Philips Media Home and Family Entertainment gives you The Improv Presents: Don't Quit Your Day Job. In this game, you are treated to a 3-D rendered version of the Improv in Los Angeles where you interact with various characters and Hollywood "celebrities" in order to get your chosen comic up on stage. The reason you want to do this is because you are a talent scout for the Johnny K. Show. You've been given the unsavory job of finding the show's next feature comic or join the long list of people on the unemployment line who had your job before you.
Sounds easy? If you can get your chosen comic to appear at the Improv, presumably they'll be good enough to appear on the Johnny K. Show. If you can manage that, your job is safe and your comic is on the road to success! Everyone you meet is an aspiring comic, the doorman, the waitress, the bartender, even the limo driver. Be prepared to listen to much stand-up comedy.
You start out by meeting the producer for the Johnny K. Show. He introduces what you need to be doing and sends you off to the Improv to find some talent for the show. Keep your ears pealed as everything people say could be important. Next you find yourself in the limo with a briefcase, a tape recorder, a telephone, two folders and a cranky limo driver. You'll have to review what the guy before you left behind and pick from the two featured comics. This done, you'll be using one of the two CD's included in the game depending on which comic you've picked.
Once inside the Improv, you're free to look around and talk to anyone you meet. Like comedy, you'll have to time things right, or you'll be sent to Hell's Basement. Could be worse. There you'll meet Budd Friedman's silent partner, Mark Lonow and have an opportunity to play one of many games in an effort to get back up to the club. The inside of the club is rich in full crisp photography mixed with some computer graphics. The sounds are those of a busy club or bar with background music and many people talking, laughing and having fun.
As you tour the club, you'll be able to click on a variety of items including pictures on the wall which present the player with a stand up routine for that comic. You'll also find a few clues as to what to do next up in Budd's office. Just make sure you don't get caught up there... You can also listen in on conversations in the upstairs dining room as well as in the washrooms. Don't worry, you finally get to see what the inside of the "other" bathroom looks like without running the risk of being arrested. For a laugh, try the telephone in the lobby. Or try using the elevator. Don't forget to click on Budd's computer and answering machine. They'll provide clues as well as entertain.
If you like stand-up comedy, you'll love this game. It features plenty of genuinely good talent presented in a way that lets you enjoy as much or as little as you want. If you were looking for a challenging game, better to go find something different. You'll find yourself listening to what people have to say more than anything else and some of the characters are long winded with nothing much to say. It is a wonderful way to present up and coming comics, but could have been a little better. If what Philips and/or the Improv wanted was a forum for presenting new talent, they should have presented it as such. When you get right down to it, there really isn't much for a player to do except watch and listen. Movement in the club is blocky and can be tiresome. Although you can turn full circle and see the whole room, there is little or nothing to do in most of those rooms. Though visually impressive, it leaves you wanting more to do. The interactivity could have received a little more attention with more things to click on and more ways for you to reach the end.
If you're looking for a good laugh and you love stand-up comedy in all its forms, you'll love this package. If you're looking to play an interactive game, you might try something else. Although packed with a great deal of background ambiance, music, and crisp, clear images, a player really has nothing to do. This game basically walks you through itself and moves you forward to a successful conclusion. This game is also rated for 18 years or older. Strong language and mature sexual themes are mentioned by some of the comics and would be inappropriate for younger audiences.
Adventure game authored in Macromedia Director puts you in the role of an agent trying to scout and book one of 2 comics. Fail and you're booted to mini-games which you can beat to return to the main game. Gameplay consists mostly of exploring and clicking on people and items in the correct order.
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