Hey everyone, Pushing Up Roses here and today I have a review of a brand-new adventure game that just came out — Thimbleweed Park. This was a successfully kickstarted project from the creators of classic LucasArts title Maniac Mansion and they’ve rebranded themselves as Terrible Toybox. The key players responsible for this game are
Ron Gilbert, Gary Winnick and David Fox who have all worked on LucasArts adventure titles. Now considering THAT fact you’d probably assume that Thimbleweed Park is going to be freaking amazing. Well, I have some news for you guys And this is hard for me to say because I love adventure games, and LucasArts were a big part of my childhood but well IT’S AWESOME. First of all let’s just get this out of the way:
this game is not an homage. It’s not “inspired” by LucasArts games. Stop saying that. It’s the same creators. They aren’t honoring themselves. No, if anything, this is a brand-new LucasArts game or a spiritual successor. It has its own story and new characters and its own identity. That being said, how does this game compare to previous LucasArts titles and how does it play in modern times? Well, most notably it has that familiar humor style:
clever with a touch of silly. AGENT RAY: You know anything about the body found by the bridge? BUM: A body? I thought that was a log wearing a suit. ROSES: Engaging dialogue trees as well, which has been a staple of LucasArts games past. The difference is this game has WAY more emphasis on story and I find handling multiple characters is way easier here. You see, I get very stressed out when I need to control multiple characters who have to hold different inventory objects And completing puzzles using different characters overwhelms the crap out of me. But for some reason, I found that this game handles it well. It might be because each character does have a set of specific objectives to do, so, I feel like that gives me a sense of direction at least. The characters are also well written with decent voice acting. I really like Agent Ray here. Her voice is fantastic. It perfectly fits the cynical “let’s stick to the case” type of character. AGENT RAY: Take a lot of notes. Sit back and learn, and I’ll wrap up this case and we can both get the hell out of here. AGENT REYES: Your reputation certainly precedes you, Agent Ray. ROSES: We also have Agent Reyes who is accompanying Agent Ray as they solve a mysterious murder in Thimbleweed Park. Delores, the niece of a strange inventor named Chuck Who lives at Edmond Mansion Mansion and wants to be an adventure game programmer Franklin, Delores’s father and Chuck’s beleaguered brother, who also wants to be an inventor And Ransome the Clown: an insult comic who has been cursed to wear clown makeup forever after insulting a gypsy at one of his shows. RANSOME: Hello *beep* faces. I’m Ransome the *beep* Insult Clown I hope no one gets their feelings hurt easily, and if you do, It’s your own *beep* fault for not being able to take a joke! ROSES: Early on, after seeing some trailers, I thought I wouldn’t like this character at all, but after playing through some of his story I came to love him. Initially, I just kind of thought, “Oh yay, another crass character, wonderful,” but he’s actually interesting. It sounds a lot like Bianca Del Rio. I cannot unhear it. BIANCA: They say that Red Bull gives you wings.
No it don’t. Red Bull gives you BACK ROLLS! ROSES: I don’t have to tell you this game is gorgeous, but I’ll do it anyway: This game is gorgeous. Not only in aesthetic, but in the way that atmosphere presents this intriguing world to explore everything from the murder scene, to the streets with all these interesting looking shops, to the mansion, to the creepy circus.
The cemetery is particularly striking. I have a thing for cemetery screens in adventure games. They give me life! …ironically… I do not want to spoil too much of this game for you since it is so new, so I’m going to be as vague as possible. There have been some strange things happening in Thimbleweed Park. Besides the current MURDER case, Chuck, a simultaneously loved and despised inventor who provided the town with automation technology in the form of various computers,
also died a few days before. Are they connected? There’s also this conspiracy known within the town: The characters keep mentioning signals and brainwashing waves. PIGEON PERSON: The signals are very strong tonight. AGENT RAY: What signals? PIGEON: The signals. The signals are very strong tonight. Using the five characters, you need to unravel the mysteries of this bizarre little town. Something the game does really well is combine humor with tension, things many players will welcome. That’s actually really tough, it’s hard to be funny while also being taken completely seriously. The characters have humorous quips, but they’re often juxtaposed by this ghost town. It gives the game a lot of depth and a more well-rounded personality. You know, like me. It’s also chock full of references to its predecessors. You don’t need to understand them to enjoy the game, but for long-time adventure fans, it feels nice. It actually feels like being acknowledged in some way, and sure, the devs could have been stroking their own egos, But these games are throwbacks to my childhood and I like reminiscing because if you like those titles, you will like this one, too. So puzzles! Let’s talk puzzles. These puzzles are tricky but the devs stuck to their belief that dead ends and random Death Scenes make adventure games less enjoyable. And thus you cannot find yourself in an unwinnable situation. DELORES: If this were a Sierra On-Line graphic adventure, I’d be dead now, but those MMucusFlem adventure games treat their players much better. ROSES: Sick burn, sick burn you guys. …so what happened with Zak McKracken exactly? That being said I did get puzzle fatigue a few times in this game It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but some of these puzzles harken back to the “golden years” of adventures You know, I find that a lot of modern titles steer away from heavy inventory object puzzles that lean towards the harder side and, that’s okay, Any medium needs to evolve with the times and people’s tastes change in terms of enjoyment levels. Thimbleweed doesn’t shy away from those difficult puzzles, though. They aren’t so tough that you become desperate, but they will cause you to think. The game is so new I played it without a guide or any hints and it truly, TRULY made me feel like I was back in the 90s playing one of my favorite adventure games. I personally don’t think there’s anything wrong with using a guide to complete an adventure game Whatever floats your boat, but it is a different experience playing without one. I find myself very impulsive and will look up a solution too early on. Frequently, if I give myself enough time to think about the puzzle, the answer will likely come to me and it might even be one of those “Duh! I can’t believe I missed that!” moments. The game is meant to be set in the 80s, 1987 to be exact, the year Maniac Mansion came out, but that’s not an overly dominant aspect of this game. There are just enough references to the decade without whacking you over the head with pop culture It feels very appropriate. MAN: What’s on your feet? BOY: The latest and greatest Reeboks. I just got them. Aren’t they rad? ROSES: The few nitpicks I have relate to the very meta nature of this game. I expected a different kind of story when I first booted this up, but it ended on a completely opposite note And I’m not sure how to feel about that and if you play this game You’ll know what I’m referring to but I can forgive it because of the enjoyable experience I had, and, you can tell that the devs made a game they really wanted to make it’s very obvious that they had this idea down pat a nd followed through with it. It took me about 13 hours to complete, and I’m pretty certain I missed a few bits here and there so I may go ahead and revisit it. Although again, I’m being completely honest I just don’t know what to think about that ending. Regardless I 100% recommend this game even with my nitpicks It feels like a brand-new LucasArts game, but better, way more improved. It’s better than Maniac Mansion and Monkey Island because how can it not be? Those games are 30 years old. The devs took what they did really well and made something familiar and new at the same time Resulting in a great adventure game title
with a modern flair, and I really look forward to more from Terrible Toybox. Hey, everyone. Thanks for watching my review of Thimbleweed Park Hope you give this game a go because it warmed my adventure game love and heart. If you want more adventure game retrospectives, then check out my other videos and remember to read the description. Seriously—Read it—There are links in it. As always, see you in the next one.