You Like Weird Games, Right?

by | Jun 16, 2022 | Games | 0 comments

Point & click mysteries are a guilty pleasure. They’re cooperative, so my wife and I don’t need to be opponents. They’re not timed, so they’re totally chill. And without the element of action involved, you find developers who lean into puzzles and story to make the game fun, and for me that’s a win-win.

Thimbleweed Park is one of the more recent examples (2017 isn’t that long ago, in point-and-click terms). It takes place in a sleepy little town, where there’s been a murder. It’s the 1980’s. Computers are on the rise. This town was the home of a high-tech factory that’s gone bust, and the eccentric owner is MIA. Weird tech devices litter the streets and homes, with a vibe of what steampunk would have been if it were based on the Apple IIe instead of Jules Verne.

You’re an FBI agent called in to solve the murder. Actually, you’re two different agents, and eventually also a clown, a teenage programming prodigy, and a ghost. Because this game lets you–no, it requires you–to swap between characters to not only solve puzzles but to unravel the convoluted story.

The plot is delightfully weird. Nothing is what it seems. The character switching element isn’t unique to this game, but it’s well-implemented and feels like it adds to the game rather than being a clunky addition. Puzzles ultimately feel “fair” in that the solution isn’t just a result of randomly trying every combination of items/places/people until things interact. There’s a logic and creativity behind the solutions that feels rewarding.

I can’t say too much more about it without inching close to the line on spoilers. Needless to say, if you want to solve the mystery, you’ll have to play it for yourself.

You’ll have to play it to see. And the ending is appropriately creepy.

You can grab it on Steam, GOG, Apple, or Windows 10.

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