Pixel me this
Crowdfunding has been fantastic for the point-and-click adventure genre. Thanks to Kickstarter, we have Double Fine Productions’ Broken Age, Killmonday Games’ Fran Bow, and now Thimbleweed Park – also the closest thing to a LucasArts graphics adventure circa 1987. Designed by Maniac Mansion creators Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick, the game looks and plays like a SCUMM title, bringing back the old-school verb interface, zany dialogs, inventory-based puzzles, and charming, pi elated graphics of yesteryears.
With that said, the nostalgialaden visuals are given a modern twist in that more colors were being used than what was possible back in the pre-VGA era. The game also employs the now-standard technique of paralla scrolling, subtle lighting e ects, and other small visual touches. In typical whodunit fashion, Thimbleweed Park starts out with a dead body pi elating’ in the river of a small, forgotten town. Two detectives – Agent Ray and Junior Agent Reyes – arrive at the scene of the crime to search for clues behind the murder, each with seemingly di erent motives.
Day of the dead-a-reno
Players are given a choice of Casual and ard mode, though we’d recommend that seasoned adventurers go with the latter option as the puzzles are made more entertaining (read comple ). Speaking of puzzles, the detective duo will be joined by three additional characters: Ransome the *Beeping* Clown, aspiring game developer Delores, and a dead guy named Franklin as you progress through the chapters. As you can switch between characters at will, e pect to nd puzzles that revolve around more than one character in di erent locations. Thankfully, the clues are well placed and the solutions are more a matter of observation and timing. It also helps that each character has a to-do list for your immediate reference. owever, the open nature of Thimbleweed Park and red herring items also made for some unneeded confusion when attempting to solve multiple puzzles.
Conversations are fully voiced, which meant that every retort, callback, and fourth-wallbreaking e change is presented in spoken form. The Kickstarter
CONCLUSION A self-referential adventure that subverts your expectations.
backers also played their part in enriching the game’s world by populating the telephone book with answering machine messages and the library with amusing book e cerpts. The only issue we had with Thimbleweed Park was the strange disconnect between the protagonists. Sure, their paths cross one another, but it usually felt like they were solving puzzles for the sake of doing it.
Franklin the ghost gets a unique set of verbs, leading to some clever puzzle moments.