Thimbleweed Park is a point-and-click adventure game developed by Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick for Microsoft Windows, macOS, iOS, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Linux, and Nintendo Switch. An Android version is planned in the near future. The game was revealed on November 18, 2014, along with a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign with a goal of US$375,000, and was released on March 30, 2017.
The game is a spiritual successor to Gilbert and Winnick’s previous games Maniac Mansion (1987) and The Secret of Monkey Island (1990), and is designed to be similar to graphic adventure games released in that time period, both visually and gameplay-wise.
The game is played similarly to early graphic adventure games; it is seen from a third person perspective, with a view of the area taking up the majority of the screen, while the bottom portion is taken up by the player’s inventory and a list of verbs, such as “use”, “pick up”, and “talk to”. By clicking on a verb followed by one or two items or characters, the player character will attempt to perform the action described. An example given in the reveal trailer was “Use balloon animal with corpse”, performed by clicking on the verb “use”, the “balloon animal” item in the player’s inventory, and a corpse found in an area in the game.
The game has five different player characters which the player can switch between in the middle of gameplay, similarly to Maniac Mansion.
Afterwards, if the player waits long enough after the credits, a Commodore 64 screen appears, and the entire game is “loaded” from disk again. The implication is that the player themselves is the one forcing the cast to relive their lives, and by shutting down the game and deleting it from their computer, they finally free them.
On November 18, 2014, Gilbert posted an update to his blog, in which he revealed that talks about the game had begun “several months ago” while he and Winnick had been discussing how fun their time developing Maniac Mansion at LucasArts (Lucasfilm Games at the time) had been, and how they liked the “charm, simplicity and innocence” of the adventure games of that era. Winnick proposed that they should make a new game in the style of their old ones; as such, it is designed as if it had been made in 1987 and as if it were “an undiscovered LucasArts adventure game you’ve never played before”. Gilbert agreed, and suggested that they should crowdfund it on Kickstarter.