PAX East 2024 – Hell Of An Office Is A Speedrunning Delight

Hell Of An Office
Image Credit: Joystick Ventures.

Joystick Venture’s booth at PAX East was full of different games spanning all genres. One type of game I didn’t expect was a title for speedrunning fanatics. Hell of an Office, by 43 Studios, is probably one of the fastest-paced platformers I have ever played.

Does your office job feel like you are working in hell? Well, in this game, your office is actually in hell. This time, you can say your boss is Satan, and that will be factually true. Grab your stapler and stretch those legs because we will run through this preview experience for Hell of an Office.

Hell Of An Office Features Writing That’s Funny As Hell

You sign the contract that Satan presents to work in the office. Hey, you gotta pay off those student loans somehow. 

No, literally: you sign a deal with the devil to pay off your student loans.

Hell of an Office PAX
Image Credit:
Joystick Ventures.

The game then drops you into the HellO Office Supplies, where you have to find a stapler for your mascot, Mr. Stapley. Naturally, he is a literal stapler. After that, you are free to roam the office.

You will find all kinds of ghoulish co-workers, like Depresso, who is trying to make coffee. Then, you start your adventure by learning to dash and rocket jump through ten worlds with one hundred levels as fast as possible. The lava rises as you race through the level to the goal. Satan created the rising lava so workers would stay as efficient as possible. If you don’t finish quickly enough, you will die because your desk will be filled with paperwork. 

Hell Of An Office Is A Dream Come True For Speedrunners

This platforming speedrunning hellscape will have fans of the speedrunning community entranced. The game runs smoothly, and the soundtrack has metal guitar riffing like a modern-day DOOM. The controls work very well and are highly responsive. The rocket jump is a bit floaty, but it felt right.

Jumping off of objects always worked as intended. You can earn skins for your stapler that you hold out like a gun in an FPS. You can show your Counter-Strike friends that they aren’t the only ones with rare skins. Dying and jumping back into the level takes no time. You click retry, and you pop back in. There is no downtime whatsoever.

I Was Even Hired At HellO After Completing A Speedrun Challenge!

After getting some hands-on time to try the game, I was asked to try a speed run challenge for a box full of swag. The challenge was to beat the first ten levels in under five minutes. I felt like the meme of LeBron James staring into the camera before dominating with the Miami Heat. A challenge was thrown before me. I had to win.

Hell of an Office Satan
Image Credit:
Joystick Ventures.

I readjusted my headset, moved the keyboard into position, and put my hand on the mouse. Even with a large crowd in the booth, it was time to get to business. I grew overconfident as I spent less than twenty seconds on the first six levels. I stumbled a bit through the seventh and eighth levels. Then I realized the game was coming to get me. I died four times around the four-minute mark. Sweat ran down my face as someone read the timer out loud. I was so locked in that I started the eleventh level without realizing I had won. The stopwatch read four minutes and fifty-one seconds.

I did it. I got a box full of swag only to realize the real prize was playing the game itself. Hell of an Office is the best kind of stressful, challenging my platforming abilities. It has all the makings of a breakout game for content creators. A full release is in the works. For now, you can check it out in Early Access on PC.

Written by Mikey Yaden

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