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Thimbleweed Park

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Apr. 11th, 2017 | 11:34 pm

So, Thimbleweed Park came out a little over a week ago. I've been playing it in the evenings when I got the chance, and just wrapped it up for the first time (in Casual mode for now).

I suppose I should write some sort of review, but I neither want to bog you down in details nor spoil any of the game for you. Suffice to say I enjoyed it — it's great to play a good adventure game again. I grew up on Monkey Island, Day of the Tentacle and other LucasArts adventures, so this was a great throwback.

It was a very good game, too. Not perfect, mind, but it retained that LucasArts feel, graphics and everything, while gently updating the technology to 2017 where appropriate. I often found myself thinking just how lovely the backgrounds looked, for instance; Mark Ferrari (of LOOM fame) did an outstanding job there. I'm also a sucker for good music in games, and Steve Kirk's really shone.

The game's story was intriguing, but fairly meta, and the end was — well, not entirely unexpected, but surprisingly gut-punching. In fact, although the game had quite a bit of the quirky humor you'd expect from Ron Gilbert etc., it was actually fairly dark as well at times, and there were several rather tender, touching moments.

Other random things I liked: quite a few subtle (or not so subtle) references and throwbacks to earlier LucasArts games (in particular, it was heavily implied that the Emund mansion was actually the Edison mansion as well, however that would fit into Thimbleweed Park's storyline). Delores. Delores in a pirate hat. The fact there was a "Casual" mode again, as in MI2. The amusing end credits. (Really, it always pays to watch these.) The fact you got to play flashbacks rather than just watch them.

What I did not like so much: the game's occasional tendency to pontificate on copyright infringement. The comparative lack of objects and interactions, especially ones not directly relevant to the storyline. (Monkey Island 2, for instance, felt much "richer" in this regard; perhaps the Full mode in this game will, too.) And finally, the way you occasionally had to have characters work together in ways which were difficult to justify in-game — like when Franklin had to place a call to disable the fan that Dolores couldn't pass in the abandoned factory (how would he know which number to call, and when?).

I'll play the game again, in Full mode. I also recommend the game to anyone who likes adventure games; it's available on Steam, GOG and on the Xbox. (Name yer poison.)

Oh, and apparently Tabitha St. Germain had a speaking role in this game. That's right, Thimbleweek Park stars Rarity! (Or Luna.) How can you not buy it now? :)

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