Thimbleweed Park starts out as a typical point and click adventure game that slowly becomes an X Files tribute in a small town full of interesting characters and giant pigeon people (Yes, I am being serious). As far as this genre of games go, I am definitely not a fan of typical point and click games. I find them to be plain up boring and never really found myself playing one and thinking “Oh this is really good, I wonder where this is going”. However, I am going to look past my usual feelings towards the genre and see just what sets Thimbleweed Park apart from the rest.
Initially, I found that Thimbleweed Park clearly doesn’t take itself to seriously. It’s tongue-in-cheek humour sets it apart from other games of this nature and had me laughing at even the silliest of puns. From bodies “pixelating” rather than decomposing to the aforementioned giant pigeon people and their “signals”, it did keep me laughing throughout my playthrough. Although some parts were a little drawn out and irritating as the NPCs would often talk for quite a long time with the same jokes which got a little tiresome. Though I particularly enjoyed how the games humour would change with each character focus, which leads me onto my next point.
The game doesn’t just focus on one main character. The investigation you carry out in Thimbleweed Park is mainly with Special Agent Ray and her Junior Agent sidekick Reyes but you continue to play portions of the game as other characters, whether it be a flashback sequence where you have to find items relevant to a task set in the past, or even if you just need to assist someone and move the story along, you will find a wide variety of different characters and thus, different personalities. That being said, playing as more than one character can get rather confusing in parts and can also take you out of the main story a little. As much as I enjoyed learning more about the quirky inhabitants of Thimbleweed Park, I really just wanted to carry on my investigation with a few less drawn-out asides.
Furthermore, the games mechanics can get a little clumsy at times. At first it does come across as charming that you can tell your little pixelated character to do things with simple and easy clicks but it can get a little awkward as the verb selection may not fit your needs every time and you may have to use a verb you didn’t think would carry out the task as you wished It really gets you thinking but in certain situations this can be mildly frustrating as the answer may seem a little unorthodox. Sometimes it can take quite a few random clicks to get the verb action right as it may not seem like a certain action relates to the current scenario in question. Moreover, the fact that the game is nearly impossible to play unless you use the touchscreen can become an annoyance because I wanted to play on the TV a little more but the cursor function made it difficult to do that in places as it has a tendency to skip over the options a lot of the time and its hard to aim at what you actually want to select.
All in all, I found the story to be thoroughly enjoyable and while the humour was there, the play style may still not be for me. It feels like it has been slightly rushed to suit the Nintendo Switch’s unique play styles, however If you are a fan of point and click style games then I’m sure you’ll enjoy it for more than it’s story and quirky charm. Unfortunately as much as I made the effort to overlook the rather clumsy controls, I found that I just couldn’t agree with this particular game. I would give Thimbleweed Park a 6/10 as the humour was there and the idea well thought out, but overall the implementation and control scheme could both use a little polishing.
Thimbleweed Park released on the Nintendo eShop on Thursday, September 21. It’s also available for Windows, Mac, Linux, Xbox One, PS4, and iPhone / iPad, and is coming to Android on Oct 3. In order to review this title, I received a copy from a PR Representative. This has absolutely no impact on my writing or opinions.