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[Rapid Review] CorpoNation: The Sorting Process

Posted on May 14, 2024 by in Reviews, Switch eShop

CorpoNation review

System: Switch
Release date: May 9, 2024
Developer: Canteen
Publisher: Playtonic Friends

In CorpoNation: The Sorting Process, you’re an employee of Ringo CorpoNation. You toil away the hours sorting genetic samples only to get back home, maybe play a video game, eat, and then sleep. There is no real joy. This is the daily process. You start to wonder if there’s more to it. Oh, there’s more to it.

CorpoNation: The Sorting Process is set in a world where your employer can be a part of every aspect of your life. From the very apartment you live in, the food you eat, and all forms of media and entertainment on offer, Ringo CorpoNation is at the helm of it all. Everything you have access to is carefully and meticulously created for and approved by your employer.

CorpoNation review

Navigating the game is pretty simple in handheld mode, as the entire experience supports the Switch’s touch screen. You can navigate menus and complete any of the tasks entirely by touch should you wish it. Despite full controller support, I found that playing on just the touchscreen felt really good overall and even made tasks faster — which is great for amassing credits: the game’s currency. The game’s entire loop will necessitate the earning and spending of your wages, and you’ll be able to do so in myriad ways. Just don’t forget that your bills come first or you’ll be able to expect a garnishment until all debts are paid. This is starting to sound increasingly like real life now, isn’t it?

Every single work day will start the same: get up, take the elevator to the sample sorting room, check and acknowledge emails, and complete the tasks at hand — which can change at a moment’s notice and without any real training on the subject aside from viewing your employee manual. (This is starting to give me personal flashbacks.) Once you’ve obeyed the day’s strange rules to the best of your ability and have placed the samples into their proper receptacles for the approved duration of time, you’re clear to take the elevator back to your pod (that you rent from Ringo CorpoNation in order to work for them) you’ll be able to chat with your company-approved text buddies and play a couple of company-approved games or even shop for furnishings for your pod that reflect the pride you hold in your employer. The culture is important after all! Work hard!

CorpoNation review

As you while the days away your chat friends may share some of their wonders about what really goes on here. You’ll receive strange cryptic emails that make you have some of your own questions, too. You’re free to ignore them and report them and be a good little employee. You can even report your friends if you feel like they’re on their way to dissent! But also… you could also pursue the questions yourself. What are the samples from? CorpoNation: The Sorting Process is a wonderful dystopian take on society and the grind. Once you’re finally annoyed enough to rebel against your corporate overlords, reprieve arrives in the form of a rebel group called Synthesis. Armed with many vocal detractors of Ringo CorpoNation’s wage slavery and exploitation, Synthesis’ organization seeks to shed light on both the purposes and origin of the genetic samples, and to find a way out of the perpetual grind of endless work. If we haven’t ourselves felt this way at some point or another in our waking lives, we’re fortunate.

Satirical an approach as it may be, CorpoNation hits way too close to home with so many points in this day and age. In a world where we live to work, can’t have a parent home to raise kids due to financial strain and sometimes have to choose between food and life-saving medication, the release of a game where late-stage capitalism is realized to the worst possible potential is an incredibly terrifying experience in some ways — considering the hands that corporations already have in Western government, it also doesn’t feel like an impossibility, but more of an inevitability, and that is the most terrifying thought of them all.

The Verdict

Wonderfully depicted with a dark and futuristic aesthetic, CorpoNation: The Sorting Process is a wild ride through a story full of stress and frustration, along with one of the best twists I’ve seen in a while. For its modest price tag, I’d give this one a go if you like story-driven games and don’t mind doing a puzzle or two and sticking your nose where it doesn’t belong. Now I have to go to bed so I can get up and participate in capitalism so I can claw my way through climbing bills and rising food costs. Remember kids: without poverty, what would we have to strive for?

CorpoNation: The Sorting Process copy provided by the publisher for the purposes of this review.

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