PS4 Review: Thimbleweed Park

The true spiritual successor to Maniac Mansion and Monkey Island?

Not counting Day of the Tentacle of course, but other than that the point-and-click universe from Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick has been absent for a long time now. I’d pay any amount of cash for an HD remake of Maniac Mansion by the way…but for now, we will more than make do with Thimbleweed Park. So what’s it about?

You begin learning the ropes of the point-and-click gameplay by picking up a rock to smash a light in, then head to the sewers…only to be brutally murdered by an unknown assailant. The game picks up after with 2 Feds “Agent Ray” and “Agent Reyes” investigating. You’ll come across a lot of strange people in Thimbleweed County and even enter flashbacks of the other characters you’ll be playing.

These include Ransome The Clown who just goes around insulting everyone around him, Franklin whose brother owns the local pillow factory and Delores who is Franklin’s daughter who left Thimbleweed Park to become a…game designer, the ultimate insult to her Uncle Chuck who cuts her out of his will. But all is not as it seems for any of these characters…

The game will take you across the whole county to explore the town, the local circus, a hotel, a cemetery, a mansion and the abandoned pillow factory. As with classic point-and-click games, you’ll need to select what command you wish to use before selecting the item in your inventory or specific item in the game world. It takes some getting used to with a controller, but it becomes second nature after a while.

If you do get stuck through the game, you can call a hint line using a number of the phones in the game…which does come in handy for some rather tricky puzzles and saves a lot of time having to look it up online. There are obvious nods to Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick’s past games such as the Monkey Island series and of course, Maniac Mansion…where the game seems to take a lot of its influence from. There’s even a cameo of Nurse Edna and the Green Tentacle at points of the game, as well as a dig at LucasFilm Games with the parody name MmucasFlem that Delores ends up working for.

All in all, the game is a resounding success…revitalizing an almost dead genre and making me crave them all over again. The characters are memorable, the script is hilarious and it makes me hope that it isn’t another 20-30 years before we get another game like this.

The Verdict

Thimbleweed Park just proves that there’s still plenty of room in the industry for point-and-click adventure games. It’s brilliant from start to finish and I cannot recommend it enough for fans of Monkey Island/Maniac Mansion. Let’s hope this is the start of something special…

Score: 9.0