Chair Simulator: An Ironic Take on Video Games – PC Review
Once every so often a game so is mundane that it captures our imagination far more than intended. Games like Airplane Mode and Papers Please took the simplest ideas and made them invigorating. Chair Simulator takes this to a whole new level. I came across Chair Simulator by chance, when browsing the newest games on Steam. Of course, who could resist such a tempting title? And with no cost? There was no way I could say no.
People are certainly talking about Chair Simulator. But, you won’t see anyone talking about it at E3 this year. Chair Simulator is the latest project from the professional viral entity MSCHF. MSCHF are known for various viral stunts, like selling a sneaker that literally has some of Lil Nas X’s blood inside. After venturing into the clothing and art industries, MSCHF has decided to dip its toes into the video game world.
A Range of Chairs to Choose From
I guess the first thing to say about Chair Simulator is that you can’t sue the developers for false advertising. It does what it says on the box. You sit on various chairs, accumulating points to… sit on more chairs. There’s nothing more to it: no complex multi-character storylines, no multiplayer, and definitely no loot boxes. Just raw, epic, sitting.
Chair Simulator has two locations. One is a nondescript, one-roomed house that has a tv and a painting on the wall, and a whole lot of room for sitting. The other is a suspiciously-Swedish looking blue and yellow big-box furniture store, where you go to buy more chairs. Sitting on chairs accumulates Sitting Points, which can then be used to purchase other chairs. Some chairs are comfier than others, and the comfier the chair, the more points you earn.
You begin the game with a simple folding chair to sit on and slowly accumulate Sitting Points. Once you have enough points you can upgrade to one of the many chairs available from the definitely not IKEA store. There are over one hundred chairs to work through, ranging in both price and comfortability. From bean bags and lawn chairs to the Iron Throne from HBO’s Game of Thrones, the game has every chair you can think of.
Now of course we’ve all heard the news: sitting is the new smoking. Sitting around all day is only going to do your body harm. Well, MSCHF has thought about this too. Chair Simulator is no self-playing game, no. You can’t just sit down on a chair and go do something else to idly accumulate points. Not only will you accumulate fewer points the longer you are seated, but sitting on a chair for too long will actually cause your death.
Another factor within the game is that there is no save state. Want to sit on every chair available? Not here you won’t. Don’t think this will be something you can graft away at over a series of sessions. No, you will need one long session of undivided attention to conquer this game. Perhaps this is a middle-finger to the gaming industry – if you want to defeat this beast you will need to spend hours on end doing nothing but sitting and standing.
One surprising feature of the game is that the playable characters are a range of well-known Youtubers (or so I’m told), rather than one or two generic sprites. There’s even a character designed by Rick and Morty creator Justin Roiland (and we all know how much everyone here loves Rick and Morty!)Of course, due to the fact that you cannot save the game, you can’t save your progress and switch to another character, without losing all your progress – something I found out the hard way.
A Gaming Paradox
Chair Simulator is everything I both love and hate about gaming. It is well-crafted, perfectly executed, and yet deliciously simple. For a game that costs nothing, it over-delivers on value. The visuals are good, the gameplay is surprisingly smooth. Yet there’s something that doesn’t sit right.
When it’s all said and done, all you do is sit. There is no interaction with your surroundings. The house is frustratingly small, and you can only hold one chair at a time so it isn’t long before space is at a premium. It’s easy to get bored with the tedious gameplay, but tantalising enough to keep you grinding away.
Overall, I’m impressed with Chair Simulator. For a game that probably started out as a bit of banter late on a Friday night, MSCHF has pulled this off. It’s not a game you will spend hundreds of hours on, but for a game that costs nothing, it is definitely worth a light-hearted whirl.
Chair Simulator Review
Chair Simulator is a fun, albeit occasionally tedious title. It expertly satirises modern-day gaming, while also offering a decent amount of entertainment value. While this certainly won't be anyone's GOTY any time soon, it's definitely one worth trying.