A Return to Thimbleweed Park, On the Switch!

Back when Thimbleweed Park launched on PC and consoles Darkworld Gaming covered it with an in-depth review – praising just how glorious I thought it was.

But that was not the end for Thimbleweed Park. Through its Kickstarter fundraising and game sales, Ron Gilbert & Co went on to port the game from PC/PS4/XBone onto Android and Apple Devices, and slightly more recently, onto the Nintendo Switch.

Now I won’t repeat much about the game itself, if you want to see my thoughts on the game in general, you can do so here.

But what I will briefly cover, is just how the game plays away from its “native” PC format.

I do think that in most ways, point and click adventure style games, will always be most at home on PC, using my trusty mouse to guide the adventurer through the game. But that may well be nostalgia talking, as I did grow up in my parents’ study playing the original Monkey Island games near endlessly.

I have played other point and click based games on my phone in the past, and many of them felt intuitive, though many also got frustrating, trying to tap specific things and my fat fingers instead tapping something else. Though this is an issue that could be better on today’s bigger and better smart phones.

Generally though, consoles have always had the bad end of the stick regarding point and click games. I recall the 4th Monkey Island instalment released on console, and it tried to move away from point and click, and was just horrible to play.

But Thimbleweed park is certainly very playable on the Switch. The gameplay remains the same as PC, just using either the “console” controller style, or using the Switch’s native touch screen capabilities.

I naturally gravitated towards the console commands, but that was mostly because I didn’t want to get fingerprints on my Switch screen! The controls are clever, with the left analogue stick controlling the curser, but the “d-pad” allows for quick commands so you’re not just dragging the curser around as much as other similar titles have in the past.

With the controls working well, the other main point for the game being on Switch was solved in the original release anyway – the fact you can save anywhere, any time outside of a cutscene. With the Switch, you need to be able to stop and start with ease, and if your train is pulling into the station and the Switch is getting low on battery, being able to save right where you are is key.

I’ve found with portable consoles that you often play them in short bursts, a lunch break here, a journey there. And having games where you “need” to play for hours at a time to get much “worth” out of them can be tricky. While it is certainly easy to lose yourself in the delights of Thimbleweed Park for hours at a time, being able to stop and start on the Switch is brilliant.

All in all, the Switch port of Thimbleweed Park could well be one of the best indie games to grace the Switch. As I explained in my original review, it is an utterly fantastic game, and as I’ve covered today, it works really well on the Switch as well.

If you’ve got a spare £20, do yourself a favour, download this onto your Switch as soon as you can!

And now a few thoughts from Lefranzine:

As an avid console gamer who has only just started to think about committing to more games on PC, when Thimbleweed Park was announced and released I was quite jealous of Kuniku getting to play it! Overhearing some of the dialogue just wasn’t enough and when we were offered the opportunity to play on the Switch I was eager to finally get my hands on it! I played through casual mode as I fully intend on revisiting the game to play through hard mode as I really look forward to seeing the difference in the game with the additional items and craziness that will ensue!

As Kuniku has already said, the Switch is a great platform to play this title as you have the option of using the touchscreen or stick/pad controls if you like. I went between both a lot of the time as sometimes the touch screen was handy for quick picks but if it was exploring the usual console controls were fine to use (but can never compare with the ease of using a mouse of course). What was also handy was being able to play on the TV using the Pro Controller but if we were heading out, I could do a quick save and then carry on after undocking.

I really loved this game! It’s funny, charming and challenging at times and found myself eager to keep playing it whenever it was my turn to take the Switch to work. I look forward to the additional challenges within the hard mode and hope my detective skills are now honed enough to successfully complete it again!

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