Tech Support: Error Unknown Review
Day in, day out, punch the clock, answer tickets, get recruited by a hacktivist group, upload a virus, take down a mass conspiracy. This is standard fare for any help desk job. The developers at Dragon Slumber know exactly how dull the grind can be and was sure to create a game just like it. Tech Support: Error Unknown has hit the market as a tech support simulation and choose your own adventure that seems standard on the surface but can, and will, go very, very dark.
It’s your first day on the job at Quasar and your first day is pretty standard. You get your welcome emails, you get your training, and let’s not forget access to a useless internal wiki that doesn’t have the answers you need. Clients reach out with questions about their phones, you get some random spam about real estate, and of course, your brother wants money again. Day two, it’s the same, but then from the shadows, a mass email arrives from a hacktivist organization notifying your entire company’s staff that the Quasar Corporation is part of a massive conspiracy. Every choice you make in Tech Support: Error Unknown matters, even the one as small as deciding to send some cash to your loved ones. Large chunks of the story can turn up missing if you ignore certain messages and the outcome is entirely up to your own decisions.
The conversations between player and NPC can be pretty clever (You can download RAM from the IT guy!!!), and I actually ended up caring about a few of the names that popped up. Even after they were destroyed by my new evil overlords, I felt a slight tinge of loss until the next customer came in with a phone they dropped in the pool.
Tech Support: Error Unknown only has a single player mode at three difficulty levels and each difficulty level averages out to about 5 hours of gameplay, so 15 hours total, which seems about right for a game selling for $10. The game itself controls exactly like you are inside an internal OS on your company’s intranet. You have a web browser, email, a chat and ticketing system, a CRM tool, and access to various bookmarks and downloads. It’s all intuitive because it’s essentially a PC desktop.
This is why, graphically, there isn’t much to say about Tech Support: Error Unknown. The way everything is laid out and the way everything happens around you is a bit standard. This isn’t a game that relies on any sort of spectacular effects, but what we have is clean and easy to navigate.
Art Mimics Life
Having done a lot of time in tech support, though, I found the game a little bit – nay, a lot bit – triggering. Every time a chat popped, every time a manager stepped in to “coach” me, and every time I got an email from my superiors, I felt that uncomfortable tinge of “What the hell did I do now?” and I confess, it made the decisions throughout the game a lot more anxiety-inducing. Because of the sequestered nature of the UI and OS the game uses, I found it a bit unnerving and I am still not sure if this was a good thing or a bad thing for this game. Either way, it was an effective device and it caused me to work faster, harder, and angrier.
I swear, if I ever hear a ticketing chime again, I’m going to throw my laptop. The nice thing is that Tech Support: Error Unknown includes a little mp3 player app that reminds me of the old days of using WinAMP at work to listen to my tunes. There are a few songs to scroll through, all techno-based, but it got a bit repetitive after a while.
Tech Support: Error Unknown is a short little game, quick to play, easy to digest, and honestly, compelling enough to make me want to find out what happens next. I did a single playthrough, myself, and tried the slightly harder modes, which I didn’t see much of a difference in, but maybe that would become more apparent further down the road. I think, though, that the developers have a lot of unresolved issues from their time at the Help Desk prison and I think I want to hug them. I know I need a hug after that.
*** A PC code was provided by the publisher ***
- Shockingly realistic
- Interesting storytelling
- Easy to play
- Shockingly realistic
- Chats were repetitive
- Not enough music