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Endless Monday: Dreams and Deadlines

Developer: hcnone

Release date:

The banner of the game

Yesterday I finished Endless Monday: Dreams and Deadlines, a short indie visual novel. I got to know of this game scrolling on Twitter, it was in my recommended tab. I saw an illustration of the characters, then the trailer, and immediately bought it. I knew I was going to enjoy it.

The art is a mix of pixel art and anime artstyles, with the game low resolution graphics delivering a remarkably crisp conceptual references to the player. I have yet to see a drawing that I couldn't resolve. The game uses this pixel art in its favour, by using well-known shapes and symbols to make a clean view, something which other games fail to do, cluttering the screen with hardly resolvable objects.

You play as Penny, a low-rank office worker in the Creative Organization of a faceless corporation, which specializes in marketing art. She needs to deliver a project involving 6 illustrations for Zinebot 6000, a misterious assignment with barely any documentation she can use. Penny needs to deliver in 2 days, but she will have to fight her procrastination tendencies and smartphone distractions and even aliens, in order to finish the assignment on time. There are references to present day mainstream corporate art styles, which I assume the game is critiquing or humoring, given the juxtaposition of placing an emphasis on the inspiration needed for a simple drawing of "Corporate memphis" art style (which you probably have seen before), although it could just be a method of tying the plot for gameplay purposes. Penny's boss, Ms Wishkey, mentions it, to which Penny replies that "the bigwigs will like it". This art style is not meant to represent anyone in particular with distorted shapes and bodies, and using of unusual colors to deliver an impersonal feeling. I am assuming corpos like this artstyle because it removes the burden of having to choose which human stereotype to represent, be it a skin color or body size. What we know is that Penny doesn't like drawing that, by the multiple mentions of the time she "wastes" drawing comics of Tiger-chan, instead spending company time in her work projects.

Penny has dreams which involve her original character Tiger-chan, but when Tiger-chan manifests in what appears to be reality, she starts to doubt her sanity, blaming the stale coffee she drinks during the weekend and her lack of sleep. Together, Penny and Tiger-chan will uncover an evil plan by Blythe, the Operations Department VP, to please her need of superiority by firing employees.

There are many ends to this game, some can be reached almost in the beginning, and some near the absolute end, only one of them is the canonical end, judging by the end credits, which only appear in the canonical tue end. The average playtime on steam ranges from 3 to 7 hours. It can take more, if you try to obtain all achievements.

On the technical side, the game is made with SDL2, with a small custom engine built for it. There is Windows and Linux support, with MacOS support coming in the future. It has two resolution options, 720p and 1080p, which is enough for the game, given its art style. Play it in fullscreen for extra immersion in the office worker life. The author made the art, programming, and story of the game. The music is made by Chance Trash.

Overall, I like this game a lot. It has many references to which office workers will relate, and you will spend a lazy afternoon playing this game and letting out some laughs.

The game is available on Steam for 9.75€.