Thimbleweed Park is a huge love letter to the old point and click adventure days back when the term gigabyte was something that seemed like a dream far off. But Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick knew exactly what to do, and that was make Maniac Mansion. This game started a wave of point and click voice over, sometimes goofy puzzle based games. And Gilbert and Winnick go on to make Monkey Island, and Lucasarts becomes even more of a household name.
Like many other games as of late, Thimbleweed Park was bolstered by Kickstarter, where people could pledge money in hopes of seeing this game released. There were some neat incentives, such as leaving your own voice recording on answering machines, or writing your own short story to be archived as a book to read for the library(one of which decided to Rick Roll everyone by typing the words to Never Gonna Give You Up in their book). The game exceeds the pledge offer, and here we go. I finally get around to it, and wonder if this game will stand up to the likes of Maniac Mansion or Monkey Island? The answer is a resounding yes in my book.
Agents Ray and Reyes step in to find a body down near a sewer, and the fun begins. Starting off, you are able to switch between the two agents, each with their own inventory and witty banter. As you investigate the body, you hear that it is already starting to pixelate, which made me laugh because I am in on the joke here. The games art style and direction pay tribute to the games of old, and often lets the player in on many nods and jokes that this is, in fact, just a game. While moving your way through, you will encounter a wide range of characters, and even take control of of three others, bringing the total up to five that are playable. From a cursed clown that slings profanities like his life depended on it, to the ghost of the murder victim himself! It is just an all around fun time.
The more you play, the more references you will find to these old games, and Lucasarts, along with a definite X-files or maybe even Twin Peaks vibe to the whole thing. Some puzzles were more than obvious, as the game practically spells it out for you. Others could be in plain site and you might miss it due to an item not in your inventory, or even picking the right command to use, like “look at”, “pick up”, “use”, “give”, etc. There is actually quite a bit to do in Thimbleweed park, some of which you might not see until a second play through, so the content is there. And if you play on casual, it turns out that a lot of the puzzles are cut out, which would lead you to a ton of new content if you move up to the hard difficulty! I have to say I really enjoyed my time here, and not just for the nostalgia trip, this game holds up very well by itself, especially if you played the Monkey Island: Special edition and enjoyed what you played, whether you were returning to the series or a newcomer, the same holds true for Thimbleweed Park.
Great point and click puzzle action!
Different options and difficulty add new puzzles.
People who haven't played the old games might not find much here.