‘Home Improvisation’ Makes Building Ikea Furniture Feel Like A Field DayFiled inside: Games
Ikea is a massive furniture wonderland. One of the only places in the United States where you can enjoy an authentic Swedish meatball while perusing endlessly through rows of unique table lamps. In all seriousness though, Ikea has some pretty awesome home decor, albeit with one glaringly annoying issue. Each piece of Ikea furniture looks like a Lego set right out of the box, and you’ll find yourself sifting through tons of tiny pieces and glancing nervously at instruction pamphlets as you try your hardest to complete something that even remotely resembles what you saw at the store. I can’t tell you how useful those store employees are, that will put this stuff together for you if need be. The Ikea adventure is half action, half puzzler, and all frustrating. Because of this, I’m sure so many of you have found yourself sitting in the food court and staring off into space, wishing that someone would make a game to help capture this Swedish-lightning in a bottle. We’re happy to announce that your wait is over, thanks to a frustratingly intense simulation-puzzle game from developer The Stork Burnt Down: Home Improvisation.
Most simulation games take on the prospect of simulating something that individuals actually enjoy. Perhaps its a simple farming simulator where you quietly tend to virtual crops, or even a relaxing flight simulator where you can put your aerial skills to the test. Simulation games have been entertaining the masses for decades now, so its hard to understand why one developer would want to simulate perhaps one of the most frustrating aspects of everyday life. That said, the group at The Stork Burnt Down, must have had some inside information pertaining to the intricate human psyche, because Home Improvisation is every bit as entertaining as it is annoying. Who would have thought that virtually assembling furniture could be so fun.
The gameplay of Home Improvisation is simplistic in design, with a heavy, difficult, twist. Each “level” hands you boxes of furniture that you’ll have to assemble. Normally you could crack these open, take out the nifty instruction booklet, and memorize where each and every screw goes. Unfortunately, in Home Improvisation, you’ll find yourself seriously lacking in the instruction department. Armed only with a single, two-dimensional photo of the furniture in question, you’ll have to use your wits and vision to slot each piece together. To make matters worse, you won’t be able to reference this single picture in real time, as you cannot build and see your reference simultaneously. Cue the feelings of hopelessness and the hair ripping as you attempt to mash together unmarked pieces of wood and metal
It’s not all bad though. You’ll get access to a few handy tools which should help you along in the process. The mallet will allow you to knock apart pieces you have already assembled. You’ll be doing this a lot, considering each piece must be rotated perfectly if you want to match the finished product seam for seam. The paintbrush tool can help you change the color of a specific piece of wood, the entire finished product, or even some of the walls in each ‘building room.” Lastly, you’ll receive a peg gun and a drill, to help you add holes and “snap together” certain pieces of wood. These tools are a must, since you’ll find yourself making mistake after mistake as you fumble your way through even the simplest of tasks. Hanging a shelf in the real world sounds like a pretty simple task, but virtually, it’s a pain in the neck.
Home Improvisation also features a nifty local cooperative mode, where up to 4-players can cooperatively piece together furniture. This is a great way to ruin all those friendships you’ve made over the past years as you mindlessly yell at one another about which piece goes where and how exactly it should be rotated. Each player will get their own cursor, and can independently manipulate their own pieces, making for even more mayhem. Add this to the list of insanely odd games that are infinitely more enjoyable when you experience them cooperatively with a group of friends.
Home Improvisation sounds like a ridiculously simple and mind numbing torture session, but it’s actually quite entertaining. Those of you who love a great puzzle game, especially one that doesn’t hold your hand as you progress, will find immense joy and completely these 3D physics-based jigsaw puzzles. There is even a wild and wacky challenge mode that has you stacking pieces of wood, metal, and leather, into the tallest standing tower possible. This should be great fun for those creative minds out there that strive for leaderboard dominance. But there is still fun to be had for all you artists at heart that simply hate following the rules. You can build your own pieces of zany modern art, as Home Improvisation gives you complete freedom to really do whatever you feel like in each level. This allows new experiences each time and it should appeal to a much wider range of players and playstyles.
Home Improvisation is currently in Early Access, which means you will only have a few levels and pieces of furniture to choose from, in its current state. The Stork Burnt Down is working tirelessly to add new, frustrating buildables and levels as the game progresses. You can grab Home Improvisation off Steam right now for $9.99, and if you’re looking to get more information regarding this furniture building simulation game, check out the dedicated website here.