In a town where a crass clown is a famous celebrity, spiteful curses are real, and a pillow factory is the town’s bread and butter, murder is just the tip of the iceberg.
Thimbleweed Park is a firmly tongue-in-cheek adventure game packed with intricate puzzles, memorable characters, and a mystery to be solved. Created for today’s adventure game players, Thimbleweed Park is all of the nostalgia with none of the frustration. And it’s a whole lot of fun.
A dead body has been discovered in a small town packed with a lot of secrets. Plumbers dressed as pigeons, a hopeful game designer, and two federal agents both hiding their true motives are just some of the colorful characters you’ll meet along the way as you solve the mystery.
Maniac Mansion creators Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick worked together again to create a point-and-click for the next generation of the adventure game genre. “We wanted to make an authentic point-and-click adventure,” says Gilbert. “In Maniac Mansion and Monkey Island, players would get a piece of information once and it was never repeated. That was expected and normal back then, but today, you can’t get away with that.
“The characters in Thimbleweed Park will repeat and in some cases expand on information when you ask them again. It was important to us not to make a dumbed down adventure game, but being mindful of how much information the player has received is just the polite thing to do.”
The days of staring helplessly at the screen when you’re stuck on a puzzle are also gone thanks to the availability and ease of finding walkthroughs online. But that hasn’t changed much about how the team approached game design for Thimbleweed Park. “It does make us more mindful of not creating frustrating and stupid puzzles,” Gilbert says. “I think those drive people to the internet more than anything.”
Classic adventure game mainstays like player death and dead-ends that lead to being unable to solve a puzzle are also absent from the game. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t any suspense; players will still feel a delightful sense foreboding in the spooky atmosphere of Thimbleweed Park.
Thimbleweed Park has all of the charm of point-and-click games like Maniac Mansion, with the humor and banter between characters you’ve come to expect from LucasArts adventures. Gilbert describes the team’s design process simply. “We think of great, funny ideas and put them in the game,” he says. “The more they make us laugh, the better.”
The game will be available on March 30 for Windows, Mac, Xbox One, and Linux, with plans in place for iOS, Android, and other platforms later. Take a look at Thimbleweed Park on Steam for more details.
Tell us about your favorite adventure game memory in comments. (Hopefully, it doesn’t involve a hamster.)
All Images: Terrible Toybox