The internet is so big and vast and great and terrible that whenever I can’t find something, I just assume I must not be looking in the right place. In actuality, there’s just a lot of stuff that doesn’t exist because it got deleted or nobody wrote in the first place. That’s what one fan discovered while trying to research a video game called Part Time UFO, but instead of just throwing up their hands and calling it a day like most of us, they decided to make an entire wiki for the underrated Switch indie all by themselves.
If you missed Part Time UFO last year, it’s a quirky side-scroller about a cute flying saucer trapped in the modern gig economy. Created by HAL Laboratories, the same studio behind Kirby, it was originally a smartphone game before being ported to Switch last October. You might think that given the name behind it, and the fact that Nintendo featured it prominently in Indie Directs leading up to the release, that a vast treasure-trove of online help would be available to players intent on completing all of its special achievements and hidden challenges. You’d be wrong.
“I was having issues getting all of the medals in Part Time UFO and the game’s wiki was abandoned and empty, so I spent a week creating and editing pages for the sake of preservation of a criminally underrated puzzle game,” user spookyspookedelic wrote yesterday on the Nintendo Switch subreddit. Hosted over on Fandom, the wiki has 22 pages, which might not sound like a ton until you see just how long some of them are, ranging from a few hundreds words to over a thousand.
Though a smaller game overall, Part Time UFO is chock-full of fine details, ranging from hidden costumes to special game modes like the Tower of Infinity, where players build a tall structure by stacking random objects on top of one another. Most importantly, Spookyspookedelic’s wiki outlines how players can earn each of the game’s medals and special feats. Of course, if you just want to learn about the little UFO’s backstory—its name is Jobski—that lore is outlined as well.
“I love when I’m playing an obscure game and I google something, half expecting no answer, and find exactly what I’m looking for, because some nameless hero took the time to put that helpful info out there, even knowing not many people will ever see it or thank them for their work,” wrote one commenter in the Reddit thread announcing the wiki. “Thank you!” wrote another. “I’ve been dying to know for ages how to get the ‘So Long, UFO!’ Feat of Glory, so it’s great to finally have an answer to that.”
The “So Long, UFO” feat is a perfect example of the type of obscure gaming trivia that might otherwise fall through the cracks of the internet. The achievement requires you to pick up the game’s recurring masked thief character and instead of putting her back on a platform, as required in a separate challenge, you have to place her so she can escape. It’s the kind of incredibly minor detail a friend might stumble upon and tell you about, but you won’t otherwise easily find in a guide unless someone goes to the trouble of documenting it.
Spookyspookedelic’s project, which in some ways is completely ordinary, seemed to blow up on the subreddit precisely because of that. In an era where many big sites only have dedicated guides for the most popular games, and YouTube walkthroughs can be a mess to navigate between finding time stamps and getting bombarded with ads, it’s almost quaint to be able to actually just scroll through a list of hyperlinks in a fan’s library dedicated to their cult favorite game. “Today’s internet is so focused on fast-moving elements that we forget to value the Wikis and old walkthrough sites that were the original giants that our fast-moving tutorial videos and flashy animated infographic videos stand upon,” wrote one commenter.
It helps that Part Time UFO is such a brilliant game to begin with, which made it all the more unthinkable that a wiki for it didn’t already exist. Fortunately, now one finally does.