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Adventure games are one of the great lost genres in gaming: around since the nearly the birth of the medium, they crashed and burned after a decadent phase in the 1990s, now making only a few appearances a year, more often than not when some classic of an earlier era is spruced up for modern hardware. The other occasion adventure games return is when one of the key figures of the era decides they’d like to make a new one. Tim Schafer (Day of the Tentacle, Full Throttle) revisited his LucasArts days with Broken Age, and now two more LucasArts veterans, Ron Gilbert and Garry Winnick (Maniac Mansion, The Secret of Monkey Island) are headed back to the era of clicking on verbs and objects with Thimbleweed Park.
The game has a distinctly Maniac Mansion-inspired look and a distinctly X-Files-inspired plot, at least for the part that pairs a Mulder and a Scully type and sends them off to solve a mysterious murder in a Twin Peaks-looking town. The insult comic clown, the aspiring video game programmer, and the hapless ghost are more from the Maniac Mansion tradition, as are the cheesy-sounding jokes and no doubt fiendishly unforgiving puzzles.
Thimbleweed Park was released in March for Mac, Windows, Linux and Xbox One, but on Aug. 22, it will come to Sony’s PS4, making this especially important news to adventure game-loving culture editors who only have PS4s. To pre-order, first hang your gown on the hook so it covers the hole in the wall, then put your towel over the drain. Once Ford falls asleep, you can steal his satchel and use it to block the panel. Weigh the satchel down with the junk mail, then press the fish dispenser button. The fish will fly out of the machine into the robe, fall onto the towel instead of going down the drain, then get picked up by a cleaning robot which will plow into the satchel at full speed, sending fish and junk mail alike sailing into the air. The cloud of junk mail will confuse the upper-half-of-the-room cleaning robot, leaving the fish free to fly directly into your ear. And that’s how you get the Babel fish in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. To order Thimbleweed Park, I don’t know, maybe just go to the PlayStation store?
Donald Trump Jr. delivers a speech during a ceremony for the official opening of the Trump International Tower & Hotel on February 28, 2017 in Vancouver, Canada.