Many adventure game heroes are kleptomaniacs and borderline sociopaths. Randal is only a bit more frank than most about it. He is a user. He is a layabout. He is the poor buddy who gets you into trouble, then just shrugs or goes “Whatever…”? depending wholly on his disposition. Were you to give him the engagement ring you were intending to give to your would be fiancee, he had pawn it for rent money. After all, in the event you do not recall, it is OK.
In this case however, there is a difficulty– he has been trapped by a curse in a Groundhog Day loop, played out in timeless point and click fashion. That is quite awful. It gets worse in a rush.
The dialogue, while overwritten, is sharp, particularly when playing around with fourth wall moments like Randal firing the player, and his growing indifference with coping with the cast, such as the gruff policeman convinced he is a killer. In particular, Randal generally manages to avert the snare that–without needing to throw aspersions on games that are special here–I think of as the ‘Simon The Sorcerer 3D’ error. If a protagonist is not overly nice, at least to those who do not deserve it, they become intolerable. Randal reaches at the appropriate amount; he is constantly an ass, but scarcely too much a prick.
His world is a strange one, before his messing does things like unleash a plague of koalas however. Just about everything on every display is a pop-culture gambling or reference. The courier company he works for only straight upward uses the Planet Express shield as well as a Portal Site symbol from Futurama.
Pop culture referencing is not unusual of course– Spaced spring and Scott Pilgrim to mind. On PC, things has thrown in, but even then generally in a circumstance that was subverted, like Obi Wan and Vader’s fight just stuffed in the backdrop, or the Venture seeing with a drive through.
Here, the majority of them do not even get hotspots. It is only “Yep, you recognised Sophia Hapgood’s amulet on such ledge, have an imaginary cookie”?, and a lot more jarring than cunning. What makes it particularly odd is that when Randal does riff instead of simply reveal, it is generally worth a grin. .
However, whatever. It is all benign fanservice. When you’ve got a humorous adventure game with a clever gimmick, an adequate script, strong voices and great artwork, what could possibly FAIL?
Oh, right. Puzzles. Where it all crashes down, and this sadly is. They are nonsensical, badly described, reliant on everything’ guesswork on the distressing ‘attempt everything, and feel than being strapped to a plank until Stephen Hawking’s voice synthesiser has read out the complete works of Dostoyevsky. An early one, for example, entails joining a support pin from a busted radio to generate a key which winds a clock to generate a criminal believe he must be someplace else from a sphere using a nut. This really is not close to the worst, simply the only one there is space to fast describe here. After puzzles are whole coiled up snot-sequences of the junk.
Itis a standard misconception that in a humor game, anything goes. The Monday of Randal gets it incorrect, mistaking mad and convoluted to the point of being boring for reasonable and humorous and infuriating to play with an in-game walkthrough for when you have had enough. Merely reading a number of the options is tiring.
A venture can live dropping the ball in a lot of ways get away with skimping on puzzles, but the entire encounter endures like a hamster in a microwave when they are awful. Or the man who believed that was a great notion, when Weird Ed Edison sees what they did.