The navigational nightmare of an IKEA store is the stuff of legend uninspiring stand-up comics. But now it’s in a videogame too. Assembly Required is a parody sim about building a “furniture maze” designed to bamboozle your customers and weaken their their wallet fingers. You want to exhaust the shop’s visitors with a gauntlet of armchairs, ottomans, dining tables and heart-shaped beds, while enjoying “a mix of Tycoon and Tower Defense gameplay”. Wanna see the trailer? Just go that way, past the dog baths, left at the coffee hammocks, through the forest of lamps, turn right at curtain canyon, and left again at the meatball graveyard. Can’t miss it.
Those horrible dancing fellas look possessed by devils but at least they’re enjoying themselves. They’re the boyos who manage parts of your shop, say developers MUTT Studio, responsible for things like quality assurance, customer support, stock and sales. There are back rooms where things get packaged and built, filled with these hellions. You’ll have to keep your Minion-like yellow lads happy while they work, or your store will “descend into chaos”. In other words, they’ll go on strike.
Meanwhile, you’ll be plopping down furniture displays and dictating the flow of customers with a squiggly line weaving through your shop, forcing them into a long, winding route past all the most displays you want them to see. Like that part of the airport where you go through the ballroom made of perfumes. You’ll be able to upgrade the size of your store to make “increasingly incomprehensible mazes” and “deal with the unique challenges of multiple customer types who seek to destroy and escape your maze.” Accursed free-thinkers, daring to defy the line.
It’s going to be $15, says MUTT, and will avoid early access by going straight to release some time in summer this year. If you fear the idea of being inside an IKEA but fancy a go at the furniture construction side of things, you’re already covered by Home Improvisation, a game about making shelves that infuriated Pip to a comical degree.