In a time of action adventure, first-person shooters and sports simulations, we often forget our gaming roots. Well, us ‘older folk’ might, anyway. Point-and-click adventures were a staple of my gaming upbringing, so I jumped at the chance to turn my gaming clock back a notch (or three) and take Daedalic Entertainment’s Randal’s Monday for a spin.
So how does one describe Randal’s Monday? How about Groundhog Day meets Clerks meets CSI:… um… Downtown Chicago? It’s an interesting tale, absolutely brimming with salutes and nods to pop culture. On the subject of Clerks, research shows that the main protagonist is voiced by Jeff Anderson, who played the part of Randal Graves in the Clerks movies. Must be hard to escape typecasting… or name casting, if there is such a thing. Or, you know, Daedalic was counting on that.
Pointing and clicking your way through this preview isn’t as simple as it sounds. The direction required in point-and-click adventures normally falls into place quickly, but Randal’s Monday requires you to think outside the box, urging the player to be creative with the inventory items collected during the course of the game.
The characters are ever so droll, which is entirely fitting to the pace and tone of the game. Its graphics are what could best be described as ‘cartoon grunge’; environments ooze seediness, and all characters looks like they wouldn’t get within 25 kilometres of an exclusive country club, let alone make it through the front gates. Exploration of the entire screens can prove beneficial, as can returning to locations, as new items can appear in locations already visited when the Groundhog Day effect kicks in. Should you miss an item, the space bar can be used to assist in revealing it.
The subway is the main way to traverse between in-game locations. During this trip and transition footage, players will be supplied with helpful hints. One of them stated that Randal will offer hints should you become stuck. Um, okay; either I don’t possess the ability to recognise a hint when offered or one wasn’t offered at all. I often found myself stuck two ‘days’ into the game. Hours of attempting to combine inventory items and revisiting areas were futile.
Randal’s Monday is an easy-going game and funny as well, but may test the patience of some. Certainly directed to a more relaxed, older gamer, with a sense of humour, who doesn’t require gratification and reward every ten minutes.