Life simulation games have a special charm: On the one hand you go through your motions from day to day, on the other hand you want to escape it by having a go at the motions of someone else. So, you kind of ask yourself what it would be like to replace your daily routine with a more exciting one from somebody else. And that is the crucial point of the genre: Is the virtual life different enough to entertain you? Has it got enough distractions to offer, at least for a short while? For Space Jobs the answer is clearly no. Because although shows signs of some promising attempts, they get lost in a maze of advertisements, half-done ideas and programming bugs.
First came Midwinter… and then the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Whether you see a causality in this sequence of events or not – the illegitimate child of these two followed soon enough, and it was called Ashes of Empire. From the (at the time very much current) situation of the former Soviet Union, the game takes its scenario: A large country, a major military has collapsed under its own economic weight. Its former republics are plunging into anarchy, and not the good kind. Armed former military units, now turned into modern-day highwaymen, are roaming the countries, leaving a trail of fear and suffering among the already poor and underfed population whereever their aimless plundering takes them. Only some local administrative structures can still uphold at least a bit of order.
In the old, golden days, video games where thematically almost exclusively catering for a single target audience: male adolescents. Logically, some fantasy themes were recurrent: saving the earth and all of humanity or even the whole universe. Those were the goals and challenges of tomorrow's family men. Gaming having grown up, yesterday's youths are now confronted with reality. Those old dreams have been tainted as childish and the games industry now also delivers realism into the formerly well kept play rooms of today. One way of doing this apparently involves simulating every single job, no matter how absurd, and also every single every day activity, no matter how trivial, in a game. Resulting in increasingly obscure products in which the original ideas can hardly be recognized anymomre. Though even in the good old days, us heroes had to take a couple of collateral damage hits and, for example, resign ourselves to the role of a simple taxi driver. The implication being boring drives from A to B, where the highlight of the day is exchanging some gossip with the passengers. Unless, of course, it was Space Taxi.