Bad Day on the Midway is a CD-ROM game designed and scored by The Residents and a number of other graphic artists. The game allowed the player to switch from character to character in order to solve a number of puzzles: what put the park's owner in a coma? Who is killing off the carnies? Is it possible to keep the I.R.S. from closing everything down?
The graphics appear dated now, but in its time the game's level of play was quite innovative for a point-and-click adventure game.
In fact it won the 1995 'Macrovision International User Conference Award' in two categories - Best Entertainment Title and Most Innovative Use of Multimedia. And innovative it certainly is. In order to work out what is going on you can become any of the characters that you meet. One of the games most rewarding moments unfolds if you manage to meet the murderer before he comes out to kill. You can become him and find out why he is the way he is. However, although there are definite fixed story elements the game plays out differently each time you start. It's actually possible to 'beat' the game in just a few minutes and emerge once more into the sunshine, but achieving this may be down to pure luck and anyway, part of the reward of this amazing project is discovering as much as you can. There appears to be no way of saving your progress but the game structure is so unique that saving distracts from the point. Time is also a factor. Events can overtake you and soon people will start to die. It forces you to ask some interesting questions. How can you stop a murderer if fighting is not an option? And if you do manage to kill him, how will you feel about it once you know his sad story?
The game was optioned by Ron Howard at Imagine Television for a proposed series to be directed by David Lynch. After two years of meetings with Lynch, the project was dropped because a script was never agreed upon. Of note is that, if the project had happened, The Residents would have not been creatively involved as their contract only gave them consulting roles in the pilot (the first show.)
The character Timmy was later brought back in a series of short videos by the Residents.
Irvine, Calif.-Based Graphix Zone Adds Inscape Games to Entertainment Software.(Originated from The Orange County Register, Calif.)
Feb 28, 1997; Feb. 28--Graphix Zone rolled the dice on computer games Thursday, acquiring Inscape from HBO, Warner Music Group and Nash New...