Sunday, January 24, 2016

Favorite Videos of 2015: Day 24: Restaurant Empire II

One week until everything's back to normal. Hang in there!
For yesterday's article (which I'm sure will become a must-see in the near future), click here. Today's video is Restaurant Empire II from Brutalmoose.

Ian has to be one of my favorite game reviewers on Youtube if not just for the fact that he's extremely wry and sarcastic. They always have a nice, clean-cut quality that doesn't handicap it from being a single-serve video (that is to say that they have a strong sense of replayability).
In a follow-up to one of my favorite episodes, a relic of a video compared to his current style, he talks about Restaurant Empire II, the follow-up to a simulator on, well, constructing a restaurant empire, in this case, a coffee-shop where the major selling point is the abundance of lamps.
The joy comes from how much comedy is mined from the peculiarities of the game and either its broken state or the lack of a decent explanation of anything that's happening. It also helps that, as a game where you are tasked with building something, he builds the most inconvenient structure possible. Sure, it's no maze leading to a sunglass hut or a long spiral leading to a clothing store (with the pungent scent of "douche cologne", mind you), but the enormous bathrooms with a single stall, the aimlessly-placed partitions, and "a regular Christmas wreath and a SNEAKY Christmas wreath" are all nice touches.
Circling back to the former, however, Ian uses the glitchy state of the game, with its ritualistic gathering of people tapping in front of the restaurant and the "daily rapture", to create an enjoyable and fittingly odd advertisement of the coffee shop as a gathering spot for a cult, giving an enjoyably dark ending to a game laced with technological difficulty. It's that kind of exploiting the game's flaws for humor that makes Ian's videos all the better.

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