Please Leave Me Alone, I Need To Poop review: Better clench

Uh huh, this my shit. All the boys wanna be like this.

Please Leave Me Alone, I Need To Poop lays bare the withering heart of office culture: there is no way to survive without a little humiliation. Here are the two poles of “absolute success” or “absolute failure:” you parrot your boss’s Machiavellian ideas in a front of the entire office (success), or you fully poop your pants (failure). There is no way to escape the psychic specter of an office presentation without dropping a log.

Please Leave Me Alone, I Need To Poop lures you in with friendly art and title screen voice acting, only to ambush you with a full-throttle office job speedrun. How will you pay the cost? In your own crap, or in a fruitless attempt to share your ideals?

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Please Leave Me Alone, I Need to Poop: The protagonist listens as their boss says over the phone, "Too many restaurants don't have breadsticks which is bullshit, but they will if it's the law."
Screenshot by Taylor Hicklen.

Digestive Biz Kit

A phone call interrupts your protagonist’s planned bathroom break. Their boss is at the airport and just had a great presentation idea ten minutes before his airplane takes off. It’s crucial that the protagonist pay attention to every word he says. But every break in the conversation gives you a choice: listen further or excuse yourself. The protagonist grimaces, a blue Clench Meter depleting closer to zero each time they stay on the call. Despite the four sticky notes on their cubicle walls hastily scrawled with “Remember diarrhea medicine,” here they are again, gripping their cheeks together for dear life.

For decorum’s sake, let’s just say that the extensive voice acting in the game is, uh…immersive. The protagonist alternates between Customer Service Voice and muffled grunts. The demands of corporate work are failing their body, or is it the other way around? And their boss’s ideas are absolutely unhinged. It’s the kind of corporate hot air that led to Juicero or Quibi, but somehow bleak and morbid. Both sides of the fully voiced phone call gave me war flashbacks to previous jobs. Each playthrough, the boss debuts a newly horrible idea. This is not office High School Musical. It’s an office Heathers in HSM’s clothing.

Please Leave Me Alone, I Need To Poop: the protagonist says, "Having to make an infinity amount of soup, salad, and breadsticks will create valuable local jobs."
Screenshot by Taylor Hicklen.

Dung Another Day

But leaving the call is just the start of your ordeals. In order to reach the office restroom, the protagonist will have to weave through coworkers by force. The most potent video game force there is: a minigame. One has you aiming coffee cups to get your coworkers to scatter, the next is a side-scrolling dash through people and office equipment. And every failure makes your protagonist’s clench meter plummet. Hit zero and you’ll have to win a round of button-mashing to restore their battered bladder. But the horrors of the office bathroom itself are lasting: occupied stalls, a distant urinal on a piss-strewn floor that looks perpetually out of order, and other atrocities.

Please Leave Me Alone, I Need to Poop has quick runs (pun intended) that last ten minutes at most. So failing a minigame isn’t an apocalyptic setback aside from the state of the protagonist’s pants. They last the appropriate length: longer than a WarioWare diversion, shorter than most Newgrounds opuses.

Please Leave Me Alone, I Need to Poop: the protagonist sits on the toilet, a crumpled fist in the air in triumph. "You Pooped!" says the status screen, with a blue Continue button underneath.
Screenshot by Taylor Hicklen.

Scattered Memories

The protagonist’s successful bowel movement leads to an even more perilous BM: the business meeting they have to present. You choose from four thought bubbles ranging from on-topic to seditious. These presentation options, coupled with the excruciating phone call earlier, form the moral fiber of the game. And once again, they’re fully voiced. So no matter which way you steer your protagonist, you will get the twisted joy of hearing them speak these ideas into being.

Mostly ace the presentation? Good job! Time for a new run. Burn it to the ground? You’re fired, obviously. That’s business as usual. Please Leave Me Alone, I Need to Poop scores you at the ending of each segment, but the numbers just reinforce the truly unwinnable situation. So you pooped, but for what? A presentation? A boss you hate?

Please Leave Me Alone, I Need To Poop: the protagonist cries as they carries out their things. Their presentation accuracy was only 28% and they were fired.
Screenshot by Taylor Hicklen.

Verdict: Please Leave Me Alone, I Need To Poop knows its shit (complimentary)

Please Leave Me Alone, I Need To Poop pulls off a royal flush: the swirl of surface humor reveals the foul infrastructure underneath. This team has stared into the cubicle abyss. The indignity of needing to poop but being unable to is more than a comedy pratfall, it’s a smaller fracture in a widening human rights chasm.

Specifics of where and how you can poop are deeply political. Amazon workers are regularly denied bathroom breaks. Restaurants put coded keypads on their restroom doors. Public restrooms, when you can find one, swing wildly between understaffed horrorshows to a fully automated bathroom that puts you on a ten minute timer. And those are just the difficulties of the bathroom itself, not the person using it. Either way, the game tells you, something has to give. Either your will or your bladder. Better start clenching.

Press SPACE to Jump Review score 9
Image by Press SPACE to Jump

Amazing

ProsCons
A truly modern parable of office culture and the indignities we suffer to survive it.A truly modern parable of office culture and the indignities we suffer to survive it.
Misleadingly wholesome art style.Some minigames feel a little too floaty.
Bleak humor makes a splash. 

Read the Press SPACE to Jump Review Scale for more information on what our scores mean. For more indie coverage, stay tuned to the site!

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Taylor Hicklen
Taylor Hicklen

Taylor is Press SPACE to Jump's community lead. He likes midrange JRPGs, fighting games, and Dicey Dungeons. Bonus points if there are good fonts. To contact him about your game or other professional inquiries, you can email him at pstjtaylor@proton.me.

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