Randal’s Monday: Roam around, reference, repeat

November 12, 2014


Clerks is the very definition of a movie with a distinct writing style. If you’ve seen it, then you know to expect copious amounts of sarcasm and memorable characters. Thankfully, the return of Jeff Anderson as Randal and Jason Mewes as Jay mean that the characters you remember feel right. This isn’t a Clerks sequel and Kevin Smith isn’t involved, and that just makes it all the more impressive that it feels like it could be.

Randal’s Monday is a point-and-click adventure game, but it may have been better as a visual novel. Puzzle design swings from inspired to illogical, but the story never fails to entertain. It all starts when Randal’s kleptomania sets in and he steals the ring his friend Matt plans to give to his fiancee. It turns out the ring is cursed, and now Randal is living the same day over and over again much like Groundhog Day. The writing is sharp, the sarcasm comes fast and furious and pop culture references abound. At Randal’s job, you’ll notice nods to Futurama and Portal 2. There are numerous Game Boys scattered throughout the game, and many of the posters reference popular media of the time like The X-Files. It feels like Clerks, and that’s what’s really important here.


You’ll interact with the world primarily through the mouse. You’ll combine items, you’ll talk to and examine everything you can and you’ll hear the protagonist tell you that taking that sign along for the ride doesn’t make any sense. Everything works as you’d expect in-game, but the cursor isn’t as quick to come back after talking to another character or examining an item. There’s a noticeable lag between the dialogue ending and being able to perform another action.

Puzzles aren’t easy, and it’s a toss-up whether that means that a puzzle is well-designed or just plain obtuse. When you come across a good one you’ll need to rely on conversations and logic to figure out what to do next. The other half of the time you’ll break down and blindly try every item in your inventory on every key area on the screen. Eventually you’ll decide that you’d like a hint, open the hint system and be rewarded with the game outright telling you the next necessary step to move on instead of nudging you in the right direction.

This keeps the game moving, but it robs the player of any sense of satisfaction that comes from solving a puzzle. Hint systems don’t need to be walkthroughs; Professor Layton games and Jacob Jones both feature hint systems that allow me to get help without being given the answer. It’s the difference between enlisting the help of a tutor and copying from the smart kid in class. Either way, you’ll get your A, but only one path is rewarding in the long run.


Randal’s Monday looks more like Family Guy than I’d like when the excellent Clerks cartoon is right there as an example. It’s a little thing, and the chosen style is certainly serviceable, but it never ended up looking quite right to me. There is a lot here, and the writing quality keeps up throughout the lengthy adventure. Fans of Smith’s work will certainly get more out of Randal’s Monday from the beginning despite his lack of involvement in the project, but there is a lot here for fans of the genre as well. Randal’s Monday is well-written, features well-realized characters and is genuinely funny — something that’s very difficult to pull off in games.

Pros: Feels like a real part of the View Askewniverse, scenes are well-written
Cons: Some puzzles are obtuse, hint system gives answers instead of clues

Score: 4/5

Questions? Check out our review guide.