When I reviewed Thimbleweed Park, I wrote that it felt "like a welcome b-side to LucasArts' heyday. Like a dusty ol' floppy disk, just waiting to be played." Thimbleweed Park is very much the classic adventure game Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick pitched from way back on Kickstarter, obtuse puzzles and all. But now, the team is walking back on some of its controversial difficulty.
In a new update live now, Thimbleweed Park has implemented a new hints system for players. "I know this will cause the hardcore adventure gamer's blood to boil (as it does mine), but the lack of hints was widely criticized by some of the more casual press," writes Gilbert in a blog post detailing the updates. "As we move to new and more casual platforms like iOS and Android, this becomes increasingly important. I guess it's a sad fact about not only modern gamers, but older gamers that just don't have 18 hours to spend on a game."
The hint system at least doesn't feel arbitrary, like it was shoehorned into the world of Thimbleweed Park. The added hint system comes in the form of a phone line, a number you can call either from public phones or the single cell phone you pass along between characters.
In addition to a new hint system to help the perpetually stuck players, Thimbleweed Park has added character dialog between four of the five player characters. (One is a ghost, so it doesn't really make sense for him.) Initially, Gilbert writes that character dialogue was planned all along, but was in the end scrapped. As a result, some players were allegedly confused about some character's motivations, like why they were working together, or what the integral plot line of the moment was.
"It was crystal clear (in our heads) why they were working together (or didn't care if they were), but that wasn't clear to players. This is especially true with Ransome. Ransome is an asshole. Why would he be helping?" writes Gilbert. "Player character dialogs solved this problem."
There's other smaller additions to better the experience of Thimbleweed Park, including other playable characters giving a small greeting to whoever you're currently embodying as you walk by. The small greetings were created in a way to "make the world feel more real and alive." Thimbleweed Park is available on PC, Mac, Linux, Xbox One, and is coming to iOS and Android in the future.