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Video Game / Mad TV (1991)
aka: Mad TV

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You are watching the watchers.

Mad TV is a 1991 Simulation Game for MS-DOS and the Amiga, which casts you as an executive producer working for one of the three competing TV stations that occupy the same building. By buying movies, signing ad contracts and setting up the daily schedule, you're trying to get your company to the top. Your real objective, though, is to win the heart of the sexy culture show host, Betty... but your two competitors have the exact same motivation.

Perhaps the most memorable thing about this quirky, humorous game is its interface; to move between various screens, you have to literally walk around the building and wait for elevators, and you click on people in their rooms to talk with them.

Had a sequel released in 1996, as well as an unofficial sequel named Mad News.

Not to be confused with the sketch show of the same name.

The game shows examples of:

  • Destination Defenestration: The boss does this to you if you fail horribly, or when you quit. Though the competing producers can have this happen to them, too.
  • Diegetic Interface: Sort of. You quit the game by going to your boss's office and literally quitting, save the game by opening the safe in your office, and change the game settings by tampering with the control panel on your office computer.
  • Multigenerational Household: The family that watches the programs, used as a visual indicator of current ratings. Depending on viewership, it ranges from a half-asleep grandpa staring at your boring cultural programs, to the entire family gathered around The Couch watching the box office hit flick.
  • Qurac: Duban, which has an embassy in the skyscraper and advertises itself on your TV as a tourist spot.
  • Rags to Riches: The real-estate agent H. G. Higwig starts off as pretty much a bearded hobo. If you keep giving him profit by buying and selling studios, he'll get richer and richer until he's a smug businessman.
  • Stealing from the Till: You're essentially spending company money on increasingly expensive gifts for your love interest. Nobody seems to notice or care.
  • Terrorists Without a Cause: An Arabian guy comes into the skyscraper at one point to blow up the Duban embassy. By rearranging the map on the first floor, you can confuse him into blowing up your competitor's rooms. But your competitors can do the exact same thing to you.
  • Writing Around Trademarks: Averted. All the movies and TV series in the game (apart from the cultural programs) are real, prominent films from Real Life.
  • You All Look Familiar: All three libraries/news studios/film studios of the three stations are apparently staffed by sets of identical triplets. And Mr. Raffer is always your boss, no matter which station you're working for.

Alternative Title(s): Mad TV