In the year 1980, the British Isles were awash with many penniless drifters. In the game we’ll be talking about today you get the dubious accolade of being one of these financially burdened folk. If for any odd reason, you thought any part of this experience was going to be glamorous, then you are in for a surprise. I’ve been stepping into the rather gloomy world of Landlord’s Super and I’m just about ready to regale you with the events of this new PC offering.
Spoiler alert, I did not enjoy this game. Going into any new experience I try to keep my mind open and find the fun in everything, this being said, we can’t be expected to get a thrill from every new experience. Tastes also change as we get older and I can certainly say that things the younger me would have really enjoyed aren’t always as appealing to the adult version. I certainly played many games when I was a child, that adult me would have found completely unplayable. Landlord’s Super is one of those games for me. This obviously doesn’t mean it’s a bad game, it’s all just a matter of choice.
In Landlord’s Super, you awaken in an RV and have some vague instructions dumped on you. Apparently, you own the property across the way and have free reign to build the house of your dreams. Stepping out of your rinky dink trailer, you see a sketchy fellow trying to pick the lock on your property gate. Strangely enough, this shameless deadbeat turns out to be your greatest aid.
If you thought this was the beginning of a somewhat charming and humorous adventure, you would be just like me. The small town you find yourself in is grungy and rundown. This in and of itself isn’t a bad thing as it adds to the feel of the game. On a more important note, however, many of the buildings you find are closed permanently or have no function other than contributing to the despondent atmosphere. The shameless burglar you met earlier waits for you at the town’s bar and gives you some cursory information on what to do next. Get a job, fix your house, and maybe break some laws along the way. You are given the freedom to pursue however you like, but at the same time, there is little of interest to be found in exploring.
There are two main ways to make money in Landlord’s Super, but sadly none of them are of particular note. Much of your cash comes from dumpster diving and jobs that you can pick up along the way. Dumpster diving entails carting any junk you can find to the local scrapyard or your personal garbage bin and getting paid for it. In case you were wondering, the “dumpster” is the entire game world, trash is strewn all about and if you walk around enough, you will likely find a smashed TV set or kitchen sink you can earn a pretty penny from. As I’ve just mentioned the other form of income, taking the form of jobs, entails clicking the “work” button until your energy runs out, or you become so unhygienic you get kicked onto the streets. This is much less engaging than trash-hauling but makes money a sure thing with the need for little effort.
Dumpster diving becomes boring rather quickly, even with the addition of a wheelbarrow and some quirky physics tricks allowing you to “balance” a kitchen sink, toilet, and cabinet altogether at the same time. This, alongside the fairly tiresome mechanics, makes for a game loop that is not very engaging. Discovering where you could sell junk was an accident, directions are not direct. Something that absolutely didn’t help matters.
Landlord’s Super starts by presenting you with a few stats and numbers to be aware of which take the form of energy, calories, hygiene, bladder, and sobriety. Each of those stats needs different levels of management, and how they are implemented is somewhat befuddling. Your energy is depleted when you jump, but not when you run. You can avoid drinking forever, and never address your bladder level. If you let your calories expire, you simply cannot run anymore. I understand the intention behind the system, but the execution feels very flawed.
On a more technical note, while playing I experienced a striking amount of missing interactions, visual glitches, and physic-based bugs. There was very little or no explanation for anything, leaving me lost on how to progress and what the point of the game was. If it were not for the fact I am writing a review, I would have given up much earlier on this alone. There just isn’t enough there that makes sense gameplay-wise and the many bugs definitely don’t help matters.
To sum up my feelings on Landlord’s Super. The game features an interesting premise of house flipping and decorating but sadly fails to deliver. The decorating mechanic does exist, but the controls simply do not work 50% of the time. Some people have probably decided to overlook the many issues and found enjoyment in this title, but I personally found gameplay generally a bit dull. There are hints of genius in some of the game’s mechanics; but they are mixed with far too many issues and without an engaging game loop and features to support one, the house crumbles.
Come Back With a Shovel
Landlord’s Super ultimately feels like an unfinished experience. There are numerous bugs and quality of life issues that need to be resolved. While the premise is interesting on its own, it is not enough to carry this game’s lackluster setting and monotonous gameplay.