Thimbleweed Park is a point-and-click adventure game that takes place in the town of Thimbleweed Park, where a dead body has been discovered. The game is a spiritual successor to Maniac Mansion and Day of the Tentacle and features beautiful 16-bit graphics, elaborate puzzles, and an eclectic cast of characters.
In the game, you play as Agent Reyes and Agent Ray who are called in to investigate the murder of a body found in Thimbleweed Park.
You soon discover that another dead body has been discovered, this time in an abandoned amusement park. As you get deeper into the investigation, you learn that a mysterious clown has been terrorizing the town and may be connected to both murders.
I would recommend this game to anyone who enjoys point-and-click adventure games or just wants to play something different from their normal gaming experience. Thimbleweed Park is a fun game because it has an interesting story that keeps players guessing about what will happen next and how everything is connected together.
It’s not all fun and games though as there are some darker elements in this story as well. There are many different paths you can take through the game based on how you choose to interact with certain characters and situations. It’s possible to save lives or make them worse depending on what choices you make along the way which makes each playthrough unique depending on how much exploration you do before making any decisions.
One of my favourite things about this game was how it treated its female characters as strong individuals rather than damsels.
The game is designed to look and feel like an old school PC adventure game, but it’s actually much better than most modern ones. The graphics are gorgeous and the soundtrack is amazing. The writing is top notch, even though it’s all dialog with no narration or exposition at all, which makes it difficult to follow at times (especially when played while listening to music).
Thimbleweed Park is a delight to play, and it’ll tax you with brain-teasers while remaining just as rewarding to your funny bone.
Its story also serves up nostalgic notes, if you grew up in small town America in the ‘80s, or if you have fond memories of the likes of Monkey Island or The Secret of Monkey Island .
However, Thimbleweed doesn’t feel antiquated; its puzzles don’t rely on pixel-hunting or obscure phrases from Windows 3.1 manuals. Nor does it rely on cheap jump scares, which were popularized by Telltale’s The Walking Dead series.
Thimbleweed is far more inventive, with moments of genuine surprise and humor in an otherwise small town filled with oddball personalities. Best played in one sitting using a save system that lets you pick up where you left off (ideally, without having to memorize any long paths), Thimbleweed Park is a great way to kill a weekend afternoon—or longer.
The story takes place in Thimbleweed Park, a small town where strange things happen after a body is found dead in a river. Two detectives, Ransome and Delores arrive at the scene, along with their intern, Franklin. They must investigate the murder and figure out what happened before they themselves become victims. The player controls all three characters at once in order to solve puzzles.
The gameplay is very similar to classic LucasArts games like Maniac Mansion or Monkey Island where you have multiple playable characters each with their own unique skill set which they can use to interact with objects and characters in their environment.
To progress through the game, you must collect evidence by taking photos of clues using your smartphone and interviewing people by asking them questions about themselves using a list of topics that appear on screen when talking to someone. You will also need to pick up items from around town which can be used later in puzzles or combined with other items at certain locations (such as an old hotel).
The game has many positive reviews from critics who praise its writing and humor as well as its nostalgic feel that harkens back to classic point-and-click adventures like Monkey Island or Sam & Max Hit The Road (another series created by Ron Gilbert). There were some complaints about how difficult it was to control multiple characters at once but overall most reviewers enjoyed this game.
Thimbleweed Park throws players into a secluded, backwoods area of some vast, nameless American city known as Thimbleweed Park. There, you will meet the fussy and demanding Ransome the clown, the recently deceased Deloris Van Cartier who only speaks in haikus (seriously), and Dolores, who likes to sit on a stool outside her house all day long pretending she’s waiting for someone named Gary.
These characters are brought to life by a collective of notable voices from Maniac Mansion alums Gary Winnick and Chris Remo to Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge star Larry Laffer himself, Tim Schafer. All this talent is backed up by excellent sound design and a classic MIDI soundtrack that blares on your way to the town’s decrepit water tower.
The game also does an excellent job at keeping you in the moment. When you’re investigating a crime scene or interviewing someone for information about the murder, it feels like you’re talking to real people who have lives outside of your conversation with them.
This helps create a sense of immersion that keeps you engaged with every step of your investigation.
It also helps that each character has their own personality quirks and interests: The FBI agent is obsessed with his history; Ransome is obsessed with himself; Delores is obsessed with everything else. And these personalities shine through in their dialogue options — it’s hard not to smile at some of their jokes or cringe when they try (and fail) at being funny.
While Thimbleweed Park does nod to the genre’s history, it also brings a number of modern improvements and conveniences that, for me, serve to elevate and even justify all the old-school “pixel hunting” tropes. Items can be added to a handy contextual to-do list that can be viewed at any time, eliminating the frustrating trial-and-error gameplay that so many adventure titles of old were often criticized for.
Most of Thimbleweed Park is tightly paced, quick to make its point, and flexible enough to let you breathe for a moment before moving on. That approach works well for most of the game’s puzzles. What doesn’t work is a few bits that don’t have much direction at all.
Its tone is surprisingly somber given its premise, but humor still exists and abounds, thanks in no small part to the expertly written dialogue.
At times, some actors don’t feel as though they really fit their roles (the Scottish cop sounds too sincere), but on a whole, Thimbleweed Park feels professionally voiced and delivered. And this is coming from someone who loathes seeing games take themselves seriously. That I had such fun following through with its most serious moments says something about how well-written the script really is.
As long as it’s been since the release of Maniac Mansion, Ron Gilbert’s talent for crafting classic point-and-click adventure games hasn’t abated much in Thimbleweed Park.
Swapping between five playable characters (each with their own distinct personalities and plotlines) probably contributes to this, but the game’s eight or nine playable hours are largely spent in the same way: exploring the tiny town of Thimbleweed Park for clues, talking to its chatty inhabitants, and solving its numerous memorable puzzles, most of which will take you back to a bygone era where PC games had only one save slot.
Thimbleweed Park is an often hilarious and always near-perfect throwback to the classic point-and-click adventure games of yesterday.
More than anything, Thimbleweed Park’s world feels lived-in. It helps to have so many playable characters.
It helpfully beats you over the head with visual cues, and has one of the more interesting radio systems I’ve seen in a game. The puzzles are challenging but fair, and are made better by the multiple characters you can choose to play as—all of whom are very important in specific situations. The Twin Peaks vibes won’t be for everyone, but I really loved every minute of Thimbleweed Park.
There’s even an “x-marks-the-spot” system to ensure you aren’t forgetting crucial items in the game’s overworld.
It’s got that strange little town where everyone knows everyone else, a murder that needs solving, multiple playable characters with differing skill sets, and more esoteric puzzles than you can shake a joystick at. Its five playable characters are flawed and funny and lovable, especially in their inability to let go of their baggage from the past (a staple of all the best whodunnits). And its ending — well. In truth, it’s not really an ending at all. More like a beginning. But that’s okay — because Thimbleweed Park is here to stay.
If you’ve ever played any of Maniac Mansion games by LucasArts, you’ll know what to expect here: a dead body, numerous people with connections to the deceased, and five playable characters who can each offer something different.
Thimbleweed Park is a unique, nostalgic game that brings together many genre staples into one point-and-click package: a dead body; an over-excited press corps; a seemingly harmless eccentric with a dark past—but it’s more than just a humorous adventure game that feels like it comes from the ‘80s.
It has modern sensibilities and adds new layers of depth to its characters, setting, and story. There are puzzles to solve. There is humor to experience. And there’s no shortage of ridiculous situations that the quirky denizens of Thimbleweed Park find themselves stuck in or wrapped up in.
There are a lot of reasons to recommend Thimbleweed Park. For starters, the characters and their relationships are nuanced and interesting, which makes for an emotional game when things go wrong.
Also, the puzzles are challenging without being frustrating, and multiple playthroughs begin to reveal more of the story’s twists. But perhaps best of all is the humor—Thimbleweed Park’s script is hilarious, particularly in its fourth-wall shattering asides. This is a game that newcomers to the genre should not miss, and those who enjoy point-and-click adventures will love it too.
It’s thrilling to see all of Ransome’s gameplay ideas, like the individual text parser for each character and the map, come together to make Thimbleweed Park what it is. The fact that it’s stunning to look at (the colorful pixel art looks as gorgeous today as it did in its initial reveal), appealing to play, and has so much nostalgic charm means there’s little else I could ask for. It’s a wonderfully crafted game that deserves a place in this current new golden age of adventure gaming. Also, don’t forget about the movie being made for it!