Pixel me this

Thimbleweed Park

GAX (Malaysia) - - REVIEW - By Michael Low

Ma­niac throw­back

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.

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