Legend of Grimrock

Developer: Almost Human Ltd.
Publisher:  Almost Human Ltd.

Legend of Grimrock is a throwback to games like Eye of the Beholder and Dungeonhack, in it, you're expected to navigate a vast dungeon complex, fighting all sorts of monsters, avoid traps, solve puzzles while still remembering to rest up and feed your party, I guess you could call it a "Survival Dungeon" and this sub-genre was very popular during the early to mid 90's of PC gaming.


As you start the game, you're told you and your friends were accused of a crime you didn't commit and as punishment for your crimes, you're sent to the vast dungeon of Mt. Grimrock and if you make it out alive you'll all be exonerated from your crime.

You're allowed to take make a party of up to four characters, you have four races to choose from as well as three classes and the level progression is mostly linear within said classes, you have a few skill trees that you can mix and match, but this is really very standard fare.

All of the game's movement is done in a grid format, while the combat is similar to that of an MMO, meaning you'll need some time to "recharge" before you attack again, however, you can only have two quick/passive actions assigned per character, these can range from a physical attack, "use" magic, carry a shield or a torch to light up your surroundings and if you ever run out of torches count yourself screwed.

I really enjoy the magic system in this game, basically you're given a set of runes and provided you have the magic skills, you'll need to press different runes in a certain order to cast the spell you want, so it's probably a good idea to have a pen and paper close. Speaking of which, at the beginning of the game you can choose to have the automap feature turned off, just in case you want the extra nostalgia/challenge, personally I always enjoy drawing my own maps, so I'm glad they threw in this feature.

Overall this game is a great love letter to a genre that was considered dead up to this point, it's challenging enough for experienced users while still being accessible to newcomers, though I do wish they had toned down the puzzles a little bit, after a while they started to grate on me

Pros:
- A game similar to Eye of the Beholder? When was the last time we had one of those?
- Class and leveling systems are easy to use but still offer a lot variety
- Challenging, but never unfairly so
- Old-school mode (no automap) is a nice feature

Cons:
- The game is a bit too long, by the time I reached the 8th floor I was getting a bit tired
- Although I enjoy puzzles, at one point there were too many of them

Final Score: B

Packaging review: This game is Download only

4 comments:

  1. This sounds mighty interesting. I like these kind of games.

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  2. I too like this kind of games. Might even try it if I find some time.

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  3. I think I can remember these types of games. Yes, they did indeed flourish in the end of the last millennium. It would be very interesting to see something akin to a Let's Play of this. If that doesn't already exist.

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    1. There's quite a few of them on youtube.

      I would probably make one, but I prefer keeping my blog updated on a regular basis.

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