The Residents' Bad Day on the Midway

Moby ID: 5060
Macintosh Specs

Description official descriptions

A twisted 3-D graphical adventure from the minds of the the Residents, the infamous and anonymous rock and roll band/performance art troupe.

The player explores the world of a demented carnival midway by inhabiting (possessing) it's freakish denizens. Events appear differently when viewed through the eyes of different characters and each time the player leaps into a new character, his or her story is told via a graphic novel drawn by a well known comic artist. Visit the "Kill a Commie" shooting gallery as Oscar the Racing Rat or watch a sperm whale give birth to an electric eel as Dagmar the Tattooed Dog woman. Strangeness abounds when you have a bad day on the midway.

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Screenshots

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Credits (Windows 3.x version)

68 People (43 developers, 25 thanks) · View all

Written by
  • The Residents
Directed by
Animation by
Programming by
Produced by
Design by
Music Written and Performed by
  • The Residents
Programming Technical Advisor
Additional Programming
Additional 3D Modelling
Music Published by
  • Pale Pachyderm Publishing
Graphic Assistants
Music Published in Association with
  • The Cryptic Corporation
Executive Producer
Product Development Consultant / Testing Supervisor
Engineering Consultant
Project Management Consultant
Art Production Consultant
Project Accounting
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 82% (based on 8 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.9 out of 5 (based on 7 ratings with 1 reviews)

The Ultimate Anti-Game

The Good
So your hamster's dead and your friend is laid up with a nail through his foot, why not go to the Carnival? At least you won't have to worry about plague-ridden rats, psychopathic butterfly collectors, or the IRS-- right?

Bad Day at the Midway is an interactive movie disguised as a game. You start off the game as Timmy, but every time you encounter another Midway denizen, you can click on them and play the game from their viewpoint. Every character has their own agenda and by switching characters you encounter different story arcs. For instance, solving the riddle of Coma Man might require playing the game through several times with each character providing another piece to the puzzle.

Speaking of puzzles, there really aren't any. But then again, this is an anti-game, so maybe there are.

Bad Day has many terrific animated sequences. Each major character has their own story, illustrated by a fine group of comic illustrators including Dave McKean (Sandman) and Paul Mavrides (Freak Brothers) and the attractions are memorably rendered as well-- "Torture's Top Ten" and "Kill A Commie Shooting Gallery" really stand out. Terrific music is provided by The Residents, who only marginally exist.

Bad Day on the Midway is a short game (maybe one-hour) but is intended for multiple replay. Several sources on the Internet have indicated that it is impossible to play the game the same way twice and there are multiple endings. Also, there is a sense that things are occurring around you independent of your actions. It isn't unusual to stumble upon characters in their death throes. Far from being a Myst-clone, Bad Day on the Midway is a truly original gaming experience.

The Bad
Although the game is intended for serious replay, some conversations are exactly the same so I wish there was a skip option. Also, while the voice work is largely very good, Timmy is annoying and Otto's voice is highly improbable. Subtitled dialogue would have been a great feature also.

While I really enjoyed playing this game (and replaying) I would have been disappointed paying full-price for this game.

The Bottom Line
This "game" is very experimental and definitely is not for everyone. It is a dark masterpiece with twisted characters attempting to escape the ruins of their lives. Or it's about little Timmy's day at the Carnival.

Windows 3.x · by Terrence Bosky (5398) · 2002

Trivia

Considering that this is an adventure game, it is very open-ended. It has five separate endings and many different ways to get to them.

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  • MobyGames ID: 5060
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by ClydeFrog.

Macintosh added by Jeanne.

Additional contributors: Jony Shahar, Jeanne, Maw.

Game added September 30, 2001. Last modified August 14, 2023.