Thimbleweed Park - Review

Author: Francesco "Checco" Destri
Date: 2021-02-01 18:10:35
You start playing Thimbleweed Park and, boom, you find yourself in the early 90s, when you spent the afternoons on the phone (landline) with friends to figure out how to overcome that bastard puzzle that Ron Gilbert & company had come up with somehow. A feeling that, for those who lived through those wonderful years, Thimbleweed Park brings to life as best we could not expect.

I'm not just talking about the graphics, which seem to have come out of a Day of the Tentacle just a little less crazy, or the interface with the verbs in the lower left and the inventory in the lower right. I'm talking about all the atmosphere that a Lucas-style graphic adventure should always have and that Thimbleweed Park, between mystery, comedy, tributes and many self-quotes, spreads with both hands.

The mini episode of the young Delores, super nerd who dreams of working in a fictitious software house (which is the LucasArts of the good old days) would be enough to make any fan of graphic adventures fall in love with Thimbleweed Park. Or the magic of the flashback in the hotel, with that punk wearing a Zak McKracken-style fake nose and mustache, or the weird mad scientist machines scattered here and there that make Maniac Mansion so much.

Also because they don't just take on the role of the two federal agents Angela and Antonio, but also three other characters in special flashbacks (but not only) fundamental in breaking the rhythm of the game and in giving it more dynamism. A hateful clown and a worshiper of foul language, the aforementioned Delores and her father Franklin ... all to find out what lies behind that murder and why Thimbleweed Park looks almost like a ghost town after a fire devastated the local pillow factory .

The gameplay put together by Terrible Toybox (the team of Gilbert and Winnick) is the most classic we could expect for better or for worse. A lot of exploration, maximum attention to the scenarios to identify all the objects to interact with, dialogues, inventories full of stuff, a lot of backtracking (what a relief the map!) And puzzles of all kinds. Objects to be combined or exchanged between the characters, a labyrinthine section (could it be missing?) And a central importance reserved for the dialogues to which to pay close attention.

In this regard, I must applaud the Italian translation of the texts (dubbing is only in English), also because certain expressions and certain linguistic inflections could prove to be a real nightmare to be rendered in Italian at best. Without such a shrewd, precise and loving job (you can see a mile away that those who translated the game love Lucas adventures) Thimbleweed Park, at least for us Italians, would certainly not have had the same impact. (Editor's note: the author of the Italian localization is Fabio Bortolotti, whom those who follow these pages probably know well. The author of this review was not aware of Fabio's deep level of involvement in the project. Congratulations to our Kenobit, in short ).