What appears to be yet another estrogen-laden, too-friendly-to-say-anything casual game that marked the 2004-2007 era is actually the best game to emerge from the now defunct GameLab, whose LinkedIn page now stands as a shadow remnant of its former greatness. Miss Management was notable because of its source of funding, an unnamed High-Net-Worth-Individual made this game possible, and as such the burdensome demands of publishers were relaxed to the desire to make something interesting and polished. The game doesn't pile in swears or sexual innuendo with this opportunity, it's still considerably tamer in subject matter than an episode of The Office, the show after which it seems to fashion itself, but it does paint a compelling enough caricature of corporate life and the inane frictions thereof. It also combines character design directly with game mechanics to do a nice job of role-driven storytelling, almost like Chris Crawford's old Siboot streamlined with the chassis of Diner Dash.
Instead of serving food you serve tasks, instead of putting a queue of type-cast faces through the paces, you have a small set of employees each with their own strengths, preferred means of relaxation, and pet peeves. Typically what pleases one person upsets others, so you end up juggling personalities as much as you do the incoming work load. Each "episode" as they name their levels involves a different set of goals set up by the narrative contexts of each character. The writing is quite sharp and illustrates the potential of designer Naomi Clark, who recently did a podcast worth hearing.
There's a crack out for those who resent paying Bigfish, Playfirst el alia for IP that should be going directly back to the investor and developers of this fine title, maybe they'll leave a comment to the effect that they do indeed get a quarter out of each purchase, but whatever. You all know how to use google.
I was playing this recently while going through a tremendous amount of stress trying to balance work with my personal life, which nearly went into a critical melt-down. You don't want to hear the details, but armed robbery, latina soap opera dialogue and Western Union were all involved. Playing this game to relieve stress also taught me to be confident in dealing with stress, and I feel like perhaps I too could manage an office, or at least my apartment.