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Thimbleweed Park helped my son learn to read

I just wanted to call out what I see as the educational and enjoyment value of the great graphic adventure games. During Lockdown I let my son (then aged 6) play my adventure games on Steam.

The combination of the verb bars, voice acting and subtitles brought about a breakthrough with his reading.

He consumed Fate of Atlantis and Thimbleweed Park. We tried Monkey Island Special Edition but he didn’t like the controls. In classic mode it didn’t have voices.

This week I finally managed to get the Ultimate Talkie Edition working for him. To say he adored it (now aged 7) is an understatement.

Thank you Ron. Just about to commence LeChuck’s Revenge.


I suggest you to try @LogicDeLuxe 's utility to extract voices from the special edition and put into the classic one.

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Thanks Ema.

I did that. I got it working this week. My son was blown away.


Oh, right. Seems I missed those lines, sorry.
Happy he liked it. :blush:

:pirate_flag: Arrr… there (s)he blows!

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Can anyone recommend any more adventure games? For my son it needs to be 3 key things.

Verbs and nouns
Voice acting
Subtitles on screen

We’ve done SMI, MI2, Fate of Atlantis and Thimbleweed Park. And DOTT. He’s thirsty for more! :laughing:

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I’m afraid those on-screen text verbs got out of fashion around the time talkies got widespread…

Take a look at the list @toVerbOrNot made: Complete list of Thimbleweed type games (only 20)
Those are games with at least 5 text verbs visible on screen (plus two other restrictions), you’d only have to check if there are talkie versions.


There’s no way a 7 year-old can finish MI2 in just 4 days. And DOTT too if I understood correctly.
Stop helping him! Don’t allow him to use walkthroughs. It’s either no more games left or learning how to read much better so he can play all the non-voiced games.

Well, that shortens the list considerably. Hopefully he’ll be less demanding in a few years from now.

It’s not verb based but Loom is ideal for his age too. Just make sure he plays on Expert mode so it’ll last longer than half a day :slight_smile:


Although the UI is different, both full throttle and Sam & Max do have verbs AND audio dialogs.
So does MI3.

I didn’t help him with Fate of Atlantis very much and he got there with very minimal help within a week.

On MI1, I was shocked at how quickly he completed the 3 Trials. He then needed help on the ship but beyond that he was ok.

Thimbleweed was tougher, I found that tough myself and we eventually completed together after I had been stuck at The Will for about 3 years!

MI2 he finished in 2 days with a bit more help help from me but we were just enjoying playing it together. He got through the Largo Embargo and was stuck for example on the 20 pieces of 8 for Captain Dread. I helped him with that, he hadn’t dont the rat vichyssoise thing to get the cook’s job. He did about 75% in the end of MI2 alone.

He’s now doing it again, not on classic mode this time, so maybe CMI will be ok for him if he can get used to another control system.

DOTT, he didn’t like as much. We aren’t so up on our US history and it took us about a month.


Thanks Ema, will give those a go.

MI3 has a coin interface with 3 verbs (look, talk, use/touch). FT is quite original, it has a coin with use eyes, use hands, use mouth, use feet.
S&M has all the verbsbut they’re not displayed. You’re supposed to scroll them through the mouse wheel


I grew up playing LucasArts games including Monkey Island and, today, I am a Digital Art Director / Experience Designer as well as an avid gamer and reader. I wouldn’t have been who I am today if it weren’t for Ron (and my dad who countlessly brought home PC games). :slight_smile: And I’m positive you’re son’s gonna do better than me in the future. Thank you for sharing this and enjoy LeChuck’s Revenge! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


I think you are supposed to use the keyboard shortcuts, but it’s nice to have the mousewheel as alternative :slight_smile:

You gave me the reason for checking. It wasn’t the mousewheel, it was the right button to scroll.
Anyway, no. People uses the mouse. Keyboard shortcuts are for nerds.

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People are using gestures. :wink:

(Some schools here are teaching the use of a mouse - a lot of pupils don’t know how to use them. Not kidding.)

Yeah, ok.

People: mouse
Nerds: keyboard

People: gesture
Nerds: mouse

By the way,

in 1989 I had to learn how to use a mouse. It was a nice improvement. Darn, you made me feel old.



I will never forget when I had to show my dads girlfrind back then something about computers. She was like 38 or 40 years old at that point and had absolutelly no clue. She had never ever worked on a PC.
I think that was 1999 if I remember correctly. And I think it was on Windows 98. But maybe it was 1 or two years later and Windows ME.
Anyway, she was signed in for a “computer training” which she wanted to do for her new job. But since she knew absolutely nothing she wanted me to show her a little bit on the PC and how it works befor that training.

So, she was sitting at the desk and I was standing to her left, we were both looking at the screen.
I told her what was what on the windows desktop an wanted her to move the mouse cursor to some point at the desktop an to do a doubleclick there.
But she didn´t do it. So I told her again to move the mouse over there and to click there with the left button. I just pointed at the screen with my finger.
Again, she dind´t do it. I just saw the mouse cursor jiggling around.
So I told her again, a little more impatient. But nothing. Jiggling Cursor again.
When I told her the fourth time, to just do it. She yelled at me, she doesn´t know how.

At that point I turned right for the first time, to actually see what she was doing. For me it was completely normal to use a mouse. I got my first computer when I was 8, a Commodore Plus 4.
I grew up with that and the later ones (C64, Amiga 500, Amiga 1000, Amiga 2000, PC and so on).
I did not understand what was her problem doing that.
So I looked down and saw she had her hand on the mouse, ok. Great
But instead of movig it, she was eagerly trying to rotate it at the place it was sitting. To the left, to the right, to the left and so on.
At that point I knew, I was doomed :smiley:


I observed this several times too. It seems that a lot of people aren’t able to move the mouse. Their brain is only able to rotate it.

Rotate like a joystick?

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