Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick, the designers behind the seminal 1987 point-and-click adventure game Maniac Mansion, have launched a Kickstarter campaign for a new game, Thimbleweed Park, which looks like a long-lost LucasArts classic.
Unlike the recent Shadowgate revival, another ’80s adventure Kickstarted by its original creators, Thimbleweed Park adopts the form of its predecessors wholesale, with chunky, pixel graphics and an action menu taking up the lower half of the screen. You jump freely between five different characters in the podunk, eponymous town, and their lives are all somehow tangled up in a mysterious murder (or two). The game promises clever puzzles, sharp humor, and multiple meaningful endings based on how you play, encouraging repeated explorations.
At time of this writing the campaign has raised a respectable $169,057 out of its $375,000 goal with 28 days to go, so the project seems well on course to production. You get a digital copy of the game for Linux, Mac, or Windows once it comes out with a $20 buy-in. Higher tiers include the game and also “guilt absolution” if you pirated Maniac Mansion and Monkey Island when you were younger.
Maniac Mansion was a revolutionary point-and-click adventure, kicking off LucasArts’ long run of successes in the genre. It was such a seminal idea that Gilbert and Winnick actually had to define pointing and clicking in the original design spec document when it was conceived.
Adventure games have gotten much sexier lately with the success of Telltale’s episodic series’, such as The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us, and the upcoming Game of Thrones. A return to the start certainly appeals to longtime fans of the genre, but only time will tell whether Thimbleweed Park can stand alone as a worthwhile game in its own right, or wither as a hollow exercise in nostalgic formalism.
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