As the night shift janitor for the next month, your job is to clean the place up each night, and keep the noise down. Why that second one? Well, buried in the Indian cemetery beneath the diner are two chieftains, Grim Feather and Laughing Bird, who could not STAND each other in life. Even in death, Laughing Bird can't help wanting to deny his rival his eternal rest by randomly turning on stuff in the diner at night.
That's why you have to keep things quiet, and turn off anything Laughing Bird turns on. If it gets too noisy in the diner, Grim Feather will rise and take out his wrath on you. So, yeah, keep the place quiet.
Joe's Diner contains examples of:
- Always Night: Justified, as you work the night shift at the diner.
- Deliberately Monochrome: The intro movie is so desaturated it is practically black and white.
- Electromagnetic Ghosts: These are Laughing Bird's primary powers, as he'll do anything from turning on a coffee machine or the hand dryer in the toilets to making the phones left in the diner receive phantom calls to just making the TV crackle with static. However, while he can make these things turn on in the first place, he is apparently not strong enough to overcome you pressing an off button.
- Evil Is Petty: Decades, and likely centuries, must have passed since his death, yet the best thing Laughing Bird can think of doing with his immortality is to disturb his rival's sleep with some cheap tricks, in the hope he'll get angry enough to slaughter some irrelevant night shift worker.
- Evil Laugh: True to his name, Laughing Bird can sometimes be heard laughing when pulling his latest trick.
- Excuse Plot: The storyline is essentially limited to the intro video and doesn't develop past it.
- First-Person Ghost: The player character is very much a floating camera, who does not even have any hands show up when picking things up.
- Greasy Spoon: The titular Joe's Diner.
- Indian Burial Ground: Joe's Diner is right on top of one, which explains the presence of the Native American chieftain ghosts.
- Jump Scare: If you let it get too noisy in the diner, this happens, and it's Game Over.
- No Ending: The game just rolls the credits after you survive 30 shifts.
- Theme Naming: What are the chances that the two Indian chieftains (Grim Feather and Laughing Bird) would both have bird-themed names?