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THIMBLEWEED PARK was funded by Crowdfunding, requiring around $375,000.00 and receiving almost double that

If when playing Thimbleweed Park you have feelings of deja vu it is because this point & click adventure is designed by the two guys (Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick) responsible for Maniac Mansion and the more famous Secret of Monkey Island. Of course if you have never played either of those two then the previous sentence will not make any sense to you, but in my world everyone who plays point & click graphic adventure games just has to have played Monkey Island, it's a classic! Thimbleweed Park isn't a classic and it isn't likely to become one, mainly because the characters, especially Boris, aren't as endearing as Guybrush Threepwood and also because the jokes are neither as funny or as corny. This doesn't mean it isn't enjoyable, and the fact that you can switch between the characters by simply clicking on their portraits makes it even more fun to play. Like many point & click adventures and indeed computer adventures of all genres there are areas of the game that can only be reached once you have completed all possibilities within the area you currently occupy, for example you cannot go back the way you came through the gate until you have exhausted the search around the dead body.

Five characters who have their own specific traits and personalities have very little in common except that you can take control of them suddenly decide to appear in the town of Thimbleweed Park where you are soon to discover that a dead body is the least of your problems. 

Agent Ray - is she for real ?
Junior Agent Reyes - a 20 year old geek
Franklin the ghost who is wishing for a chance to speak to his daughter again?
Ransome the *Beeping* Clown - a decent human being or a complete jackass?
and
Upcoming game developer Delores.

This game has so many places for you to investigate including a haunted hotel, an old pillow factory, a dead body deteriorating slowly under the bridge, an abandoned circus and even vacuum run toilets...  this is a town the like of which you've only seen in horror movies before.

    

Moving the characters around is by pointing and clicking at the desired location whereby the character will move automatically along a pre-determined path (the game has linear pathways which mean you cannot move them across grass, through woods etc), or by holding down the left mouse button and moving the mouse in the required direction.

Actions available to the characters can be seen in large text to the bottom left of the screen. You can use these as they actually read or in ways that are familiar to you - for example you can Pick Up an object and the Use it on something or someone - simply by taking the first action (in this case Pick Up) moving the cursor over an object (which will pick it up) and then continue on to Use that object, all of these actions are seen as text and are activated by left mouse button clicking.

    

If you are playing with the sound on you have to take note of what the non-player encounters you meet onscreen tell you. Your questions appear as optional sentences that you click on to say whereas the person/people you are talking to speaks their answers with no text onscreen unless you know to go into OPTIONS (the wheel icon) and turn on the Text - unlike most games in this genre onscreen text isn't automatically turned on when you begin playing, at least if you begin by choosing the "Hard" rather than the "Easy" challenge; whichever you choose you cannot change later in the game you have to restart.

THIMBLEWEED PARK is another of the current trend of retro graphic games but despite this, and also because the graphics aren't half as blocky as some games I have played lately, it is a good challenging game with some easy, thoughtful and abstract puzzles to solve. Most certainly a game for anyone who hasn't moved on from Monkey Island and for anyone who has never played Monkey Island, wants to play it but cannot find a copy of it - it's the next best thing.

    

    

    

  

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015