They say if you fold a thousand paper cranes, you'll get your wish. They also say that if you're an intern and you tell your boss about your great origami idea for Kenyan-Japanese relations, your boss will take all the credit and leave you impotent with fury at a cold, lonely desk. (It's a very old legend. Look it up.) Without even a computer to play solitaire on, it's Monday, 16:30, and time is standing still. Maybe with the help of the office gnomes you can beguile your true love in the tower next door with mime and paper airplanes? (Also an important part of the legend. I think it's one of the Icelandic sagas.)
Monday, 16:30 is a work of interactive fiction, so you use a text parser to interact with the game. The game uses typical IF text commands, such as l/look, x/examine, go to, z/wait, i/inv/inventory, and so on. In conjunction with the themes of the game, the game also uses some unusual commands such as "fold" and "mime". In general, when you get to the first use of an unusual command, the game explains it to you. If you're a total newbie to IF, you might try a game with a tutorial first, like Party Foul, or check out Brass Lantern's excellent beginners' resource center.
Analysis: Monday, 16:30 is one of the most ambitious games entered in JayIsGames's own Casual Gameplay Design Competition #7. The author, Mordred, is clearly as bursting with ideas as the player's avatar. In most IF games, the game designer is content to give you some evocative description, a compelling plot, and some clever puzzles. Easter eggs have a long tradition in IF, but Monday 16:30 takes it to the next level. You can find 6 cliches of the escape the room genre, 13 footnotes (including a footnote with its own footnote), and there are a number of hidden mime commands you can unlock as well. The final puzzle has three possible solutions, and on the way there you can try a surprising amount of avenues for such a limited and boring space. Most of them won't get you anywhere, but you'll almost always be rewarded with a witty comment.
However, this ambition and wideness in scope perhaps took up all the time and energy and made the parser suffer a little. You can "tear" a paper, but not "rip" it, for example. At one point when I was standing near someone else's cubicle, I was attempting to return to my own desk. "Go to desk" sent me to that person's desk. "Go to my desk" didn't work. "Go to intern desk" didn't work. I was stuck, helplessly typing commands. I finally managed to get out of it by going to an object near my desk and then typing "go to desk". Playing guess the verb is always frustrating in an IF title because if what you're doing isn't working, you don't know if it's because you don't understand the puzzle, or because you're not phrasing it in the right way.
If you type hint to use the game's hint system, the game mocks you and insists that you type gimmegimmeahintaftermidnight to get a hint, and every time you ask for a hint the game mocks you again. If you've been trying and failing to solve a puzzle, and after looking at the hint you realize you're doing the right thing but somehow you're not phrasing it correctly, the insults can be very frustrating since the game just repeats the same hint over and over until you advance. The use of mime may also be a source of frustration to many players. Trying to guess what someone is miming is difficult enough when you're actually looking at them in person. Trying to guess what a person is miming via a text description of the miming (especially when the text parser doesn't accept what turns out to be a synonym of the right answer) can make you want to go back in time and smack around Marcel Marceau.
The game could also have included a seventh cliche of the escape the room genre: coincidental instant motivation for escaping. At the beginning of the game, your character falls in love at first sight. Is it destiny? No, what a ridiculous superstition. Evolution did it. And something about neurons. Behold the man of science!
But the flaws of Monday, 16:30 come from an attempt to do too much, which is always the better error to make in IF than trying to do too little. The writing follows that kind of intellectual zaniness of Terry Pratchett and Lewis Carroll (both of whom get their names dropped in the game). The game finished a respectable 7th in the competitive field of 30 in the JayIsGames Casual Gameplay Design Competition #7, and it certainly deserves the recognition.