by Ingvi Snædal
previewed on PC
TV is good for you
If you've been going through life convinced that the countless hours spent in front of the TV in the 80s and 90s watching science fiction shows, reading comics, playing classic console games, and generally being a geek were nothing but a waste of time, you're about to be proven terribly wrong. You see, all that experience and knowledge that you have crammed between your ears will allow you to instantly recognise the countless counter-cultural references that Randal's Monday bases its humour on, rather than having to google it like normal people. This will allow you to complete the game a bit faster, thus validating the time spent on the knowledge acquisition, kind of like how exams validate the months spent in a classroom.
Randal is your average Joe protagonist. He's a kleptomaniac, a pathological liar, a selfish prick, and most of all, he's the worst friend you could ever hope to have. You know, a very relatable individual that anyone would be lucky to have in their lives. His life is a mess. He owes his landlord rent money and he's about to get fired. One night, he goes out drinking with his best friend, Matt. Matt shows him an engagement ring he got for his girlfriend. Long story short: they get drunk, Randal wakes up in his apartment with Matt's ring in his pocket, and as he is the best friend in the world, he pawns the ring to pay his rent for the next month. After all, Matt doesn't know it was him who stole the ring, right?
This final act of douchebaggery triggers a curse which forces Randal to relive the same Monday over and over again. Little does he know, but upon losing the ring, his friend Matt decided to take his own life. The idiot crammed his head into an electric oven! Everything you touch one Monday will have caused a change in the following day, although Randal is the only one who will know the difference. Randal must now reclaim the ring, get his act together, and break the curse in order to make it to Tuesday. Tuesdays are not much better in my opinion.
Jeff Anderson, the actor who plays Randal in the Clerks series by Kevin Smith, has lent his voice to the character of Randal in the game. This is fitting, as the developers were heavily inspired by the films and based the character of Randal on the dislikeable lazy slacker we all know and love from the films. As the game relies heavily on American cultural references and the development studio is Spanish (from Alicante to be precise), Jeff helped out with some of the script and jokes that appear in the game. The results prove to be a classic style point-and-click adventure with a geek culture theme and a heavy dose of comedy. The developers promised that Randal's Monday would be longer than any other point-and-click adventure game yet, and with 7 chapters and over 40 different locations to visit in this foul-mouthed, interactive homage to the golden age of geekdom, I'm inclined to believe them.
This really is a good time to be a point-and-click player. With all the games coming out and the variety in theme and gameplay innovations, it is exciting to see this once dormant genre come to life so vividly. As has been the case with so many games that have tried to sell themselves solely on humour, however, let's hope Randal's Monday doesn't run dry before the day is up.