The Gaffer is an action-based Flash game by James Green of Black Galleon. You play a chubby warehouse boss who must load boxes onto trucks that pull into the dock. Each stack is outlined on the back of the truck, all you have to do is carry the crates one by one and put them in the right place. It's a very straightforward game that keeps you hooked with its charming presentation and simple gameplay.
As you run back and forth organizing crates you might see a mouse, cat or dog wander into the room. On their own the animals usually don't interfere with your work, but put them together and you've got trouble. The cat will chase the mouse and sometimes knock you down, while the mouse can destroy crates or bite the dog, sending the poor hound running and toppling stacks of boxes. You can use the [Z] key to swat at the animals, or just make sure they're on a truck when it pulls away.
Another interesting feature in The Gaffer is... the elephant. Pressing the [E] key calls the big guy out to trample across the dock, scaring away the other animals and destroying every crate on the screen. Useful if you're overwhelmed or just sick of dealing with the little critters.
Analysis: While the concept of The Gaffer didn't intrigue me at first, the hook was the fantastic music and art direction. It's a treat to both look at and listen to. The game itself is simple and enjoyable, but the pacing is a bit sporadic. Half of the time I felt there was either too much to do or too little. Pressing [B] will make the boxes come a lot faster, which helps, and clever use of the elephant will keep things moving smoothly.
Nice artwork, great music, simple fun. If only working in a real warehouse were this entertaining.