Thimbleweed Park is a fantastically odd nod to retro adventure games of old, and I loved EVERY SECOND of my strange journey. But before I get into it, lets go over the basic info you should know:
Thimbleweed Park is a point and click adventure game developed by Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick, the game was revealed back in 2014 along with a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign with a goal of $375,000, and was released in March 2017.
The game is a spiritual successor to Gilbert and Winnick’s previous games Maniac Mansion (1987) and The Secret of Monkey Island (1990) and is designed to be similar to graphic adventure games in that time period, both visually and gameplay-wise.
The story (No Spoilers) is as follows: FBI Agents Ray and Reyes arrive at the town of Thimbleweed Park to investigate a murder. Their investigation leads them to several persons of interest: Chuck, the recently deceased owner of the PillowTronics robotics company; Ransome the Clown, cursed to wear his makeup forever after going too far in his insulting performances; Delores, computer programmer and niece of Chuck; and Delores’s downtrodden father Franklin.
Ok, now that that’s out of the way, I was ecstatic to play this game for review for the site. I was a big fan of both Maniac Mansion and Secret of Monkey Island back in the day. The way these games made you have to think is far from heard from nowadays so I applaud the developers for keeping that theme in tact. If you don’t want to think then this game is NOT for you, this game doesn’t pull any punches and does not hold your hand through the process. There is a tip line available to help you for use through a cell phone one of the playable characters have. Then for the hardcore players like myself, there is a collectible item in specks of dust, that is yep you guessed it a single grey pixel hidden in various places throughout the game (I found 75 of them though) that even if you collect them all you get nothing more than achievements (which Nintendo Switch doesn’t have anyway LOL).
The characters in this game, I was surprised to discover were all fully voice-acted, not something I was suspecting but definitely helps give the town more life and lends well to the quirky-ness of many of the residents. The town of Thimbleweed Park is very realized in the game and is very “Alive” despite most of the stores being closed and boarded up. I don’t want to say too much as I don’t want to spoil anything for this game for those interested and familiar with these types of games is does not disappoint.
The graphics are spot on for what they wanted to accomplish with this game, retro to an exact science (but without being ugly or difficult to play). The music is atmospheric and fits well without feeling repetitive or bland, which is tough to do with a narrative style game play. Controls work perfectly and I didn’t have a single technical issue throughout the entire game, which lets be honest nowadays is not a very easy thing to come across.
As I mentioned before the story is what MAKES this game, it’s engaging, hilarious, and is constantly challenging you as the player. Now this style of game isn’t for everyone sure, but if you played the old lucas arts games or Maniac Mansion this is a MUST PLAY. If you didn’t grow up with those games but enjoyed experiences like What Remains of Edith Finch, Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture and other story driven games, and want to be challenged more with them, then I recommend giving this a shot. Now, I’m known to be the guy on staff who likes the quirky games, and I know I’m going to get some flack for this next statement but for me it rings true.
“As of today in October my candidates for Game of The Year Contenders are Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Destiny 2, and Thimbleweed Park” – Kevin Austin (Playsomevideogames.com)