October 22, 2017

Tree in autumn colours Tree in autumn colours

I knew Thimbleweed park existed. I very much intended to play it. But these facts were very much in the back of my mind. I was not really aware when the game was released, for example, and so it was more or less on unplanned impulse that I bought the game for the PS4 last week.

Thimbleweed park Thimbleweed park

Thimbleweed park is a classic point and click graphical adventure game. Very classic. In the Kickstarter campaign, creators Gilbert and Winnick desribe wanting it to feel like you are playing a rediscovered lost Lucasfilm adventure.

Did they succeed?

They nailed it, heart and soul. My very first play session ended up being three and a half hours, and all my sessions have been unusually long for modern me with a modern game. I finished the game today and have spent much of the rest of my available time reading the development blog and listeing to the development podcast just to immerse myself further. The game feels made for me. In large part because it pretty much was, it is hard to be more right in the middle (righter in the middle?) of the target audience than I am. It is also clear just how much a labor of love everything was, from the updated but decidedly retro graphics, the characters, the storylines, controls and puzzles to the number of jokes and references to Lucasfilm adventures.

I love the in-jokes, but I completely understand why they made them a game option and left it off by default. Just remember to toggle it on if you start this game and are a lover of the pointers and clickers of the 90's.

As of right now, I think Thimbleweed park sits easily among the top five and very possibly among the top three of my overall favourite adventure game experiences. In thinking about why, I started comparing and contrasting with Broken age. I think a large part is that where Broken age tries to do somewhat new and modern things with the classic formula, Thimbleweed park set out from the start to be a great example of what you can do within that classic formula. It does not hurt, of course, that the two main creators helped create much of said formula in the first place. It takes the conventions and revels in them, the way you can do in a genre when you also have a great story to tell. The great story is key, without it the game would be all beautifully pixelated surface and in-jokes and probably feel more like a tired re-hash. Thimbleweed park never even approaches that trap, it has too much to show and tell.

I played for a bit over 16 hours over the course of the week, and I feel ready for more.

Other thimbles

I got the chance to write for Macpro twice recently, so if you enjoy Swedish you can head over there and read my thoughts on the audio editing application Hindenburg journalist as well as some of my thoughts around Apple watch in general and its activity rings in particular. I might do English versions here some day, and now that I have come out as a Apple watch owner and used one for almost a month I might just write more about that as well.

Finally, power just went out in the neighborhood. Life is tough when you have to tether to the phone and use only the builtin screen of the laptop.

Candles are being lit in nearby windows.