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I Get This Call Every Day

I Get This Call Every Day


Developer: David S Gallant The title screen.The title screen.
Released: 2012.12.21
Genre: Comedy
Graphics: Cartoon / 2D
Perspective: First person
Gameplay: Point-and-Click










Adventure games come in many shapes, sizes, and forms. The one that I Get This Call Every Day has is certainly one of the most unique ones. In the game the player takes the role of a call centre employee, who answers a call from an individual who wants to change his address that is in the records.

The entire game consists of two puzzles only: first, to answer the call, which is very obvious, as you need to only push a blinking button on the phone, and then to go through a dialogue puzzle in an attempt to gather all necessary information from the caller to have the address successfully changed. Someone wondering if there is anything more to the game, well, there isn't. It's a very straightforward game with nothing added to it.

The challenge is to keep going on like a real call centre operator would do. Gathering enough information from the caller, while at the same time respecting privacy issues, and acting in a professional manner. Someone from the management is monitoring the call, so revealing any private information or being rude towards the caller will get the protagonist fired immediately.

The caller wants to change his address.The caller wants to change his address.
The game is seen from a first person view, basically all that the player sees is a computer screen in front of him, and an image of the caller, which presumably is visible only to players, not the protagonist himself. The graphics are very naivistic cartoons, something that can be quickly created with just about any drawing tool software. Surprisingly, the game is entirely voice acted by the game creator himself, so there is some effort put into the game despite its rather small scope.

Part of the fun in the game is to explore all conversation options and see what kind of responses they trigger in the caller. There is no save features in the game, so unfortunately the game has to be started all over again every time, which means that the very first lines of the conversation start to become annoyingly familiar during later attempts. No matter how one sees it, the game is very short, and even with some experimenting with dialogue options, it shouldn't take too long to go through.

While the game is lacking some features and is certainly not a showcase of technical brilliance, it is very refreshing different approach to the genre. Some might argue that it is not an adventure game, some others that it's not even a game really, but it's obviously different. Leaving out what usually constitutes the core of an adventure game, some real purpose for the game, and dropping out every kind of puzzle that is identifiable with the genre, such as fetch quests and locked doors, is a small-scale master stroke. The phone call could be part of any larger narrative, but isolating it as the sole objective of the game makes it all feel very fresh, even with its limitations.

In a weird sequence of events, where life imitates art, the developer himself got fired from his job as a call centre employee as a result of this game. That certainly gives a whole new, additional layer to this game, and makes wonder how much of the game content is simply making fun of the boredom that every IT support person has some time experienced, and how much of it actually has some deeper meanings and implications. At least the prospect of somebody constantly monitoring and firing over a smallest of mistakes turned out to be not just a comedic aspect of the narrative, but a real life fact.

Trying to act professionally.Trying to act professionally.
The problems with the game should be obvious. Its scope is so limited that there's hardly any content to play, and apart from exploring the conversation and dialogue trees, there's no replayability values to speak of. The visual style will certainly annoy some people, although truthfully, it works very well in the context that it is in. Naturally there is no rewarding conclusion, you don't get to marry the princess or save the planet, you may manage not to get fired, and that's it.

There really should be more games like I Get This Call Every Day. Fresh takes on the genre that clearly leave behind most, or even all conventions of the genre. Having said that, having any more games exactly like this one would be superfluous. This one is fine, and with the happenings that the creator went through, it already has a cult status of small kind. As an experience and experiment, I Get This Call Every Day is good, as a solid adventure title it leaves a lot to be desired. What it does well is what the game industry all too rarely does anymore, it is trying to innovate and see things from a whole new perspective. That alone makes it worth playing. While the length of the gaming experience should never equal quality, for any future innovations a bit more content would be preferable. But the underlying premise is this: with many decades of previous games in and outside of the genre, there really isn't any that would directly compare to I Get This Call Every Day. Not much more needs to be said.