you will take control of one Hector Plasm, Sub-Teamaker in Training with a recently acquired Paranormal Pest Control License – which does not permit the extraction of the elderly or the very ill. Your job at Ghoul-B-Gone, the number one experts in paranormal pest control, is a simple one: go bust some ghosts! This one is a procedurally generated twin-stick shooter in which you’ll be using a powerful Plasma Blaster in one hand and a vacuum on the other one so that you can shoot at ghosts and then suck them in for capture. After the first job you complete, you will start to get new jobs of different difficulty levels, represented by how many ghost icons are shown on the card, so be sure to pay attention to this so that you don’t bite more than you can chew!
The first thing you’re going to notice about Dead End Job is its colorful and quirky art style, which will help to make everything pop. From Hector himself to the characters you’ll interact with and the ghosts you will need to trap, everything just pops on the Nintendo Switch when played in Docked, Tabletop or Portable mode – or in the portable-only Nintendo Switch Lite. The music is also very catchy and fits perfectly with the overall ghost busting theme for the game.
As for the gameplay mechanics, you’ll move your character with the left analog stick, aiming and shooting your plasma blaster with the right analog stick, but you can also fire your Plasma Blaster with the ZR button, which will shoot it in the direction your character is facing. There’s also the possibility of going into the Options menu and deactivate firing on aiming, so that you can aim with the right analog stick and fire with the ZR button. Once you’ve shot a ghost many times and end up making it dizzy, you can then suck it in with the L button to activate your ghost vacuum thing with the ZL button. You can’t just fire the Plasma blaster or activate your vacuum forever since they will slowly but surely start to overheat. If they do hit 100%, you will be left without being able to access either one for a few seconds.
If you press the + button, you’ll get to see how many rooms you have to clear before completing a stage, as well as if there are any civilians for you to rescue. As you explore each room, you should make sure to not only fire at ghost, but also fire at any filing cabinets, bookcases, copiers, desks, or lamps you can find, since destroying them will sometimes reward you with some bills you can add to the overall amount of money you can obtain for completing a job. You might also be rewarded with one of the items you can use with the L or R buttons to do things such as deal some damage to ghosts or to instantly destroy them.
Once you’ve filled up your ghost-catching tank, you’ll be able to press the Y button to report to headquarters so that you can get a promotion for all of your hard work. Along with getting a new job title – I went from Sub-Teamaker in Training to Qualified Tea Executive – you’ll also get to select a new employee bonus from the available options. These can include things such as being able to poke some extra air holes into your Plasma Blaster so that its heat buildup is a bit slower, or having all traps marked on your map so that you can be ready for them.
But what happens if you lose all of your health while at a job? Well, the first thing that will happen is you’ll be demoted, so you’ll have to start at the first entry-level title and will lose all of your active perks… but at least Ghoul-B-Gone will get to collect some money from services rendered – you know before you collapsed. The money will be added to your overall total for the month so that you can at least move closer to hitting the goal that will allow you to open up new areas. Your first goal will be to earn £50,000, which is doable in a few days.
Between each of the jobs you take, you should take a look at your Ghost Hunters Journal. In it you can review how many jobs you’ve taken, your overall success rate, the biggest invoice you’ve had, the highest promotion level, the longest job done, the fastest job completed, your total time on the job, the total ghosts you’ve busted, most ghosts busted on a single job, how many citizens you’ve rescued, and more. You can also check out which ghosts you’ve caught, the stuff you’ve collected, as well as any of the in-game achievements you’ve unlocked.
Other than some slowdown during the more packed rooms in the game, there’s not much to complain about Dead End Job. The procedurally generated jobs might start to feel a bit repetitive until you change to a new location, but once you open up a new area and start to catch new ghosts, you’ll be motivated to keep coming back for more. Add the additional objectives you can take on from the “Help Wanted” section at protaghoulnists.net, and there is a lot to do and see in Dead End Job. The game is available on Nintendo Switch for $16.99, and it’s a fun one for you to check out.
This Dead End Job review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Headup Games.