Randal’s Monday Review | MOUSE n JOYPAD

Randal’s Monday Review



It’s really nice to see the classical point ‘n’ click adventures standing on their own two feet lately. With Telltale experimenting with a more dynamic gameplay style, Pheonix Online and Daedalic are free to employ other, less known devs under their wing and share the spotlight. With this “struggle” going on, it’s no wonder new, inventive games (at least as far as storylines and characters go) have to be developed. Built on the frame of a classical adventure game, Randal’s Monday is one such title. Featuring snarky humour, some pretty dark situations and a fairly questionable protagonist, this game certainly earns its PEGI 16 rank.


Notice how they completely ignore the pool of blood coming from the elevator.

The game starts with the scene in which Randal and his soon-to-be-married best friends are drinking like a bunch of fishes. Which actually reminded me of our office here at Mouse ‘n’ Joypad, but oh well. Being a bit of a prick and a kleptomaniac too, Randal steals the engagement ring that also happens to be cursed. As you can guess, after this, hilarity ensues. But not quite, because Matt, the guy whose engagement ring Randal stole, commits suicide after the disappearance of the ring. After that, Randal falls deep into the rabbit hole we’ve seen in Groundhog Day. That is, the titular Monday keeps repeating itself while the titular Randal does his best to get things back to the way they were. The setup is fairly interesting, and even though the preview demo didn’t quite entice me to play the whole game to the bitter end, I have to say that the situation is much better once the whole thing starts properly snowballing. Its most evocative feature being the dry humour that’s oh so very reminiscent of Clerks. Expect witness, all kinds of strange reactions, some universe-bending and a lot of blood.Â

Controlling Randal, you’ll be throwing puns left and right, with every other being a reference to some pop/geek work of art. Expect to be seeing throwback to Half Life, The Iron Giant, X-Files, Futurama, Superman… there’s a whole boatload of that stuff in the game, and I’m afraid it can be a bit too much to swallow at once. Randal’s Monday suffers from a bit of an identity crisis. While dropping a reference to something else every so often would allow the game to create an atmosphere of its own in the player’s mind, I felt as if it’s trying to make me remember all this other stuff instead. Like – don’t think about this game, think about that awesome show you watched years ago, or imagine how awesome playing that old game was back in the day. And honestly, this isn’t how it’s supposed to work. Randal’s Monday has everything it needs to set a bar very high for the adventure titles that will be released in the future – the characters, the story, the quirky atmosphere that isn’t afraid to drop all the way down to freaky… you name it. But I can’t help but feel that it’s all squandered a bit while trying to reference everything it could.


What a clever thing you are.

Gameplay-wise, Randal’s Monday offers very little in terms of innovation. And it really doesn’t need to, with a sleek and simple interface and a responsive pointer. What did bug me, however, was the fact that the protagonist moves very sluggishly, so you’ll be waiting for him to drag his ass all over the screen longer than you might want to. It all works, however, so I didn’t really mind it that much. Being a proper adventure point ‘n’ clicker, Randal’s Monday has a bunch of puzzles too. Don’t expect them to be easy either, as they require a good eye and clever deduction. There’s a fair few of them that left me positively stumped, but solving them felt good because they were very cleverly built. There’s a couple of puzzles that might annoy you too, but this element of the game is mostly spot-on.

Visually, this game might seem overly simplistic at first, but actually offers some fairly complicated animation tricks up its sleeves. Not to mention that each character looks completely different, thus having their personalities reflected on their avatars. It’s the atmosphere that left me thinking about the game’s presentation however. Randal’s world isn’t an overly pretty place to live in, and there’s a certain freaky vibe to the whole thing, but it’s also filled to the brim with explorable stuff – for better or worse, that much I’ll leave you to decide. Do note, Randal’s Monday is also quite long, clocking in with more gameplay hours than the entirety of Max Payne 3’s campaign, for example. That might be just me sucking at puzzles though. Another feature of this game well worth noting is the voice-over. With stars such as Jeff Anderson under its belt, it’s no wonder such a relatively small studio managed to create a game that sounds so darn awesome.

All in all, Randal’s Monday is a great adventure that tries just a bit too hard to remind you of other games, shows, movies and such. It’s a long, interesting and funny romp that’s well worth of your time. Expect plenty of small laughs and a couple of really big ones, especially if you like to think you know your geek culture stuff. A definitive recommendation to all point ‘n’ click fans and to those of you who enjoyed Clerks.