I appreciate a game with well thought out comedy and intriguing characters, whatever the genre, and a point-and-click adventure is a great platform to offer up such a thing. Hence finding Randal’s Monday making its way into my Steam basket during the 2017 summer sale.
Having the Daedalic Entertainment name attached to it, which I’ve seen many a time before, I hoped for something fun, something quick witted and a little crazy. That’s exactly what I got, with even more crazy on the side. Randal isn’t the most lovable character, but he’s a relatable one, and whilst the story is more than a little farfetched, it being set in the real world makes a refreshing change from the usual fantasies.
The game opens with three friends sitting in a bar celebrating two of them getting engaged. It gives us our first glimpse into the lives of these dynamic drunken characters. Moving on from that, within the first chapter alone we learn that our hero Randal is in a bad place. He’s lazy, broke and hates his job, and on top of that he has a landlord pestering him for rent money, as well as a reclusive roommate, an angry detective and a dead best friend to contend with. Oh, and I did I mention he’s also suffering from a terrible curse?
The most notable thing about this game is the constant reference to popular culture, all based around the “one ring to rule them all”, with an emphasis on other video games, superheroes and classic movies. Randal’s apartment is a prime example of this, as well as various posters around town and dialogue exchanges between the characters. There’s even an entire chapter that pays homage to Shawshank Redemption, for a slightly different angle. Randal often addresses the camera, mostly just with his eyes, but he does refer to the player at times with his internal monologues. Granted, they maybe overplay it all a bit and come on a little strong, but it’s mildly amusing none the less.
In terms of difficulty, this game gets it about right for the most-part, but certain puzzles are ridiculously obscure. The solution to these areas can be really quite tricky at times, but usually trial and error using various items with props in the scene can pull you through. Plus, there is an integrated hint system that you can resort to if all else fails. Just make sure to examine every single area carefully so you don’t miss an important item you’re going to need to get past an obstacle later on.
It’s not the best point-and-click I’ve ever played and the story does get a little lost in places, but it definitely warrants merit as the gem that it is – and besides, time travel can be hard to get just right. It’s kind of depressing with its themes of homelessness, crime and suicide, yet it is dealt with in a funny and sarcastic way; certainly worth picking up cheap sometime – provided you’re not offended by incessant bad language and low moral standards, that is.