Booze, hang-overs, parody geek culture references, and Bill Murray. Only video games could bring these terms together… and Randal’s Monday does just that.
Developed by the Spanish team Nexus Game Studios and published by Daedalic, Randal’s Monday is a point-and-click adventure game that follows the story of none-other than Randal, a sociopathic kleptomaniac dead set on ruining every relationship he has ever had. In other words, it seems like dear Randal is a horrible person.
Ruining every relationship he has ever had… why would anyone want to do that? But Randal, on top of being an awful friend, is also in a desperate spot for money—a spot that also ends up killing his best friend, Matt, who is recently engaged.
Inspired by the story of Ground Hog’s day and the humor of Clerks, we find Randal waking up on a bright Monday morning, ever-so-slightly hung-over following his best friend’s engagement party. Normally we would expect Randal to drink up some Gatorade and take some Advil, but this isn’t the case here. In fact, it would appear that normalcy is never really the case in the context of this game. Rather than fix himself up, Randal discovers that somehow he has acquired Matt’s wallet with his engagement ring inside.
Does he return it to his friend?
Rather Randal decides to sell the ring at a pawnshop. A solid choice so devoid of morality that it leads to his dear friend Matt committing suicide… in a rather distressing manner that involves his head in an oven. This event eventually throws Randal into a loop of re-living Monday until he can figure out how to save his friend from his disturbing demise.
Featuring adult-swim-esque artwork and a multitude of geek and pop culture references, Randal’s Monday will be a title that appeals to anyone who enjoys a good trip down memory lane. Each level becomes a “pixel-hunt,” filled with subtle nuances of references to 80s television and retro video games. The title is set for release in early 2014.
Silence – The Whispered World 2
Taking a turn from the humor of Randal’s Monday, Silence is a sequel to Daedalic’s previous hit of the same name. The game, which features gorgeous hand-drawn 3-D artwork, follows the story of Noah. In the first game we encountered Noah as a child who traveled around the dream-world of Silence as clown named Sadwick. Now, we encounter Noah as a teenager who is on a quest to find his sister Renie.
When we first enter the game, Noah is attempting to comfort Renie in the real world. Both characters are stuck in an attack reminiscent of the bombings of Britan in World War II. The shelter Noah and Renie inhabit violently shakes as bombs fall around them and it is apparent that they are alone, their parents having passed away in a recent attack on their town. The player must try using multiple items around the shelter in order to tell Renie a story about the dream world to calm her, in some ways this acts a characteristic that takes this game beyond the typical point-and-click adventure, enriching it with elements of roleplaying and puzzle games.
Once Noah tells Renie his story, a bomb strikes near the shelter and everything goes black. When Noah awakens Renie is gone and he sees nothing but a TV with static. As he draws near the static, his adventures begin in the world of silence. Ultimately Noah’s journey will lead to what Daedalic claims will be a visually stunning and emotional experience.
Silence – The Whispered World 2 is set for release in early 2015.
Katy Goodman is a freelance writer and graduate student. When she isn’t busy training birds of prey, horses, or freshman composition students, she can be found hiking or playing video games. Probably video games. She also really likes grilled cheese sandwiches. Follow her on Twitter @InvizzyB or on her blog, Pixel Hearts.