In the game you play a randomly generated office worker (determined by your hand) who attempts to win favor with a randomly generated boss (determined by die roll). You win by being the boss's favorite employee at the end of the game. Each player has 3 attributes, and depending on the attitude of the boss, each attribute could help you a little, a lot, or could even hurt you... During game play, you will play cards to improve your standing, or hurt other players in a "take that" style game.
The game is quick, and rounds usually last about 15 minutes or less. There are 3 types of cards: Attribute, Flaw, and Bonus. The type is written on the bottom of the card. In the deck there is also a "Boss Card", which is like a mini-gameboard that keeps track of the Boss's currently opinions on each of the three Attributes: Hardwork, Prestige, and Suckup.
The game starts with each player getting 6 cards. All Attributes are placed on the table, face up, in front of the player. These show your employee's current reputation in the company. These should be grouped according to type (Hardwork, Prestige, Suckup), and laid out for easy counting. Flaws and Bonus Cards are kept. Then the boss is "Rolled".
Take a 6-sided die (not included), and roll once for each of the attribute types, starting with Hardwork, then Prestige, and finally Suckup. Mark results using 3 small coins on the "Boss Card". The card is never permanently marked, as the results change every time the game is played, and sometimes multiple times during single match!
Rolls of 5 or 6 count as Love, and mean each point counts as 2 points. Rolls of 3 or 4 count as OK, and mean each point counts as 1 point. And rolls of 1 or 2 count as HATE, and each point in that category counts as -1 to your score.
Three more cards are then dealt to the players. If any of these cards are Attributes, they may be played or discarded at this time, but they can NOT be held on to. Further Bonus and Flaw cards are withheld.
After the last Attribute card has been played or discarded, the real game begins:
Players then take turns playing one card at a time, either Flaw or Bonus, on themselves or the other players. If you run out of cards, your turn is skipped, but you're still in the game. You have to play, or discard, 1 card every turn until your hand is exhausted. Flaws negate Attributes, but do not count as points themselves. Bonus cards do what they say. The player with the highest score, even if that score is a negative, wins!
Often you will find a player with a large pile of Attributes, but few Bonus or Flaw cards. You might think this player is clearly winning, but when you have no Bonus or Flaw cards, you're essentially defenseless. If you have few Attribute cards, but many Flaw and Bonus cards, then you have the dreaded "Handful of Pain". You don't want to face a player with a Handful of Pain! That poor soul with all of the Attribute points, who started out in the lead, can quickly find their ivory tower of points leveled to a smoldering heap of rubble.
If played wisely, there is no Good Hand or Bad Hand in Office Life. It's entirely possible to win with any hand!
Here's some gameplay videos I've made:
This is the demo I made with my family...
This is an animated game play demo I made (some of the graphics have changed since this video was made, over a year ago)