If like me you grew up with adventure games you’ll remember the wonderful time you had trying to figure out puzzles by clicking on every single clickable pieces of art work, trying to pick everything up and then combine them to make the most ridiculous things ever. You probably ended up very good at puzzles only because you learnt not to bother looking at things so literally all the time.
Sometimes when a sign tells you that you can’t do something its best just to take the sign and do it anyway.
Thimbleweed Park from beginning to end is a throwback to all the great adventure games of your lost youth (or just past I guess.)
On the outside its a simple story of murder, corruption and all that jazz. On the inside its the personal stories that make it and actually in the end the story doesn’t matter so much.
Its a throwback more to the Maniac Mansion stories where you saw the game through the yes of more then one character having to switch between separate characters, exchange inventory items and solve puzzles using all of them. There are many characters in this game and to fully complete many of the puzzles you’ll have to utilize them all, its a good thing that a lot of care and attention was put into making all the characters interesting with their own motivations and reasons for doing what they do. From Ransome the Insult Clown to dear old Franklin, there is a character in there for everyone to love though its hard not to enjoy the company of all the playable characters and the interactions with all the NPC.
I obviously played the harder of the two modes, preferring to get the full taste of the game even if it took me longer. The easier of the two lets you experience the story without some of the more baffling puzzles but I’ve never been one to give up on a challenge.
Made in the same design as the old games with plenty of fourth wall breaking to talk about adventure games you might think that it cuts off a giant portion of people. I personally think all it will do is light a fire under people who didn’t grow up or play some of the classic games. It reminded me of everything I loved about them and I’m certain the love that was put into it would catch on to people new to the genre. I love adventure games and always have, I love the puzzles and the quick wit. There is a whole conversation in the game about how difficult it is to NOT kill off a main character and having to find ways to stop them from being killed and I think that is something that people don’t always see in these games. Whilst they aren’t always the best graphically and they are the kind of games you’ll rage quit on quite often because a certain puzzle just seems to be unsolvable, the intelligence of the story and just how simply logical the solutions can be will make you laugh.
Honestly after tackling a problem for about 5 minutes just to find that you’d missed one line of dialogue 100 times can be as frustrating as it can be hilarious.
The humour dripping off of every character, every interaction and every weird combination just draws you to the game.
If you don’t like adventure games you’ll hate this one though I’d still give it a try purely because maybe just the love that the writers put into the story, and its a very crazy, topsy turvy story at that, will change your mind on it. If you love adventure games you’ll love it, its full of everything you could ever ask of a adventure game.
I, as you can probably tell, am actually pretty bloody useless at all games so the 12 hours it took me to complete it WITHOUT any guides to help is a good indication of how long it might take someone new to the adventure game world to finish the game. Or someone who just isn’t good at them. With skipping the dialogue and actually being good at them I still think its a solid 6 or so hours to play it. It also has a bunch of achievements that will take a second play through to complete so for achievement hunters there are plenty of reasons for more then one play through and with two modes you HAVE to play on it really does give you a incentive to play it through again.
For me it was the perfect throwback and well worth the £14.99 I paid when it was released.
The nostalgia it brought on and just the fun I had makes it a solid 10/10. Its a game I’ll never regret buying and will probably play all the time, it makes me want to play my favourite adventure games over and over (Discworld and Monkey Island mainly, specially Monkey Island obviously…) Just a wonderfully developed game.