First things first, Corporate Lifestyle Simulator (CLS) is a rather misleading title. The game decides not to bother with the ordinary office tasks of photocopying, team-building exercises, and focus group meetings, instead focusing on another aspect of office work – surviving a corporate management zombie apocalypse.
Obviously zombie apocalypses aren’t that common in the workplace, but the game certainly benefits from the liberties taken by game developers – Dolphin Barn – as throwing your computer at a cluster of advancing zombies is far more satisfying than using it to a create a spreadsheet in Excel. Also, to be fair, the game was originally called Zombies, but has been re-branded following a huge update and re-launch, as Zombies was “completely impossible to find via any known search engine”.
So CLS may not be the most technically accurate of simulation games, but it’s certainly one of the more entertaining; featuring a daft storyline, fully destructible environments, an excellent chiptune soundtrack, and buckets of pixelated violence. It’s not perfect by a long stretch; some of the voice acting is pretty terrible, the gameplay lacks variety, and close up fighting can be awkward, especially if your view is obscured by the scenery. However, the game is consistently fun and full of nice little touches, such as the “Teeeaaambuildinggg” and “projeeect manaaaagement” moans muttered by the buzzword spewing corporate management zombies, and the large collection of eclectic weaponry.
Corporate Lifestyle Simulator is not a simulator, nor does it have deep, innovative gameplay mechanics, but it is an enjoyable slice of pixelized ultra violence, and smashing up office equipment and blowing away zombies is wonderfully cathartic. Currently available on Steam for $4.99 (with a deluxe soundtrack bundle offered for $6.99 as well), it’s not quite a must-have – as the gameplay can be a little shallow – but still potentially worth picking up during a Steam Sale. You’ll get a few hours of solid entertainment out of it, an excellent soundtrack, some laughs and a guarantee that it’s infinitely more enjoyable than creating spreadsheets.