Thimbleweed Park review
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Thimbleweed Park review

Thimbleweed Park was backed by a Kickstarter campaign a few years ago and now it’s finally released delivering exactly what it promised: A classic point & click adventure game. It feels like a lost old-school adventure recently discovered in a box ib the back of Ron Gilbert’s closet. As a huge fan of Monkey Island and all the old LucasArts adventures I felt right at home with the graphics and the interface. This review is a very positive although I have a few negative things to say, but we will get to them later. (Hint: pillar!).

The game loads extremely quickly and runs very smooth, but that is to be expected since the minimum requirements is a toaster oven or something. You are immediately greeted by a menu where you can load, start a new game etc. When you start a new game you get a short tutorials that explains how an adventure game works. Very handy for new players or really old ones. You also have the option of playing on hard or easy mode, just like Monkey Island 2.

I will try not to spoil anything, but someone is killed and you play as two FBI agents working to solve the case, a man named Dale Cooper and a woman named Diane. No wait, that’s not their names, but this game has a bit of a Twin Peaks feel to it. As you enter the town and start exploring you discover that things are not what they seem and everybody, even the FBI agents, is hiding something.

You can switch between the playable characters and as the game progresses you get to play as other characters as well. You are slowly introduced to the other characters and eventually play all five at the same time as they all walk around town, interact, and exchange items. Each character has their own agenda and problems to solve, but all their stories intertwine in a clever way. They all have their own “To do” list, which highlights the different tasks they need to accomplish. This is extremely helpful as it prevents you from wandering around aimlessly without knowing what to do. It is also very satisfying to see a green checkmark next to completed tasks.

The graphic is blocky and pixelated, and that is part of the charm of this game. The music is very atmospheric and the voice acting is very good and fits the characters nicely. This game has no button that highlights all hotspots on the screen and you have to do a bit of pixel hunting, just like the great adventure games of yore. Also, Thimbleweed Park does something very clever; You are able to pick up many unusable items, so just because you can pick up an item or manipulate it does not mean you have to use it to solve a puzzle. This makes the game harder and less obvious without making it frustrating.

It is obvious that Ron Gilbert is behind this game as there are countless references to Monkey Island, Maniac Mansion, and LucasArts/LucasFilm Games. Chuck the plant even makes an appearance along with a boy named Chuckie. I jump with joy every time I find a Monkey Island reference, like the cannon Ransome the clown won’t climb into because he’s not a wanna-be-pirate. I even found a navigator’s head!

During the development of this game backers could submit answering machine recordings to be included in the game. This has resulted in a phone book stuffed with names and numbers you can call to hear messages. There are several phones and phone books throughout the game.

Backers and supporters could also submit books for a library and over 1000 books were submitted and you can find them all in the Mansion mansion library.. This is where my biggest issue with this game is; There is a big fat pillar blocking some of the books! I also feel like Mr. Gilbert has a personal vendetta against me as both of the books I submitted are hidden behind the pillar. I urge the team behind this game to remove the pillar in a future patch as it does nothing but bring anger, disappointment, despair, and tears to me and a few others. That is my biggest and only issue with this game. Oh, also the escape key does not open the menu, which is annoying. And there is no VR support. There I’m done.

TL;DR: Thimbleweed Park is a wonderful game, It has a great story, excellent humor, and excellent gameplay. If you like adventure games this is for you. If you don’t know what an adventure game is this is also for you. Get it on Steam for $19.99 or your regional equivalent. It’s available for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Xbox One. Later it will also be available for Android and iOS.

I want Monkey Island 3a more than ever.

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