What is a M.U.L.E.? It stands for Multiple Use Labor Element, the robotic backbone of the economy on planet Irata which is about to be colonized by members of different alien races. And, well, from human history, we all know what 'colonisation' implies: Grabbing land before anyone else does, exploiting it for profit and when you've milked it dry, move on – leaving political and economical chaos behind.
OK, so the long-term socio-economic aspects are not really part of this game. It is even completely unknown whether the planet has a native population to start with. It all plays rather like a board game: Each player can acquire one square piece of land per turn which they can then choose to develop to produce one out of four trade goods: food, energy, coal and gems. This is where the eponymous M.U.L.E. comes into play: One of these devices need to be deployed on each square. Otherwise, no produce.
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.
When it comes to oil, who thinks of deep holes and long drilling shafts? Oil is also called the black gold and you often have to dig as deep for it as for real gold. With a little luck, a real drilling professional will eventually come across a well and become fabulously rich.
Our oil refinery is already waiting at the top of the screen. With the drill head, the drilling shafts are combed for small spots of so-called oil pellets. Only after collecting all points, the screen spanning level is finished. There are also all kinds of vermin and monsters in the underground which grapple with the long pipeline. They take one of the 3 lives from the player when they touch the drill pipe. The only way to counteract them is to get ahead of the monsters and touch them with the drill head. This will make them disappear for a while.