Thimbleweed Park

I’d definitely see TP as one of the games “we” owe to crowd-funding. Games of this nature just aren’t the norm, you know, with a little bit of character and all that. I’m just always wondering if this is clicking in any meaningful way with broader audiences. As a backer, I’m pleased with this game, this game did a lot for the people who get all the references actually, but you certainly can’t get rich off of ME. But then again, I already got what I wanted. But then again, if I want to play a sequel… I’m just hoping they get to do another one, doesn’t even have to be a direct sequel. These guys seem to be at their best if they just get to develop a true original, instead of being tied to whatever franchise.

Honestly, I don’t have all that much to say about the game itself. The only thing I absolutely want to point out, is that the puzzles weren’t as hard as they were in those old games. IMHO. There were quite a few, but they were always fair. The majority of obstacles were designed in a way, that had me knowing what I had to do on top of knowing WHY. From that position it’s never THAT hard to solve a puzzle. I never had to resort to combining countless items in sheer desperation, just hoping for something to happen at some point. That’s something I did all the time way back then. Well I did.

Another good sign for me is, that I took almost no screenshots, because playing the game had me so consumed, that I forgot all about that.

What? I’m supposed to throw in some criticism? No I’m not, I can do whatever the hell I want to here. :P But okay. The only thing that is at the top of my head, is how characters describe the world. There are 5 playable characters in TP and except for some unique situations, every character says the exact same thing when looking at whatever. This really disappointed me. The characters are very different people and there is no chance in hell they would describe anything 1:1. It’s possible to explain that away, even in the game’s own logic, but still. I would have loved it if Ray and Reyes, for example, would have had their own sentences.

It’s possible this has to do with budget, but The Cave also had these long stretches which were identical for all characters, no matter which you took inside – in other words this might just be a Ron Gilbert thing. I don’t know.

Continuing in this line of thought, it’s odd that these 5 characters kind of work together, although they never talked to each other outside the very ending, in which they suddenly start, I wish there would have been much more of that. Most of them never even meet until later in the game, so they shouldn’t even know each other, let alone collaborate. It would have been great if the story somehow would have offered an explanation for that. Sure, games back then certainly didn’t have anything like that either, back then people were happy they got to play more than one character, but this is certainly one of the characteristics of older games that didn’t need to be conserved for today. Especially in adventure games which are supposed to have a focus on story and such. Games like Oxenfree get a lot of mileage out of nicely written dialogs and character stuff, is all I’m saying.

But these are all minor nitpicks of course, so everyone who’s into this genre should have a good time. And it’s not as if everything is the way it was during these earlier days. There are more than enough moments, which underline how much can be done, even if the graphics appear to be this oldschool at first glance. I really loved how Ransom’s trailer “moves” depending on how Ransom shifts his weight. The game has several of these nice little “tricks” to offer.

Will this game have an effect like Monkey Island did? Probably not, but I never expected it to in the first place (this might sound harsher than it is supposed to; one of my awesome skills). The devs have also given the game great after launch support. I personally didn’t encounter any bugs during my complete playthrough, but they quickly fixed everything that could be a problem for someone anyway. :)

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