Thimbleweed Park is a point-and-click adventure game which features 5 playable characters.
Pro Great for both casual gamers and those looking for a challenge thanks to an adjustable difficulty level
The game offers a casual mode for those who just want to experience the story and characters without being bogged down by all the tricky puzzles, as it shortens the length of the game by removing a majority of them. Additionally, for those who want the true gaming experience, there is the hard mode which includes all the puzzles in their entirety which adds hours to the game length. This makes the game completely accessible for both types of players, whether they're seasoned vets or entirely new to the adventure gaming genre.
Pro Open and convenient exploration
Most of the city of Thimbleweed Park and it's surrounding areas are immediately available to explore and take in the scenery. While some of it is gated by story for gameplay reasons, there is still a huge amount of content that is available to immerse yourself in the minute you start the game. As the game progresses, the explorable area becomes bigger and bigger as more locations are discovered. A fast travel map system is introduced, making it quick and easy to get wherever you want to go with a few clicks. This is extremely helpful when moving from one end of the map to the other, and shaves away hours of travel time by the time the game concludes.
Pro Well-written storyline with many subplots
The story begins with two federal agents investigating a murder a little outside the strange, surreal town of Thimbleweed Park. While the initial main focus of the story revolves around solving the murder, it quickly branches out from there as the agents enter the town and start questioning the locals. During this investigation, a bunch of new characters (three becoming playable) and their respective subplots and stories are introduced into the game. The murder soon fades into the background, as the personal stories of the playable characters take front and center.
Each playable character's story will be experienced in full resulting in being able to see the same overarching storyline from a multitude of different viewpoints. Each of these subplots are well-written as they all relate to each other in some way, offer a fresh perspective, and also contribute plot elements to the main story as a whole.
Throughout the game, the writing is consistent and each of the various subplots and story elements all serve to reinforce the overarching story. Near the end of the game, many of the plot points have been neatly addressed and concluded, resulting in a rewarding game experience that really prioritizes a story-first approach.
Pro Well-developed, quirky characters
There are five playable characters total. Two are available from the start of the game, and three more have their own scenario to play through when first introduced into the game. These scenarios showcase the characters' backgrounds and personalities via their own mini-storyline that draws heavily on comedy and allows the player to learn more about each character. Each of these scenarios concludes with them joining the main storyline where you are free to swap between them at will.
Each and every playable character has their own goals, which are made clear on their personalized to-do lists, which act as a quest log of sorts, and help guide the player on what to do next to keep the story moving along. Among the five playable characters you will play as two federal agents, a clown with a swearing problem (although this is bleeped out in game), a lovable nerd who aspires to be a game developer, and even a ghost who is trapped and can't pass on into the afterlife.
There are also a dozen or so supporting characters, and while not controlled by the player, were not neglected in their writing. From the town's sheriff, who also seemingly acts as a front desk clerk and coroner - although he adamantly denies this fact to hilarious effect throughout the game - to the bum outside the convenience store who begs for change, each and every one is well developed with their own quirks and personality that are artfully consistent throughout the entire playthrough.
Pro Access to five playable characters allows you to continue the story even if you get stuck
As soon as the game begins, you have the freedom to switch between 2 of the playable characters, with more becoming available as the adventure progresses. Since you can freely swap between characters whenever you'd like, getting stuck on a specific puzzle for one character's storyline isn't quite an issue, as you can simply change over to a different character and progress their storyline instead. This means those tricky puzzles won't bring your game to a grinding halt.
Pro A great tribute to the classic point-and-click games of the 90s
Designed by Ron Gilbert, an award-winning adventure game designer in the early days of the genre, Thimbleweed Park is a tribute to the adventure gaming days of old. It's a modern game that opts to use an old look and feel to recreate the classic point and click games of the past such as Maniac Mansion and Monkey Island. Like many point and click games of the era, it utilizes a verb based action system and dialogue trees to navigate and interact with the world. Adventure gamers who grew up with the Lucasarts' classic adventure games will find many similarities here in the look and feel of the game, resulting in a game that could be right at home in the late 80s and early 90s.
Con Inventory management can be a hassle
Since each of the five playable character has their own inventory, sometimes trading back and forth between them can be a hassle, especially when unsure of which items are needed to solve specific puzzles. The constant trading becomes tedious due to the number of items in the game.
Con The 4th wall is broken at times ruining immersion
The characters will sometimes address the player directly. This fourth wall breaking, even though a staple of the games Thimbleweed Park is giving tribute to, can be off-putting to some modern gamers who would rather experience full immersion.