Steve Kirk – Thimbleweed Park OST

a0082555621_10Thimbleweed Park is the newest graphic adventure from Lucasfilm™ alumni Ron Gilbert, Gary Winnick and David Fox. A game that features some of the smoothest dancing animations since Sierra On-Lines’ King’s Quest VI. However without a kick-ass soundtrack those sprites would just be dancing to the click track of your fingers as they pick-up dust in search of greater achievements.

Steve Kirk’s original soundtrack-a-reno for the game is a great achievement in itself as each short incidental piece is a complimentary allusion to a grander scene that it captures and emphasizes with the mood inspired by the many locations in Thimbleweed Park. Beautifully rendered on a glorious palette of 16 tracks in True Timbre™ the songs are designed to accompany the player as they explore the locations in Thimbleweed Park but hold no clues to the games logic and instead help to develop the picture of a functioning habitat.

With lounge styling Thimbleweed Park’s soundtrack plays with experimental prog rock and a traditional background of organic instruments (but also features a Theramin!,) which is a stark juxtaposition to the nostalgic art style and of the game itself to further inspire the mystery and intrigue of the tri-county area. Augmenting the ideas of each place you visit with a dimension of consciousness where that new plane writes complex stimuli on to your memory banks. There’s a bit of sci-fi going on in its movement but that comes with the territory.

Playing softly with themes the chords take you from murder investigation contemplation to vapid Quickie Pal (the town convenience store) jingle. It even features incredibly upper class muzak in the Edmond Hotel elevator theme-a-boo while, during the course of the game, by turning on the in-game radio you can hear the anti-pop of famous group Razor and the Scummettes’ No Quarter as sung by Steve himself. Its diverse personality as a soundtrack perfectly fits the quaint but strange town of Thimbleweed Park.

While it may not be as memorable as the dynamic MIDI soundtracks of graphic adventures sailing towards obscurity in an industry that’s becoming more ad space than time and space it’s still a virtuous compendium of thought provoking scenes that capture the spirit and intention of interactive fiction as a medium.

9/10

About David Oberlin 318 Articles
David Oberlin is a composer and visual artist who loves noise more than a tidy writing space. You can often find him in your dankest nightmares or on twitter @DieSkaarj while slugging the largest and blackest coffee his [REDACTED] loyalty card can provide.

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