Crappy jobs and adolescence are made for one other. They’re the first rung of the ladder, the template through which we forge our lot in life and steel ourselves for the ongoing challenge of confronting the bizarre and frustrating inanity of our working existence. That, and we all need cash for gas and beer.
Andrew Brophy’s quirky adventure RPG Knuckle Sandwich is set smack dab in the middle of this halcyon era of ignoble occupations, casting players in the role of a cash-strapped young man who takes up a job at a rundown burger joint after moving to a new city. Not exactly a hero’s journey. But when a rash of mysterious disappearances begin to plague the neighborhood, it’s up to you to track down the elusive “The Number #1” and figure out what his or her connection to this strange event is.
The game resembles a hallucinatory mash-up of Earthbound and Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga, full of bright kaleidoscopic color pallets and visual non-sequiturs. You’ll riffle through trash, chase after ducks, and attend motivational job placement conferences with overenthusiastic presenters, all while fighting against anthropomorphic runny noses and ghosts made out of fiber on your quest to figure out just what the hell is going on. For a game so early in its development, Knuckle Sandwich is already bursting with personality.
Brophy has stated that the majority of his inspiration is pulled from his own experience of low-income hospitality jobs. His goal is to create a title that not only deconstructs stagnant RPG tropes and mechanics and infuse them with new life, but to also create a game that touches on an aspect of life that’s universally relatable. And really, what’s more relatable than a crappy job?
Check out more of Knuckle Sandwich’s development on Brophy’s website and devlog.