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Meet Thimbleweed Park's creepy clown Ransome

Ransome the clown

Thimbleweed Park [official site] – that’s the point and click adventure game being spearheaded by Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick of Maniac Mansion fame – has a new trailer. I’ve been curious about the game for a while and we’ve had some really interesting bits on the site about it, like Adam’s interview with Gilbert at GDC. But this is the first time a trailer for it has stoked something other than that slightly distant professional interest:

This one introduces the game via the character of Ransome the clown. He’s somewhere on the spectrum of clowning between terrifying serial killer and Krusty’s cynicism in The Simpsons. Closer to Krusty. Sideshow Bob-ish but grungier?

Anyway, there’s something about the trailer and Ransome in particular that managed to dodge the bit of my brain that goes “this is promising, I’ll add it to the list” and hit me right in the “I REMEMBER THE DELICIOUS THRILL OF REALISING SIMON THE SORCERER WAS A BIT OF A TIT AND SORT OF A FAILURE AND REALLY BITTER AND SEEING A DIFFERENT SIDE OF GAMING FOR THE FIRST TIME”.

I think it’s the cosy familiarity of the pixel art palettes, and the rare jolt of this very specific strand of tragi-cynical character comedy. They combine in a way I didn’t realise I’d missed.

At the end of the day, it’s a trailer and not necessarily how Thimbleweed Park will feel, but suddenly I’m paying real attention.

Thimbleweed Park is due in “early 2017”.

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Philippa Warr

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