Crap! I’m Broke: Out of Pocket isn’t really an evocative title… At least when it comes to giving you an idea of what you’d actually be doing in a game about simulating the broke lifestyle. Is it about leaving the lights off a lot? Walking everywhere? Buying lots of mac’n’cheese? Not really. In actuality it’s about doing menial tasks to pay your bills, but with a funky cubist art style and jazzy soundtrack!
In Crap! I’m Broke: Out of Pocket, you’re a guy who has just moved out on his own for the first time. Your mom e-mails you early on to let you know that your first three months of rent are covered – but after that, you’re on your own! Since you can only check your computer and eat food in your apartment, preparing for life after your mom’s handouts largely consist of walking the streets in search of entry-level jobs!
You can’t seem to get a permanent position at any of these jobs, unfortunately… You can only work at a job that has a “now hiring” sign out-front, and as you gain access to more jobs you’ll find you have to alternate between them to be successful. You begin the game with only the lowly “dishwasher” job available to you, but as you progress you’ll achieve exciting new roles such as “burger-flipper” and “street performer”! All with the goal of earning enough money to pay your ever-mounting pile of bills each month before the “bills” bar ticks down to nothing, representing the end of the month.
If you don’t pay your bills you go into debt, which is BAD NEWS as you can imagine… But luckily you’re able to access an online store early on, which allows you to use your in-game money to pay for helpful bonuses like wage increases, stat boosts and… A houseplant? These will (presumably) help you avoid debt if used correctly, though I ended up falling into debt anyway!
All told, the game’s incredible. It’s ostensibly a minigame collection with a loose narrative, but everything from the progression to the music to the cubist-inspired visual themes are absolutely on-point. It’s jaunty and stylish in a way that really sets it apart, and though the minigames start to lose their charm after awhile, the online store ensures that a dedicated player will still have fun trying different items and strategies in their quest to avoid going broke. I can’t recommend Crap! I’m Broke: Out of Pocket more, especially for those who love minigames!