Because if you are, RAD, Double Fine Studio’s latest game has hit the ruined streets on PC, Playstation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. Eschewing the usual brown/gray aesthetic of post-apocalyptic games, RAD pulls no stops in riding the wave of nostalgia for a future that thankfully never happened (otherwise civilization would end the moment we ran out of neon dyes).
Totally RAD! But wait, what does that mean?
An action game with role-playing elements, RAD can be described as a roguelike game, where you and your selected protagonist traverse procedurally generated wastelands known as the Fallow, spreading life and healing the world – excepting the various mutants, who only exist to be introduced to your handy friend, the bat.
As befitting a post-apocalyptic title, RAD has unique, apocalypse-related mechanics. Mutations are chief among them: As you play through the Fallow and hopefully getting further each time with each character that falls – yes, there is permadeath – you will inevitably accumulate a variety of mutations that can and will alter the gameplay. Sometimes slightly, sometimes upending your entire playstyle, mutations will also change your character’s appearance. Ever wondered how it feels to have a snake head? Now you can find out.
Alright, but why?
For those who prefer to have a reason to run across desolate landscapes bashing monsters in with melee implements, RAD offers a bit of clarification: The apocalypse has happened, not once, but twice, and it’s the second one that messed up the world for the worse. Beings called Menders tried to fix the world after the first Big One, but all of their machines disappeared one day, leaving behind the Fallow.
You and other expendable, bat-enabled teenagers are sent out into the wasteland by the Elders to restore life to the land and maybe figure out what really happened. Or maybe they’re just looking for a way to thin the population in the face of a bad harvest – who knows! What matters is your bat, your skill with your controller of choice, and the mercy of the procedural generation.
That sounds RAD!
For those who prefer more of a challenge, RAD also includes selectable Quirks – gameplay modifiers – that can radically change gameplay. There are also daily challenges, where you can complete runs with predefined quirks. Each run’s score is tabulated and uploaded to the leaderboards, showing whose neon-colored, skull-bashing teenager performs the best (or dies last).
Before you venture out into the Fallow, we recommend a dash to the RAD Wiki, to brush up on the basics of involuntary mutation!
Michal's a wiki manager, writer, and a happily married husband and father. Video games are a big part of his life ever since the first shot fired in Wolfenstein 3D. Almost as big as books and history (don't get him started on it, though, or he'll talk your ears off).