Several months ago I had the pleasure of reviewing Thimbleweed Park, the Kickstarted point and click adventure from Terrible Toybox, the core of which are two former Lucasarts developers (Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick). Thimbleweed Park is a masterfully done throwback to the golden era of point and click adventures, complete with nice artwork, great puzzles, a story and characters you’re sure to remember, and plenty of witty humor. Recently, the game has made its way to console, with co-editor Alex Tudor doing a PS4 review, and myself having the chance to revisit the mystery of Thimbleweed Park on the Switch.
The Switch seems like a good fit for point and click adventures for a few reasons. Most point and click games require low system resources; not to say the Switch is under-powered or necessarily low on storage, but it is compared to an average gaming PC, PS4, or Xbox One. Battery life is also conserved on games that don’t require a lot of horsepower as well. It’s not too surprising then that Thimbleweed Park (and soon Syberia) are finding new life on the Switch. Furthermore, you don’t really need a full screen experience to enjoy most point and clicks, as far as dedicating your whole TV or display to it, so taking the adventure on the go in a portable is also efficient. The Switch version of Thimbleweed does have the distinction of being able to be played on the go and in the dock on your TV of course, although other than just function checking that for a minute, I have spent the entirety of my time with the game in handheld mode.
The Switch also offers touch controls for pointing and clicking, although I found myself just using the joycons to interact. You can switch between available playable characters, execute the default verb option (Open, Look, Talk, etc), and snap between dialog options. The only interaction that’s somewhat slow is moving the cursor about the screen, but, it doesn’t take away a great deal from the experience, especially when considered as a whole of the experience you get by playing on the Switch.
Differences between the launch version I played on PC and what I have played so far on the Switch are minimal to be sure, but that’s not really a bad thing. Several patches were released for the game post-release and the Switch is running the version that includes the in-game hint hotline. Dial 4468 at a phone and you can get a hint to help you solve those puzzles. The puzzle design isn’t bad — but they can be a bit obtuse and require some noodling if you aren’t used to the genre, and specifically the Lucasarts type. The inclusion of the hint line is welcomed.
By all accounts, Thimbleweed Park on the Switch looks and plays very much like its PC counterpart that I played several months ago. Just as was the case then, this is a must-have for point and click adventure gamers who either don’t have it on PC or prefer to play on Switch.