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Interesting premise, absurd execution.

There are two obvious directions to take the premise of a game built around a middle aged businessman trying to navigate a zombie apocalypse. It could be a tense horror game, where a man utterly unequipped for his new environment tries to find a way to survive, or it could be a lighthearted comedy, which uses an unorthodox protagonist to poke fun at the zombie action/horror genre. John Han the Business Man doesn't take either of these routes. In fact, having played the game to completion, I'm still not sure where it went, only that wherever it was, it was awfully confusing. I honestly couldn't say whether the bafflement I felt by the time I finished was the result of the game's poor execution, or was in fact the designer's intention all along.

The game follows the titular John Han the Business Man as he wakes up, finds himself in an apocalyptic wasteland peopled only by the shambling corpses that were once humankind, and then spends a couple hours wandering around purposelessly. While Jon occasionally talks, it's hardly ever for any purpose other than to state where he's going to go next, so the player knows where they'll be conveying him. He has practically nothing to say about the fact that the world he knew has suddenly and inexplicably transformed into a festering husk of its former self. Since his decisions regarding where to go do not seem to be much motivated by logic or human feeling, there isn't really a "story" so much as there is a sequence of locations to wander through. There is, however, a conclusion, which is so eye-crossingly nonsensical it makes me wonder if the pointlessness of everything that came before it was actually the point all along. The whole game might be an exercise in artistic half-assery, sort of like Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff, where the entertainment isn't found in story, in gameplay, in interplay of characters or whatever, but in the consistent failure of the whole thing to look like something a sensible human being would make. Or, it might just poorly thought out, I'm not really sure.

In terms of gameplay, John Han has the makings of an interesting resource management challenge, but rather than making proper use of them, it leaves them to spoil on the counter. There are no places in the game where Jon can freely rest and recover his health; instead, he must rely on a limited supply of snacks and drinks to recover his health and ability points. Some types of wandering zombies drop money when killed, which can be used to buy more snacks from vending machines, but these machines are widely spaced, and the amounts of money the zombies carry are always minimal. This could pose an interesting challenge for the player, where they have to judge carefully when they should fight and when they should attempt to avoid enemies entirely, what kind of supplies they should spend their limited funds on, when they should make use of special abilities, and so on. However, in practice, the game only poses this kind of challenge for a fraction of its already short length. The first combat location gradually introduces the resource management element, by offering a handful of wandering zombies which Jon can easily dispatch one-on-one, and then ramping up the number of wandering encounters, and number of enemies per-encounter, until it becomes clear to the player that they can't survive fighting them all. The challenge escalates further in the park, the second location, where the encounters are stronger than those in the grocery store, and healing items further between... and then drops off again as Jon gets to his office, where the amount of money dropped per-encounter tips the resource balance in favor of fighting enemies again.

Once you recruit the only other character in the game, in Jon's office building, the difficulty effectively drops off a cliff. With two characters in your party, resource concerns, if not patience concerns, always favor fighting. The characters' experience curve is really more of a straight line, and after the second location, the enemies practically stop getting stronger, so the continual combat will transform your two characters into a self sufficient wandering war machine.

It's particularly unfortunate that the balance of the game tilts so heavily in favor of combat, given that Jon Han has perhaps the most uninspired combat system I've ever seen. All battles consist of the crudely rendered non-animated protagonist sprites standing on one side of a monochrome background screen, facing the player, while the crudely rendered non-animated enemy sprites stand on the other side, also facing the player. Enemies' movesets all consist only of "attack" and " less damaging drain attack" or "attack" and "do nothing." The player characters, on the other hand, learn a mostly-shared body of moves consisting of a party attack, a stronger single-target attack, a stronger party attack, an even stronger single-target attack, and one healing move acquired by one of the two characters.

Once your team becomes effectively unstoppable in combat, the slavering hordes of undead will pose less of an obstacle to the protagonists than will the terrible feng shui of the cluttered environments they have to traverse. The maps in Jon Han are designed almost entirely around the principle of putting random objects in your way to make it difficult to get anywhere. And I do mean "random." There is little sense to the placement of anything in this game. The layout of the environments makes no sense in terms of ease of navigation for the inhabitants, in terms of the city planning which led to locations being mashed together in bizarre and improbable ways, or in fact, in terms of Euclidean geometry. When you walk off the screen in one direction, you may enter the next screen from any direction at all, and this constant disorientation disguises the fact that the map layouts converge in on themselves, and various rooms should really be overlapping each other.

The whole game is held together with extremely weak internal logic. Why is the layout of the city so weird? Because those are the maps the designer felt like making. Why are zombies in the park stronger than zombies in the grocery store? Because the park comes after the grocery store. Why don't the zombies keep getting stronger after that? Just because. Why does Jon keep trekking through environments that are in no way conducive to his safety or survival, with no particular goal in mind? Because it's his job to tell the player where they have to go, and they have to go through the maps the designer made. Why are there so many locked doors between locations you have to traverse, which don't correspond to places which people would have any reason to keep locked in the real world, but none, say, barring zombies access from enclaves of living people? Because the point of locked doors is to make you go find the keys, and there are no other characters to find. There's no sense behind anything that happens in this game, and there's less sense behind the ending than there is behind anything else.

Overall, Jon Han the Business Man is either a very poorly thought out game, or a game deliberately designed to appear poorly thought out. If you're a fan of absurdity of design, it might be worth checking out. But don't expect to find anything you'd want to see implemented elsewhere.