Enlarge / Some of the game’s best moments are when it plays tricks with its mechanics.
The only classic LucasArts adventure game I ever played when it was new was Monkey Island 4, so I suspect Thimbleweed Park wasn’t made with me in mind. With legendary LucasArts designers Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick behind it, as well as a Kickstarter campaign that promised a spiritual successor to Maniac Mansion, this new adventure is decidedly rooted in nostalgia for a different age of adventure games.
Even if I didn’t grow up in the era of The Secret of Monkey Island and Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, I know enough to recognize its DNA in Thimbleweed Park. Like the LucasArts games of old, Thimbleweed overflows with pixel art so sharp you might cut yourself.

There’s the familiar verb-driven interface that asks you to select actions to “talk to,” “use,” and “look at” various objects in the environment to complete the next series of goals.
Finally, Thimbleweed Park is so full of fourth-wall breaking in-jokes about adventure games and ’80s pop culture that I got the sense the developers were intentionally speaking in code to keep youngsters like me out of the loop.

There is, in fact, an entire puzzle based on telling era-appropriate slang apart from ’70s and ’90s jargon to prove how cool you are (the game is set in 1987, for the record).
Even being a child of the ’90s, I found the temporal references to be some of the best gags in this irreverent murder mystery. When it’s at its best, Thimbleweed Park takes its chewy, nostalgic center and twists it into logic puzzles where the references feel interesting as well as simply “familiar.” Sadly, compared to those high points, a lot of this point-and-clicker feels like busywork and pointlessly picking up things to use on other things.
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