WTF (Work Time Fun)

WTF (Work Time Fun, of course) is one of those games that probably wouldn't have caught our eye at E3 2006 if not for its delightfully subversive name. We're glad it did, though. What publisher D3 is localizing is perhaps best described as a mixture between Rub Rabbits' crazy, varied minigames and the pure wacky randomness of Wario Ware. Only this time on the PSP.

A closer look at the title reveals that it was developed by Sony Computer Entertainment and released under the title Baito Hell 2000 in Japan, but SCEA strangely passed on bringing the title to America themselves. We think they just don't have enough faith in Western gamers' ability to appreciate truly insane minigame action. Either that, or they didn't know how they would market the title (having been unable to come up with the genuinely genius title WTF themselves).

In any case, the game is due for a US release in late September, so let's take a look at what D3 is getting us close-minded Western gamers into.

Gamers are at the mercy of WTF's "job demon," who arbitrarily assigns you completely random jobs which, (you guessed it) are carried out in minigame form. Completing jobs rightfully earns you money, which can then be spent on unlocking further games, or truly Wario Ware-style random trinkets. There's a world clock that gives you the time in any international time zone, a ramen timer, and a calculator, among others.

The minigames we've experienced were simple, but still compelling, but there's no denying at least some of the enjoyment comes from the crazy premises gamers are thrust into. When you're a wood chopper you have to chop wood, while making sure to not chop the babies that occasionally (and completely inexplicably) appear from time to time. Another has you sorting male and female chickens into their respective piles, while putting the sickly chickens in the "heaven" pile. The minigames showed a good amount of variety, with one requiring us to turn the PSP vertical.

Despite the randomness of the humor and the semi-useless unlockable "tools," WTF is probably more like Rub Rabbits than Wario Ware. It's filled with minigames - not microgames. Each one we experienced was super-simple to pick up and get into, but most showed a high degree of addictability, and it isn't a stretch to imagine the game sucking away hours the same way simple flash games on the web sometimes do.

Adhoc multiplayer for some of the minigames (it's currently unknown how many) has been confirmed, ensuring that you can get your WTF on with your PSP-owning friends, to boot.

D3 is a young publisher that caught our eye with their handheld support last year (they've brought over PQ on the PSP, Break 'Em All on the DS, and other underrated titles), and WTF seems to continue that tradition nicely. We'll have a full review as the game's September 26 release date nears.