Let me confess up front that
puzzles which involve simple tasks becoming convoluted largely non-sensical
quests are not my cup of tea. Need to put out a fire? Pour water on it
works for me, not finding a way to outfox a bear in order to steal his
salmon which, if you do it quickly enough, will remain sufficiently damp
to extinguish the flames.
Randal was not therefore my
puzzling cup of tea.
There weren’t any salmon, but I
suspect you will need a walkthrough at more than one point if your brain
is wired anything like mine. Some limited locations and items help in
some parts of the game, reducing the amount of try everything everywhere
(and the associated frustration). However the inventory responsiveness
added a level of frustration in itself, and the said frustration
overwhelmed my patience, and any logic that might have been present got
lost in the wash.
So I used the walkthrough, the
frustration ebbed, and I can tell you a little more about the rest of
the game as a result.
Randal is Randal Hicks, who as a
result of a curse that comes with koalas is reliving Monday over and
over, trying to undo what he has done before. The recurring death of his
friend being but a distraction, Randal sets to in order to set things
Randal isn’t a terribly likeable
chap, which probably shouldn’t be surprising given that early on the
game itself describes him as a sociopathic, kleptomaniac good for
nothing moron. He does and says some pretty awful stuff, and much of
what he says tries too hard to be humorous, and routinely tips over into
being crass or abusive. His fellow characters aren’t a whole lot better,
and while there is funny to be found, like the puzzles it was
Overwhelming too were the pop
culture references, crammed into every second conversation and bursting
from the seams. Again it’s too much; a little would have gone a cleverly
long way, and a bit more would have meant you didn’t have to get them
all to appreciate the cleverness, but again its overdone.
The game starts with a drinking
session in a pub, that precedes the very first Monday, with puking and
belching a-plenty. It’s a sort of prologue and contains a lot of
dialogue and not much else. Even before you get to the puzzles, if you
aren’t on board after playing this part of the game, you probably won’t
The voice over work is rather
good, led by Jeff Anderson (the Clerks films) as Randal, and
supported by Jay of Silent Bob fame, and I liked the animation style.
Its slightly awkward style suited the events, and I found it visually
Randal is point and click with a
third person perspective, with an easy to use interface. You can play
“old style” which involves right clicking to bring up the action icons
and then choosing which icon to use (take, speak, look, etc.) or “new
school” in which the curser is all the available icons in one and
interacting is just a single click away. I found the single click mega
curser visually distracting, so went for the extra clicks of a straight
forward arrow curser. Drag and drop to combine inventory items, tweak
settings at the options screen, play with subtitles or not, and the
space bar highlights hotspots.
Really, what Randal needed more
than getting to Tuesday was a good edit. If he had got it, his Monday
may have been rather good. It felt however like it was throwing
everything it could at you in order to get some of it to stick, and
diminished itself by doing so.
Grade: C minus
I played on:
OS: Windows 7
Processor: Intel i7-3820 4GHz
RAM: 12GB Ripjaw DDR3 2133 Mhz
Video card: AMD Radeon HD 7800 2048MB
GameBoomers Review Guidelines