Magnificent And Important Advent Calendar: Day Eight

By RPS on December 8th, 2012 at 12:00 pm.

If games teach us anything, it’s that there’s always something around the corner. That’s optimistic, right? Ah, you’d think so, but the philosophy of games is more complex. Sometimes what is around the corner is DEATH, and that’s what the eighth window of the advent calendar teaches us. What could it be?

It’s… Legend Of Grimrock!

John: Guilty of falling into the glow of nostalgia, when I first saw Grimrock I couldn’t help but just be excited because it reminded me of Dungeon Master. That was enough at the preview trailer stage. But it could have led to far greater disappointment.

It really didn’t. In fact, it far exceeded the expectations of my memories, becoming a significant source of nostalgia of its own. It was a bloody brilliant RPG, had the magic of being party based, and managed to make tile based movement feel modern.

It was also a fantastic gaming connection between my dad and me, and led to his writing some very popular posts here on the site. That was very special to me, a way of sharing my successful project with him, and one of the increasingly few games we both find in common (his ongoing obsession with Skyrim is too daunting, but I seem to have finally moved him on to XCOM.)

And it’s well worth remembering that Grimrock also stood out for being difficult. While much of the most challenging sections weren’t necessary to complete it, they presented some properly tough headscratchers in an industry that is increasingly prone to leading you by the hand.

Alec:

ME ALEC LOVE LEGEND OF GRIMROCK. IT GRIMROCK KING. IT GRIMROCK ATMOSPHERIC AND MAYBE SCARY TOO.

ME ALEC NEVER BEEN SO HAPPY TO LOOK REALLY REALLY REALLY CLOSELY AT LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS OF WALLS.

ME ALEC NO LIKE IT WHEN ME FALL DOWN HOLE AND THERE IS SKELETON DOWN THERE TOO. ME ALEC PREFER PUSHING SECRET BUTTONS AND COLLECTING SKULLS FOR MINOTAUR!

IT GRIMROCK SMART TOO. IT GRIMROCK HAS CLEVER PUZZLES THAT SOMETIMES MAKE ME ALEC FEEL FOOL BUT SOMETIMES MAKE ME ALEC FEEL SMART! ME ALEC NO BOZO. ME ALEC LOVE CHALLENGE!

IT GRIMROCK, KING.

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40 Comments »

  1. RuySan says:

    This is most certainly my game of the year. Bought on the first week and finished it in a weekend, which is very rare in this age of “buying 2 year old games when they’re on 90% sale and play them when i have time which is probably never”

    • Caiman says:

      +1… except, I’m still playing it because the workshop implementation and level editor has given this game possibly infinite life. That’s right, I will never need to play another game ever again. Possibly.

    • Taidan says:

      Probably my Goatee too. Certainly the only game I’ve managed to finish this year, at any rate.

    • Eamo says:

      I know it is becoming a problem when I buy a game and think “that looks good, I should probably play through the first two games in the series which I have never even installed first though”,

    • rocketman71 says:

      GOTY for me as well. Enjoyed it immensely both times I played through (normal and hard), and I’m looking forward to whatever the dev does next.

      Never thought I’d have the Eye of the Beholder / Lands of Lore experience ever again!.

  2. pertusaria says:

    Thanks again for the Dad in a Dungeon posts – they were great!

  3. AmateurScience says:

    Don’t ever change Alec.

    x

  4. Risingson says:

    One of the games of the year for me, where all my games of the year have RPG mechanics. It is Eye of the Beholder AND Wizardry AND Dungeon Master… and its own game too.

  5. Turk Anjaydee says:

    I always preferred turn based dungeon crawlers. Ever since I was a kid. Otherwise this game was great, I just kept longing for the tactical combat instead of the button mashing mouse agility tests. For what it is it’s excellent, even better than I expected.

    • mgardner says:

      You’re not alone! I do not care for the combat dance, feels too gamey / arcade-ish. It always felt like an exploit, except for the feeling that this is how you are MEANT to play it. Despite this, I still need to go back and finish this one.

      • PopeRatzo says:

        Yeah…no…I didn’t finish it either.

        Just too hard and life is too short. Much prefer the crack of Burnout Paradise: Most Wanted and Far Cause 3 to the whole grains and vegetables of Grimrock.

        I’m glad Grimrock was made, though, because it kept some of you alter cockers busy and away from the firearms.

    • Wizardry says:

      There’s a lot of people who feel the same way. Me included. Dungeon Master and its clones feel like severely watered down traditional dungeon crawlers and Grimrock is no exception. These games tend to be all about the dungeon, with the party existing inside a flimsy framework of a simplistic action RPG. I can understand why modern gamers may find its concept appealing, and I can understand why Dungeon Master fans find it appealing, but for me it’s merely a tidy throwback to the not-so-good days of the first (major) step in the CRPG decline.

      • strangeloup says:

        Wizardry moans about a CRPG; in other news, water still wet, fire still hot.

      • Casimir's Blake says:

        There are many who, however, would beg to DISAGREE.

        How long will it be before someone bothers to make a free-roaming, first-person dungeon crawler in the vein of Ultima Underworld again? The closest thing to this on PC, currently, is the somewhat limited (but superb) Delver but otherwise I cannot find any.

        Some of us DO want the “song-and-dance” of first-person melee combat, and Skyrim doesn’t even begin to cut it. The last game that came close to offering this now too damn rare blend of gameplay would be King’s Field IV (by From Software, as it happens, though no one seems to give three shits that Dark Souls has a superior precursor) or Shadow Tower Abyss. Both games are nearly 10 bloody years old!

  6. golem09 says:

    I haven’t played it yet, Alec. Should I consider the last image a spoiler?

  7. Kirjava says:

    Never played, probably not going to, but this piece wins for the Grimlock inclusion. He deserves to feature in more RPS posts.

  8. Drake Sigar says:

    Eye of the Beholder 1 & 2 & 3, Dungeon Master 1 & 2, Knightmare – there was nothing I enjoyed more than a good dungeon crawler. I can relate to the father-son gaming connection because watching and cheering my dad while he played Dungeon Crawlers from about 4 years old onwards is a cherished memory.

    Grimrock was/is really something. I remember thinking I was going to abuse the hell out of the Minotaur’s fondness for skulls, but alas the developers caught on and the number to find was quite limited, though definitely worth the ability.

  9. InternetBatman says:

    Grimrock was amazing, a great example of what a mix of past and present design can do for you.

    • MrThingy says:

      Indeed! When the previews for this first came out, I was thinking “will this still work?”.

      Of course it did, and what an ace (if feeling slightly short) game it was. My game of the year without doubt.

  10. megalosaurus says:

    This is my game of year. Well it is when Crusader Kings 2 lets me have my own opinion.

    I wrote a song about Legend of Grimrock which I sing when I play it. It goes like this (start quietly and get louder and louder):

    Legend of… Grimrock!
    Legend of… Grimrock!
    Legend of… Grimrock! (repeat 150 times)

    Chorus (shouting):
    Legend of… GRIM-HIM-ROCK!
    Legend of… GRIM-HIM-ROCK!
    Legend of… GRIM-HIM-ROCK!

    etc.

  11. Mrs Columbo says:

    I’m playing it for the first time at the moment, only a couple of levels down. It’s great – exactly like a modern version of Dungeon Master (which I was hoping). When the walls and ceiling shook a short while ago I almost wet myself.

  12. Flint says:

    Definitely a huge positive surprise. I was always fascinated by dungeon crawlers as a budding young PC gamer but never got my hands on any, so this was a really welcome, long-in-waiting introduction to the genre. Greatly enjoyed it, although the last few floors felt far more rushed and unexciting than the rest of the game, not really helped by the sudden focus on constantly respawning enemies.

  13. Gramarye says:

    Thank you RPS! You reminded me I actually bought this and never played it. Now to find that download link….

  14. Baal_Sagoth says:

    I’ll absolutely have to play this sometime. I wonder how that’ll go since I don’t actually have nostalgia for this type of game. I’d be a wholly new experience to me which appears enticing and horrifying at the same time.

  15. Xzi says:

    You can’t make me reinstall LoG.

    *Reinstalls LoG*

    WHAT SORCERY IS THIS?!

  16. LJFHutch says:

    It was very awesome, my only complaint is that I almost wore out my Alt and Tab keys playing it.

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