There are no dearth of Kickstarters that seduce with nostalgia, but they usually start with the question, “what would this game that you love be like if it was made now?” Pillars of Eternity is like a modern Infinity Engine game, War for the Overworld is Dungeon Keeper, but new.
Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick are taking their adventure game, Thimbleweed Park, one step further. “It’s like opening a dusty old desk drawer and finding an undiscovered LucasArts adventure game you’ve never played before,” says the Kickstarter pitch. It’s 1987 again.
Gilbert and Winnick are calling Thimbleweed Park, set in a strange, surreal town after a murder has taken place, “a true spiritual successor to Maniac Mansion and Monkey Island.” And one that could have been made over 20 years ago.
It’s not inspired by classic adventure games or an homage to them, the Kickstarter says, Gilbert and Winnick want to make a real one, complete with verb buttons and simple art.
“Thimbleweed Park is a game for true lovers of adventure games. This is a Kickstarter for fans who loved Maniac Mansion, Monkey Island, and everything else that made that era great. It strips away all the cruft built up over the years and is distilled down to what we loved about the genre.”
I can’t say I’m crazy about the verb interface, but hey, it could have been worse, they could have used parsing.
Like Maniac Mansion, Thimbleweed Park gives players several protagonists to control, this time five. But it starts with two “washed up” detectives who uncover a body floating in the river. Dead bodies aren’t the only oddity in town, though.
“Lost along a dusty stretch of highway, the town of Thimbleweed Park once boasted an opulent hotel, a vibrant business district and the state’s largest pillow factory, but now teeters on the edge of oblivion and continues to exist for no real reason. It’s a town that makes you itch and your skin crawl. It’s a place no one ever looks for, but everyone seems to find.“
The Kickstarter’s goal is a surprising $375,000, which seems rather high for an ‘80s throwback. Mind you, time travel ain’t cheap.
We’ll also need to wait until 2016 to go back to 1987 unfortunately.