Sometimes a silly little oddity will catch my eye on steam and I’ll want it. Usually this happens when I’m hanging out with a friend and we’re going through the ‘newest releases’ section, and it often does lead to me playing mediocre games. My hope going into Home Improvisation was that it wouldn’t fall into that category and would be enjoyable.
While there’s no story to this game, there is but one simple goal: build furniture. You’re presented with a box, you open the box, and you build whatever’s inside. The only catch is you don’t have instructions and the only reference image you get is the one on the box, which disappears after the box is opened and emptied.
Assembling things started off relatively easy, with a simple side table to set things rolling. The complexity ramped up quicker than I’d have expected and it wasn’t long before the boxes contained twenty-odd bits and pieces to attempt to put together. Add in the builds with moving parts and it became both hilarious and frustrating.
Once all the parts are assembled, in any fashion, the build is considered complete. It can be an accurate depiction, which is incredibly difficult as things click in at whatever angle you have them at, or they can be furniture monsters which have no right to exist. You can also take parts from previously finished things and mash them together to create unholy abominations.
The real fun was in the possibilities. Sure, you could build a coffee table, but why not order a couple other pieces of furniture and combine them to make a spinning death wheel or a car even jankier than the ones in Garry’s Mod instead.
Overall the design is simple: you’re placed in a room and given a series of pieces to assemble before moving on to the next room. Each space feels cozy in itself, and that can either be complimented or destroyed by what’s created, depending on if you actually put effort into it. The fact that objects in each room can be interacted with was a nice touch, and there are some silly achievements to go along with the added detail.
Now, I played the non-VR version, so I can’t speak for how it controls with the headset and touch controls, but I do know that the keyboard and mouse controls are absolutely terrible. The game would have been far more enjoyable and entertaining if struggling with the controls hadn’t taken up most of my time in the game. Rotating items on two axis allows plenty of ways to fit things together, but without a more accurate control scheme it was more of a pain than anything. I can’t help but feel that using a VR setup would improve the quality of the game.
While putting everything together the equivalent of elevator music plays in the background. It fills the auditory space just fine and some tracks were quite catchy, but they weren’t anything that will stick with me.
More than anything Home Improvisation just made me wonder what the heck I’m doing with my life. It was funny when I realized just how ridiculous Ikea furniture is when you take away the instructions, but it wore off far too quickly to get much satisfaction out of building furniture Frankensteins. Good for a quick distraction, it didn’t do much else for me.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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