The difference between the funny guy at the office and a stand-up comedian is that while people might roll their eyes at Barry’s dad jokes behind his back, audience members feel perfectly entitled to viciously attack stand-ups—generally a sensitive lot to begin with—to their faces every night for years at a time. And for those not brave enough to endure this brutal humiliation in real life, a rough facsimile now exists in the form of Comedy Quest, a free downloadable game created by Australian game developer/animator/comedian Trav Nash.
Created in the point-and-click style of roleplaying classics like Leisure Suit Larry, Comedy Quest allows players to hone their material at open mics (options include “notebook joke,” “dad joke,” and “have you ever noticed?”), hand out gig fliers, and mingle with other aspiring comedians in a desperate attempt to silence their inner demons. The goal? To go from open-mic nobody to professional comic in only three gigs. Fail and you have to ask your parents for money. Just don’t be surprised if the crushing futility of Comedy Quest drives you to drink—that’s all part of the comedy experience.