Randal’s Monday Preview

A guy from Clerks and a ton of other things you’ll recognize.

Everyone loves an anti-hero, but what about a mega-anti-hero? That seems to be the question Randal’s Monday seeks to answer through its barbarically cynical story about a man having a shitty day. The eponymous Randal is described as both sociopathic and kleptomaniacal, the latter of which seems to be used as commentary on the point-and-click genre in general. However, he’s just generally an awful person, another example of a man-child who has somehow scraped by successfully enough to survive until the beginning of the plot.

Voiced by Jeff Anderson, who is most known for appearing in some Kevin Smith movies, Randal has an inane amount of lines to deliver. Seriously, I was genuinely surprised how much he talks. In adventure games, players are used to the many character quipping about everything, but imagine all the protagonists decided every speaking opportunity should be a monologue or soliloquy. No matter whom he speaks to, be it the stereotypical American-Italian landlord, the stereotypical dumb cop, or the stereotypical shifty pawn shop owner, Randal talks on and on trying to work as many flat jokes as humanly possible into simple responses.

Of course, there are also puzzles to solve in this game. Because of the large sprites with bold outlines, there isn’t any pixel hunting, at least not in the traditional sense. Rather, there is object hunting: finding a differently labeled object on a larger object. This, coupled with some of the weirder item interactions Randal must devise, led to an odd sort of point-and-click experience where I got stuck a few times because I couldn’t figure out what the game was thinking I should do. It will certainly challenge even veterans of the genre, and I can only wonder what is hiding in the rest of the game.

One thing that I know will await players are pop-culture references. The developers at Nexus Game Studios clearly love just about everything that ever came out. And boy, do they want to let you know that. Whether it’s the scenery, the events, or the dialogue, your head will spin with how much they stuff in there. Here’s a short list: Indiana Jones, Grim Fandango, The Orange Box, The Secret of Monkey Island, Bioshock, Limbo, Rocky, Q*bert, Watchmen, Shaun of the Dead, Dr. Mario, Abe’s Oddysee, Half-Life, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles…OK, I wrote down 44 references. You get it. Reminder: this was just a portion of the game that I played.

If this is what you’re clamoring for, an adventure game featuring an immature loser who says things like “turn my Fruit of the Looms into a fudge factory,” then you’ll get it. I don’t necessarily get it, and I’m a cynic and adventure game lover. That’s where Randal and I will have to agree to disagree. He didn’t even tell me when his game is coming out for PC, that loathable scamp.