I’d like to be able to say that I was born the same year was published Maniac Mansion, the ground-breaking adventure game from Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick, but for one year have to say that I was born a year after Maniac Mansion to publish, the groundbreaking adventure graphics, etc. I want to say that I played not to the classics of Lucas at the time; My first adventure game was, in fact, Prisoner of Ice, and I got to Monkey Island, Day of the Tentacle and family as my father, moving through floppy disks from his work until our House everything the abandonware sites could offer in a deal that could be compared to the Ebro transfer, became our home computer, solitary and offline Internet in a library of classics from the 1980s and early 1990s. I start to remember to play Gilbert and Winnick, who made a similar exercise with Thimbleweed Park, returning to and celebration of the graphic adventures of SCUMM with which put his mark on the history of video games.
Thimbleweed Park, the game, tells the story of Angela Ray and Antonio Reyes, FBI agents coming to Thimbleweek Park, the village, to investigate the appearance of a body in a nearby river. Under the bridge, where the body floats in a State of pixelation (decomposition of the sprites), begins the game; before arriving at the town itself there are already several nods to pop culture and classic graphic adventures, some more subtle than others: Ray and Kings could be Mulder and Scully, but is also spoken openly of the games from Sierra on-line, competition in the best years of LucasArts and at the same time one of the reasons that encouraged (after seeing his cousin playing King’s Quest) Ron Gilbert to bet by the graphics rather than text with Maniac Mansion.
To say out loud that Thimbleweed Park is an autobiographical game should put together a theory that probably wouldn’t make any sense, but certainly there is a lot of the life of Gilbert here. Directly or indirectly refers to his training, his first steps, his influences; It speaks directly to Graphics Basic, but also MMucasFlem, the transcript of Lucasfilm Games that stars the labour dreams of Delores, another character that we can control as well as Ray and Kings. Even there seems to be a reference: returning to the idea of Maniac Mansion, here also there are several characters that should help, exchanging objects or helping run the solution to a puzzle, to advance in the story.
Ray and Kings you end up joining Delores, the aforementioned aspiring designer graphic adventures and niece of Chuck Edmund, the owner of pillows that for years made Thimbleweed Park a prosperous town and factory at the technological forefront; the clown Ransome, locked up in a circus abandoned because of the curse that threw him an enigmatic elderly woman in the middle of one of their shows, famous for being full of insults and obscenities directed directly to the public; and Franklin, the brother of Chuck Edmund, which phantom without knowing very well what was what killed him.
The stories of these five characters intersect and converge in many ways to the mystery of the people left in sight. I think that the exercise is resolved better in the mechanical that narrative. The way in which the puzzles increase in complexity, many more characters are available is fantastic, and Thimbleweek Park conveys in a very natural way this progression; separate each character’s goals make normal have a handful of things to do at all times, and often in different areas, that just creating a good pace not always easy to achieve in an adventure game. It is a game that is explored thoroughly and in very different ways, which opens slowly hiding among a few dialogues well written and well acted the clues needed to solve its puzzles. Parts move well together: there is always time to move the interest of who plays in the appropriate addresses between chascarillos and references. Runs the combination of smart and hilarious talks and puzzles well-thought and clearer than ever; the only times that I didn’t want to see the relationship between a solution and the game were concrete steps within large puzzles that had escaped me for not having read or not remember some clue on another site, and in general I liked the ease with which Thimbleweek Park directs you towards the most ingenious and surprising solutions.
The packaging of these puzzles, on the other hand, is extravagant in a way that almost justifies the implicit and explicit nod to Twin Peaks. The history of pillows magnate and his passion for automation, which led to the top and then to ruin not only to your company but also to the entire village, is interesting at the time of the smart homes and cars that drive themselves; told through their neighbors (the inhabitants of Thimbleweek Park), of your family (you know speaking with other characters, but also first-hand through Franklin and Delores) and that they suffered the side effects of their comings and goings professional and personal (in dialogues but, again, also through Ransome), not only has a very intelligent structure but that it unfolds in a way that can look in the eye to almost any great narrative game of recent decades, and certainly to many novels. The way in which this wrapper is piling a bunch of loose throughout the entire game ends may be controversial: on the one hand is a conclusion which is almost necessarily precipitated and knows a little, almost nothing; on the other hand, I think one of the most appropriate forms of closing a game as well, that you have all the time been releasing tracks you need to hear to anticipate before the final spin the final solution to the giant puzzle that form the village of Thimbleweed Park.
It is this form of intrigue and manipulate to who plays the best card that hides Thimbleweed Park, and also serves to demonstrate that the limitations and tendencies of the time made perhaps Maniac Mansion or Monkey Island are as they are, but to remember them is the sense of humor, the best puzzles and why not , the way in which explored the possibilities of its graphic style (just wanted an excuse to talk about great pixel art Mark Ferrari, Gary Winnick and Octavi Navarro). The result is an adventure that seems to best use his retro style not only by the names behind, but because constantly talks about his past, about its origin, about verbs and which led to Gilbert and Winnick to mark a before and after in 1987, to leave a corpse that never disappears in the River, being pixilating slowly but still there , and who needs that should be back from time to time. As irregular as it might look to the past, between nostalgic over and acid less, basically Thimbleweed Park stands on its own merits. It’s an honest game and where the perpetrators show that still knowing very well what they are doing, homesickness aside.