The game follows a two detectives as they try to uncover the secrets of Thimbleweed Park.
Thimbleweed Park is a classic point & click adventure game developed by veterans Ron Gilbert and Garry Winnick, the same team that created Maniac Mansion, Monkey Island 1&2, and Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders.
The game was funded on Kickstarter back in December 2014, and it was released on March 30th, 2017, for Microsoft Windows, OS X, Xbox One, and Linux. There are also iOS and Android versions scheduled for release.
Thimbleweed Park was once a home to an opulent hotel, a vibrant business district, and the state’s largest pillow factory. The game follows the story of two FBI detectives Ray and Reyes as they investigate a dead body that was found in the river just outside of the town. While progressing further into the game, the player unlocks three more playable characters: Franklin, a nebbish ghost, Ransome the Clown and Delores, a nerdy video game programmer. As told by the developers, Thimbleweed Park’s characters were created around the puzzles. They wanted to parody the TV shows Twin Peaks, The X-Files, and True Detective.
The game is played in similar fashion to early graphic adventure games. The camera is set in a third-person perspective where the majority of the screen is covered by the view of the gameplay camera, while the bottom of the screen is covered with the player’s inventory and a list of verbs, such as “use”, “pick up” and “talk to”. There are five different characters which the player can switch to and take control in the middle of the gameplay. The game comes with many mysteries for players to solve, some of them being significantly more difficult than the others. Uncovering the mysteries allows you to discover more of the world of Thimbleweed Park.
The main gameplay is focused on swapping characters and using items to swap puzzles throughout Thimbleweed Park. For example, one character is afraid of height while the other isn’t and he has no problem climbing on higher ground. The characters come with different knowledge and skills, but they each have their limitations as well.
Some of the puzzles require multiple characters working together in different locations, in order to be solved. As the player continues playing, the puzzles become more complicated and bizarre. They generally require the player to interact with the residents of Thimbleweed Park, as well as with the environment. Once the puzzles are solved, the player is rewarded with a new area, art, or a even a good joke.
The game has two difficulties, casual and hard. While playing on casual, the game strips half of the puzzles and they are simplified. This leaves the hard mode, the mode in which the game was originally intended to be played.
Thimbleweed Park is a great reminder of what the point-and-click genre was all about. The game’s amusing open world environment, packed with clever, brain-tickling puzzles, makes it a unique game which is likely to be played for a long time. Whether you are a veteran or a newcomer to the genre, Thimbleweed Park will get you your money’s worth!