Nolan aka Totaltoad here, and this week I’ve been chuckling my way through Randal’s Monday. Taking a break from RPGs, I've gotten to return to my video games roots in this hilarious point and click adventure from Nexus Game Studios. Growing up playing games like EcoQuest, Day of the Tentacle, and The Legend of Kyrandia have made point and click adventures my favorite types of video games, and it always makes me happy to see the genre running strong with games like Randal’s Monday. Right after booting the game I’m given two options for controls to chose.
I started out using the “old school” control scheme, but I have to admit after a while I switched to “new school”. It seemed the only added benefit to using the “old school” control scheme was a few extra lines of dialogue about certain items, and these lines weren’t important nor funny. It is important to note that this game earns it’s M rating (swearing, blood, and adult humor) and I appreciate that. Many old point and click adventures contained graphics scenes and even some (Leisure Suit Larry) contained adult humor.
Gameplay and Design:
In Randal’s Monday the player controls Randal as you venture through the city. The player interacts with various people and items in order to progress through the story. Some items are placed freely throughout the map, others hidden, and still more only obtained through different scenarios. For example, using your dead best-friends frozen teeth to open two bottles of beer, then giving those beers to two cops in order to distract them, you can steal a can of air freshener needed to blow open a kitchen drawer. During conversations, in classic point and click fashion, the player is given multiple responses to choose from.
During certain conversations I was only able to select 1 of these responses, but most conversations allowed for all options to be selected so the player can hear multiple responses. If I selected the wrong combination of lines I could always try again. I have currently made it to Day 5 and haven’t run into any situations where I choose a wrong answer that prohibited me from continuing the story.
The player stores everything in Randal’s inventory:
Items can be examined within your inventory, sometimes doing so produces more items. Like all good point and click adventures, many items must be combined or used together in your inventory in order to proceed. One of the earliest combos you make is the trusty “Extendible Duck-hanger” you see above. These are mechanics that are not new to the point and click world. Most gamers will have no trouble at all navigating puzzle to puzzle, though there were a few really annoying instances where combinations made no sense and other items should have worked instead. Randal moves around the world using a subway system, which made long walks between zones pleasant, and also provided useful hints at the bottom.
A simple double-tap of X would also act as a quick travel between near areas by immediately taking your character to another area instead of watching them walk.
The cartoon style in Randal’s Monday really sets the tone for the wacky story, but seems overly simply at times, with not much time being spent on textures. Many objects just seemed to have stains on them. The music became very repetitious using the same few rock and roll guitar phrases. The audio tracks seem to be uneven at times. I had to strain to hear one character while another came in incredibly loud, all during the same conversation. On top of that many conversations contained unnecessary pauses, and went on forever with needless dialogue. I did enjoy Randal’s voice actor being Clerks and Clerks 2’s Jeff Anderson. Fans of his will be happy to hear it was almost as if they took his character from Clerks and made a game. It is very obvious where Nexus Game Studios put their design time: EASTER EGGS. Randal’s Monday seems to not go a single scene without visuals, items, or characters that are references to various videos games or movies. How many can you recognize below?
I spent a good deal of my time having Randal examine various objects just to hear what he had to say about them. Being a Day of the Tentacle reference, this character and associated puzzle made me laugh more than any other:
My only real complaints about the easter eggs are; the story seems to rely too much on easter eggs and they are often ruined by Randal explicitly saying what the easter egg is in reference too.
One of the first easter eggs I recognized in Randal’s Moday was related to his alarm clock song. The tune is similar to the song that plays on the radio every new morning in the movie Groundhog’s Day starring Bill Murray. This was my first clue to what amazing things are going on in Randal’s Monday. After waking up from a night of drinking, you realize you still have your friend Matt’s ring that he means to give his fiance as an engagement ring. Matt dropped it last night while vomiting and as the good kleptomaniac friend you are, you picked it up for safe keeping. Unknowing to you, the ring is cursed and has trapped you in time, forcing you to live the same monday over and over again, but with a catch. Things you did the previous monday will change the next monday. For example, when I changed the sci-fi convention’s date to monday instead of wednesday, the koalas that were supposed to be at koala convention on that monday are instead running the streets like rats. It is things like this, along with easter eggs, and voice acting that makes Randal’s Monday a uniquely hilarious play. I do feel the game targets an older 20s and above audience for they would understand the references. I am not too sure how much more of the game I have left, but I look forward to each new monday it throws at me.
AND when is this SNK Video store going to be open for me wreak havoc inside?
Thank you for reading. Nolan — Totaltoad
Randal’s Monday gets a 6/10 (Limited Appeal)
This is my third video game review coming to you on The Cube, thank you Zack Hage and Nexus Game Studios for providing me with the code and giving me this chance to share my opinion with everyone. Check out my random video game videos on youtube (NEW VIDEOS COMING THIS WEEK):
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