Launcher distance record games are virtually flooded in Flash game development, but even in such a glut, My Dear Bosses stands out with its adult-oriented irreverence and smarminess. Reminiscent of nothing quite so much as a toned down, low budget bite of Leisure Suit Larry for mobile gamers, My Dear Bosses challenges you to kick your own boss out of a window – and see how far she goes.
The choice of genders involved – with the employee a doughy-faced male gamer, and the boss a stereotypically attractive, high-heeled vixen – clearly points to My Dear Bosses’s aim at appealing to gamers who might be just a little insecure about their own masculinity. This artistic fusion is punctuated with bombastic, rewarding popups for hitting top speeds from the get-go, which require quick reflexes. Renewing speed is accomplished through a rapid-clicking QTE-style minigames that, bizarrely, empowers your boss as a superheroine or recruits the ‘help’ of a brutal bulldog before returning her to the painful grasp of earth.
As far as launchers go, My Dear Bosses hits all the right notes but doesn’t add anything new. You’re graded on various metrics like Slacking or Troublemaking, giving you concrete goals to aim for besides just ‘going further.’ Money achieved from your launchers lets you buy standard upgrades, while optional collectibles give extra (wholly unnecessary) rewards.
If My Dear Bosses has a strength, it’s in its completely theme, which is dripping all over its art style, animation choices and even its tick-tocking, pressure-mocking soundtrack. It’s perhaps the ideal game to play when you need to unwind from a stressful desk job – as long as your boss isn’t watching you play it!
On the other hand, veterans of other distance games are unlikely to find enough meat here to satisfy their appetite. My Dear Bosses excels at its theme but is simultaneously a slave to it, and while its launcher physics are satisfyingly tight and accurate, they also lack any form of real innovation or challenge to players familiar with the mechanics.