Thimbleweed Park, a town down the road and round the corner, population
81 (at first), where a dead body lies pixellating under a bridge. A town
where you "use" (thing) "on" (something/someone) as we all did once upon
a time. A town outside the spectrum, that watches what you do, where a
burnt out pillow factory and an abandoned circus are as run of the mill
as the cake shop selling vacuum tubes.
It is a place that even on a first look, you may well want to visit,
particularly if you want a game that feels like the games you used to
play. There are other games that try to be like that, but not all of
them have this development pedigree (did somebody say Ron Gilbert?).
We have gotten used to old style
pixelated adventures over the last few years, including the use of verbs
to undertake the various actions, so in some senses it is less nostalgic
than it may have been. But none of those other games are as good as
this, and none conjure up the same feelings of playing something new and
From the get go, where you can
tick a box that determines all the toilet paper will be “over” (rather
than that annoying come from under set up; really, who actually does
that?) you get a good idea of what you will be in for. It continues in
that vein, and while it might lay it on a bit thick at times, it is a
wonderful adventuring romp.
All the more so because it pokes
fun at all its own attributes. The early conversation about dead ends
and dying comes to mind, but the pinnacle must be the mother of all
pixel hunts (which I hasten to add you can completely ignore and might
well even miss).
Everything you might want in a
point and click fest is here. Red herrings abound, and there are
literally sacks of them in some places. Seemingly important errands
aren’t, the puzzles are hilarious and silly and frustrating and present
in droves, and the characters run the gamut from stiff lipped to
completely loopy. Take everything not nailed down, and try to take
those things too. Talk to everyone simply because you can, and because
they may say something worth hearing. If you get stuck, switch to one of
the other playable characters, which increase in number as you go. Swap
items, try things, try all the other things, check your personal to do
list, go somewhere else. The maps will help, and you scurry about in
Monkey Island fashion. Distracting, a la Monkey Island, will also
I did need some help here and
there, but always felt I knew what it was I was trying to do. It was how
to do it that provided the challenge. You can choose casual mode, which
I understand uncomplicates some solves, and removes others completely.
Go hard I say, and peek if you need to.
Some solves are truly inspired.
The staircase stands out.
The plot is almost secondary,
but there is a murder to be solved, with all manner of gadgets to
assist. The pixilating body almost mocks you throughout, and then the
Pillow Factory rears its head. The detail you can find out for yourself.
I found the end to be both
unsatisfying and awesome, and almost everything along the way was top
notch. I never warmed to Ransom the foul mouthed clown, and some voices
were a tad over the top, but even those suited the quirky off-beat
nature of the goings on. References abound, and you might think the next
one is one too many Lucas Arts jibe, but it never stops being funny. The
music is equally impressive.
And I did see a tentacle!
It took me around 18 hours of
play time, a few wasted on the pixels, and I will definitely go again.
Do yourself a favour and visit this Park.
I played on:
OS: Windows 10, 64 Bit
Processor: Intel i7-6700 4GHz
RAM: 32GB GDDR5
Video card: AMD
Radeon RX 470 8192MB
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