For many gamers, characters like Duke Nukem or Lara Croft are the heroes that best fulfill the fantasy escapism inspired by regular day-to-day life. But to millions of office cubicle dwellers everywhere, there is only one truly worthy anti-establishment icon - Dilbert! The cartoon character brought to life in daily cartoons by Scott Adams has his own set of ten mini-games in this collection. In a style familiar to the strip's many fans, these desktop diversions feature Dilbert and his friends in their continuing crusade against anything more managerial than a crossing guard.
All of the games are superimposed to run in the desktop itself, which makes them perfect for just 'dipping into' for a few quick minutes of occasional fun. There's the CEO Simulator, a hire'n'fire 'em strategy game in which you start your own company and try to keep it going. With The Jargonator, you can type a normal sentence and have it converted into "management-speak." There's also the more action-oriented Enduring Fools, a shoot-'em-up in which you get to zap annoying neighbors with your stun-gun (which is set to "fry").
The seven other games all have their own appeal in varying degrees, depending on how belligerent you're feeling when you play them. Project Pass-Off is a great game of foosball. Elbonian Airlines gives you the chance to fire employees -literally - using a giant catapult. The biggest game in the collection, TechnoRaiders, is a 120-level platform game in which Dilbert gets to collect doughnuts and zap bosses, secretaries, and annoying co-workers with his cellular phone.
There are some other enjoyable touches in this game. For example, you can print out certificates of merit for completing games, or just for successfully wasting time. The graphics are true to the original cartoons, and the wonderful variety of speech and sound effects are of the sort that will have you quoting them half-an-hour after you've finished playing the game.
Dilbert's Desktop Games is not the kind of gaming experience with which you would spend more than an hour at once, but is absolutely perfect for those times when you are working at the computer and want a little light relief from that boring document or lengthy spreadsheet. In fact, you almost feel guilty for playing it on your own time when you could follow the true spirit of Dilbert and run them on your computer at work.
Graphics: Simple, cartoon-style, but accurate and effective.
Sound: Clear, memorable sound effects and voices.
Enjoyment: Playable anytime of the day.
Replay Value: A game that you can dip into again and again.
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