If you’re familiar with the point-and-click genre of adventure games, the names Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnik probably sound familiar to you. That duo, the creators of the classic Maniac Mansion, are back on the development scene with a new game in the classic genre called Thimbleweed Park.
If you’ve played the old-style games, you probably already have an idea of how the game plays. If you’re not, then the gameplay consists of talking to people, using and combining items, and solving puzzles. Lots of games have adopted the genre, mostly in the “casual” space, but Thimbleweed Park brings back the art style and humor of those games of old.
You play as a variety of characters across many years in the town of Thimbleweed Park. The impetus of the game is a dead body found in a river. You start as two FBI agents (who look a whole lot like the X-Files’ Mulder and Scully) as they document the scene and start interviewing townsfolk. When the name of a possible suspect arises, you jump back in time to play as that person, who happens to be Ransome the Clown, whose shtick is swearing and insulting people.
The game was funny all the way through the demo I played at PAX West. It playfully made fun of itself and games in general. One of the lines I found most amusing was “We better photograph that body before he pixelates any more.” And Ransome’s dialogue includes multiple instances of “*Bleep.”
That was the extent of characters I had the option to play as, but I’m excited to try out some more. I’ve played a number of newer point-and-click adventure games, but few of them (with the exception of Broken Age) are really that memorable. I think Thimbleweed Park has the potential to be a good one. The game is slated to launch on PC, Xbox One, and mobile platforms early next year.