Stephen Colbert's new Late Show gig doesn't start till September, so what's he doing in the meantime? According to the free game released by his official website, the answer is "stumbling into a closet." Escape from the Man-Sized Cabinet, a Twine-based text game that you can play in your browser, follows Colbert on a journey into a Narnia-esque world where he meets a centaur named Randall and (kind of) fights evil.
Technically, Colbert didn't write it—he's a busy man, after all. Instead, the game was summoned into being by writer Rob Dubbin, along with fellow Colbert writers Daniel Kibblesmith and Cullen Crawford and artist Tim Luecke.
If you've played Twine games before—and we've certainly spent a lot of time at Offworld trying to make you—you'll notice many of the familiar hallmarks of the popular interactive fiction tool. At one point, you (Colbert) can click to cycle endlessly through a pre-show to-do list with bullet points like "reconcile quantum theory with relativity," "save cheerleader, world" and "steal Christmas." While I've often seen this technique used to dramatic effect by Twine creators like Porpentine, it's fascinating to see it deployed by seasoned comedy writers in a way that feels a bit like a writer's room brainstorm.
The game hints a little bit at the anticipation for The Late Show; one of the first questions from Randall the Centaur is exactly how the new show is going to work without the Colbert Report persona we've all come to know and expect. While the game doesn't necessarily offer any answers, it's free to play in your browser right now, and takes but a few minutes.