Indie

Randal's Monday is a Pop Culture Explosion (Preview)

There have been plenty of point-and-click adventure games through the years, and most of them have had a few common traits that seem to really fit the genre. Humor, self-awareness, and pop-culture reference are a mainstay here, and Randal’s Monday is no exception. In fact, I’m hard pressed to think of a single moment through what I’ve played where there wasn’t something on the screen or in the dialogue that wasn’t a joke, reference, or quick jab at the game’s own existence and penchant for jokes and references. From our would-be hero’s apartment home on Threepwood street to the half-obscured Dunder Mifflin sign hanging outside a shop, every moment of this amusing little number is packed with nods to other things.


I’ll admit that, when I first jumped in to Randal’s Monday, I wasn’t expecting much. So-called “funny” games are often pretty ham-fisted with their attempts at humor, and since these moments rely on sharp writing and clever use of the medium, I was initially off-put by just how much of the game seemed derivative of other media. The more I played, though, the more it started to grow on me as I took it all in and guided the misanthropic Randal through his relatively mundane mission to get enough money to pay the rent. I really can’t stress enough just how much of the game relies on these tongue-in-cheek insertions of familiar items, sayings, and logos, but somehow it still managed to work once I got past my initial distaste.

Our story begins, as befits the theme, in a bar. There's not as much packed in here visually referencing other things, but trust, it doesn't take long to really start rolling.

Our story begins, as befits the theme, in a bar. There’s not as much packed in here visually referencing other things, but trust, it doesn’t take long to really start rolling.

Along the winding road that is Randal’s Monday, the star of our show meets all kinds of interesting characters, most of whom are more than happy to play into the game’s humor. The writing and voice-acting are better than I’d expect, with the writing stealing the show on that front and fitting in pretty nicely without being overdone (much). Puzzles and obstacles are often built around having to talk your way around things or get people to do things, so dialogue plays a huge role in what you’ll be doing as you play the game.

Heeeere we go. This is a little more indicative of the reference-laden places you'll go. The teabagging Master Chief is a nice touch.

Heeeere we go. This is a little more indicative of the reference-laden places you’ll go. The teabagging Master Chief is a nice touch.

Since Randal’s Monday is still a work in progress, I can’t speak as to how everything will pan out for our time-twisting, joke-cracking leading man. Suffice it to say though, that the comedy isn’t terrible and if you’re not put off by the inundation of references, nods, and other things that rely on outside knowledge to “get”, there’s a pretty solid and amusing adventure game here. Like I said, I was initially put off by it a bit, but as I got further along, it grew on me. It’s still growing on me now, like some kind of funny mold that wants to quiz me on movie trivia. If the genre is up your alley and you don’t mind a barrage of comedic stylings, I’d check this one out when you get the chance.

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