Thimbleweed Park surprised me in a multitude of ways. After going without viewing any sort of trailers or reviews of the game, I was almost expecting some sort of 8-bit, point and click X-Files game with an emphasis on the paranormal. While it certainly delivers on that part, what I did not expect was it’s masterful implementation of humor and wit. Throughout my time with Thimbleweed Park, I was consistently amused and entertained by the parody it was delivering. But of course, let’s just dive a bit deeper into the game.
What struck me immediately was how reminiscent the game was to that of old LucasArts games like Grim Fandango or Day of the Tentacle. Amazingly, upon further examination, Roy Gilbert and Gary Winnick (ex-LucasArts developers who were instrumental in the development of those point & click adventure games) are back behind the development wheel of Thimbleweed Park. The sort of comical, 8-bit nature of the game took me aback at first, but I eventually fell into the same hole I fell into with all of the old LucasArts games.
The bulk of the charm behind Thimbleweed Park is with it’s cast of characters. Players assume the role of FBI agents Ray and Reyes (see my X-Files reference earlier) as they investigate the death of a man in a mysterious town named Thimbleweed Park. Of course, it wouldn’t be in the style of a classic LucasArts game without a colorful cast of characters. While I won’t dive deep into each of the characters because it’s best to experience them the first time for yourself, just rest assured that all of the characters are funny and very fun to interact with. Especially Ransome the Clown.
The gameplay is what you’d expect from a point and click adventure game. Talk to different people to get clues, use those clues to solve puzzles, find objects from past missions that will only work in future missions, etc. Luckily I never felt I needed to go and find an online guide for the various puzzles like I have had to do for past LucasArts-esque games. Everything seemed easily laid out and manageable, without feeling like the game was too hand-holding.
I’m not going to jump into the visuals behind this game, because like most games in this genre, the entirety of the game is reliant upon it’s story, characters and puzzles. Thimbleweed Park excels in all of them, if not feeling just a bit short, clocking in at about 10-12 hours. I just wish it was a bit longer, or there was a bit more to do in that world. But all in all, Thimbleweed Park is a solid, if not highly recommended, point and click adventure game.