Sticky Business is the best chillout game of the year so far

Sticky Business is the best chillout game of the year so far

I’m thinking of buying some business cards. I don’t know why, as I don’t know what the heck I’m selling. You can see my wordsmanship is pretty stodgy. I’ve had some cards in the past just for the pure novelty of it. I’m thinking of offering my photography skills as a service. But before those business cards can happen, a business website and accompanying email are a necessity, and my enthusiasm has already drained.

Sticky Business lets you dive in with everything set up for you. Your job in the game is to create, print, and mail out stickers to complete your online orders. Just when you think there’s already a specific job or life simulator game out there, a new form of normcore arrives. But Sticky Business doesn’t get too distracted by its own world of e-commerce.

The first task you’ll complete is designing a sticker using the shapes, logos and animal templates available to you in the creation tool. Whatever you make, your first order will consist of stickers with that particular design you just created, which you’ll then have to pack securely using paper and other filling.

Here’s the Sticky Business trailer.

My initial design consisted of a doughnut and a fish. But the next day, with a few extra inventory slots to fill on the new-yet-barren website, I added some extra stickers, including a plant with a cartoon skull at the top. It was my homage to Plants vs Zombies, I guess. The available templates are sufficiently plentiful to get you going, but limited enough to force you to be creative. Printing out your stickers, managing your inventory and packing up your orders is incredibly easy, with simple clicks saving you the hassle of dragging and dropping.

Your score is rated on your efficiency and accuracy at completing orders, but I gave myself the leeway of making the day last as long as possible, because I don’t care for difficulty in games. Someone I used to play Apex Legends with would always complete the daily tasks in that game and a few other live service games he was keeping up with. I jokingly asked him to stop, as playing games shouldn’t feel as obligatory and depressing as a job.

And Sticky Business never feels like a job, or that you’re maintaining a business, even. The best part of the whole process is seeing the accompanying messages on some of your orders. Some of the customers need new stickers for a specific purpose, but others are just oozing positive energy, saying your designs helped cheer them up. Whereas some ‘cosy’ games can feel like a form of infantilisation, Sticky Business gives you both a stress-free routine to follow and a creative outlet. It helps that the gameplay mechanics are simple enough for a broad audience.

Not to brag, but I can make my way around the evil that is Adobe InDesign and other creative apps. In the end, I went ahead and made some business cards after all, hoping to add portraits to my library of other half-decent street and landscape photos. I’ve learnt that when people buy or sell something that’s a creative skill, it’s in order to share stories about their lives. Sticky Business provides you with some tools to express yourself, making up for its lack of a traditional story so you can tell your own. This is a rare outcome for a video game, and one we should applaud.

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