Grimoire, the RPG 20 years in the making, is a crazily tough nut to crack

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Grimoire: Heralds of the Winged Exemplar [official site] is a 90s-style roleplaying game in the vein of the Wizardry and early Might & Magic series, and whose one-person developer has spent the last two decades working on it. In equal parts revered and notorious in hardcore cRPG circles, it’s a game that many believed would never see the light of day. But here it is, real and complete, made and promoted with all the highly outspoken passion that, online at least, often seem to characterise the most devout of old-school RPG fans.

With a single playthrough estimated as requiring up to 600 hours, the learning curve incredibly steep and folk who have lived and breathed Wizardry for decades the target audience, nattering about Grimoire here is not straightforward. Let’s give it a go.

As someone who played any number of early and mid-90s cRPGs but did not subsequently make them a continuing way of life, I’ve found a few hours with Grimoire to be part comfortingly familiar and part oppressive. I know, innately, how to navigate around its maze-like first-person world, how to have a party of complimentary disciplines and I readily grasp the major skill archetypes – what a mage needs vs what a warrior or thief needs, and so forth. I can figure out the icons for identifying new gear or scribing new spells, I know to use magic to immobilise one enemy while my tanks tangle with others, and I can take note of a clue found there that will open a lock here.

In other words, it’s a game that I’m certain I would have been able to figure out all by myself, if only its combat wasn’t so unforgiving. I say that not from a ‘waah, it’s too hard’ point of view, but from one of feeling I’m being blocked from meaningfully learning how to play well because the brutal spankings didn’t offer any insight into what I’m doing wrong.

Using third-party guides tell me that it’s been much to do with the make-up of my party, and creating a ‘correct’ one requires grinding for the right dice rolls at least as much as it does choosing stats carefully. You cannot go into this unprepared, but even once I’d done the research, it would throw punishing fight after punishing fight at me, with constant savegame maintenance my only recourse.

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This is this intention, because difficulty is considered a hallmark of early/mid-90s PC gaming, of course, although I feel this pushes it even further. Other such hallmarks cover Grimoire from top to bottom. There are no tooltips, context menus or help screens, in addition to the Super VGA-style graphics and unbearable cod-MIDI soundtrack. It also, currently, means a raft of compatibility problems with high resolutions and no real alt-tab support. (I even struggled to find an easy way of screenshotting the bugger, which is why some of the images in this piece are promotional shots).

There is a specific kind of 90s game this wants to be like, and foremost of those is The Wizardry series, particularly part VII. It’s considered an abiding high watermark of roleplayingtvideogames by a certain sect of players, some of whom you may have occasionally stumbled across offering their deep disdain for contemporary RPGs. For the rest of us, Wizardry and Grimoire both are heavily statistical games set in large environments, using a large party (up to eight, in Grimoire’s case) of custom-designed characters with a staggeringly wide range of specs and abilities and total player control over their progression.

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The perspective is first-person and movement tile-based and in 90 degree rotations (similar to The Legend of Grimrock, for a more contemporary but far more accessible point of comparison), combat is turn-based and secrets and riddles are everywhere.

In perhaps the greatest divergence from what we now call RPGs, your team of characters have no personality whatsoever, let alone interact with each other: they are a set of tools for the player to wield with what must be expert precision. Though Grimoire offers prefab options, to get far you’ll need to create your own characters, a lengthy and convoluted process with almost no in-game assistance.

Grimoire’s developer has no interesting in modernising the Wizardry VII formula, but instead on creating what they believe to be an improved follow-up to it, aimed first and foremost at the closely like-minded. I’ll note that no manual (though this was an essential staple of the age of game this seeks to revisit) was included with Grimoire at launch, though one is apparently forthcoming. This currently makes getting to grips with the game even harder than it otherwise would be. As I mentioned, I’ve used community guides on Steam to make some headway, particularly with regard to creating a semi-capable party – prior to that I was getting repeatedly murdered by insects just a few minutes into a campaign.

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It’s not the brutal defeats, but rather the unwieldy interface that has proven to be my most daunting enemy, however. The initial inscrutability I can fiddle and research my way through, but even once I’d done that, I found that almost every action and interaction involved too many steps, too many tiny buttons and/or otherwise takes too long. I’m not sure this would be anything like the mooted 600 hours with a lessy doggedly DOSian UI. (I’m taking that 600 hours on faith, by the way – I will never get anything like that far into Grimoire, though I’m sure I would be singing a different tune were I a Wizardry true believer).

None of this is to say that a game that was for some years accused of being vapourware is any way a disaster – merely that, rather than being the shining resurrection of a golden age, it’s preaching only to the converted. It swaddles the good stuff in so much timelost inaccessibility and unhelpfulness that it’s never going to be heard far outside the old school RPG echo chamber.

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As for the good stuff, well, yes, there’s definitely something here if you can find a way to crack the foot-thick nut. For starters, it successfully creates the illusion of an enormous world filled with mysteries and secrets. Accessing many of these requires great discipline and patience, while the tile-by-tile movement and random monster encounters make it feel much larger than it truly is. Nonetheless, there is that feeling of having stumbled into an unthinkably huge location – that roleplaying essential of A World rather than Some Places. Fantasy, sci-fi and even Geiger-esque nightmare scapes are all in the mix, creating an air of disorientating strangeness.

When I wasn’t suffering from my party being slain by a trio of small beetles a couple of turns into a fight, I did feel absorbed by the strategic combat. Tanks taking hits, rangers and thieves dishing the damage, mages and bards on crowd control, a dragon-man breathing toxic fumes, a cleric running healing duties… My team of mutes, my weapons, all working in slo-mo harmony. But it’s so time-consuming, so repetitive, the phrase ‘no penetration’ to denote no damage so common (and not funny after the twelfth time of reading).

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I enjoyed gradually figuring out mysteries, intuiting from words alone what some new terminal or station might be for. But I hated the tiny strip of icons that is my inventory, the hideously drawn-out process required to work out what anything was or how to use it, the constant sense that my time was being wasted by click-click-clicking through all these small arrows and icons and numbers to get anything done.

I appreciated the imagination and characterfulness that has gone into much of the art. It looks very much of the time it seeks to evoke, but there’s a big, cheery cheesiness to its monsters and character portraits which tickles me. But the sound design is so monstrously wrong-headed that I had to mute the thing entirely. The hateful music is still audible with the slider set to zero, some enemies will repeat the same irritating sound effect on a rapid loop until they are dead, and all told it’s like being tortured by some idiotic early-noughties police procedural vision of what videogames sound like.

On top of that, my savegames have been repeatedly rendered unusable and custom-made characters wiped by daily patches, and I cannot face grinding through the arduously clicky character creation process, let alone the early hours of a new campaign, yet again. To bear that, I would have to intensely love what Grimoire intensely loves. It’ll settle down in a couple of weeks, I’m sure, but as much as I’m genuinely curious about what secrets and challenges it holds further down the line, it’s unlikely I’ll ever go back.

I admire the size of this thing, the vision of it, the dedication. The labour of love is clear, and I have no doubt that it is going to absolutely delight those who have flown the flag of The Olden Days Did It Best for decades. But I think of 600, 300, 100, even 20 more hours of my life spent this way, this glacial churn, and I cannot accept such a fate.

I’m glad Grimoire’s real after all this time, I’m glad it’s done what it set out to do 20 years ago, and I acknowledge entirely that its development began in a very different age of game design, that it has all been handled by just one man and, as such, certain expectations are entirely unfair.

Neither that or my curiosity about what it will throw at me next means that I can abide the grind, the desperately cumbersome user interface or the sound that makes me want to throw my speakers into the sea. I like Grimoire in many ways, but again, I would need to truly, madly, deeply love it in order to endure all that. I’m afraid that I do not.

Grimoire: Heralds of the Winged Exemplar is available now for Windows PC, via Steam,
for £29.99/$39.99/€33,29.

142 Comments

Top comments

  1. Premium User Badge

    Graham Smith says:

    Some of the conversation threads here are beginning to wander down a hole, and most of the constructive discussion has already been had, so I'm going to lock the comments on this post now. Thanks all.
  1. Freud says:

    Sounds like catnip for RPG Codex dwellers.

    • aepervius says:

      I am one of them , I nearly clicked buy, then saw the price and decided to wait for it to get lower. Something like 36 euro full price is a bit much for the quality reported.

      • Minglefingler says:

        He’s said (the dev who could very charitably be described as both more eccentric and right wing than Donald Trump) that the game will never go on sale again.

        “I have decided it is just a nice thing to do for people who have been waiting years to play my game if I offered a 10% discount on the game during it’s first week. After this ends, I want to assure anyone waiting for the game that Grimoire will never, ever sell at a discount at any time it is on the Steam store ever again. I won’t permit it to be sold below it’s retail value for any reason. I am too proud of my finished product to permit it to be turned into simply another commodity in a Steam sale.”

        • kwyjibo says:

          He’s worked on the game for 20 years, it’s clearly not his source of income.

          So I really respect him for just putting a price on his work and asking you to take or leave it. It leaves no ambiguity, he’s not trying to maximise revenue, he’s just built a thing and charging what he believes it is worth – no tricks.

          • Minglefingler says:

            I didn’t mean to imply any correlation between my distaste for Blakemore’s views and the game’s pricing, I actually think it’ll be kind of admirable if he sticks to what he’s said on that front. I had just posted another reply to a different comment that seems to have been deleted. That one was more about his views, I’ve removed it.

        • Viral Frog says:

          I know this was not at all your intent, but…

          “He’s said (the dev who could very charitably be described as both more eccentric and right wing than Donald Trump) that the game will never go on sale again.”

          This just absolutely killed any interest I had for this game. I was incredibly interested based on the length of development and nostalgic throwback, but… no. I will not support someone like that in any way.

          • donnus says:

            I voted for Trump and bought the game. It’s crazy but my IQ is 150 and I voted for Obama both times. Cleve is a brilliant and Grimoire is one of the best examples of this genre ever made (despite the technical issues – which all games have…).

            I haven’t been this into/excited about a game in a while. A refreshing change from the milquetoast lowbrow lameness of “progressive” hackjobs like Pillars of Eternity (blech) and Undertale. This is a real game and it’s in a league of its own. Separates the wheat from the chafe.

            Proud to support something that really goes out on a limb in an era of stagnant of safe-playing cowardice and social media “look at me I’m normal!” for likes and approval and never daring to do anything that challenges anyone or boldly goes against the grain. Oh, you have a French flag as your profile picture? You must think quite a bit about the problem in the world on a very deep and difficult level!

            Undertale is the other direction

          • Minglefingler says:

            I’m no fan of social media for various reasons but I think that when you refer to Stephen Hawking as a “crip” on your blog and deny that there was ever a slave trade to America or that black people in America are descended from Africans then you’re not do much “boldly going against the grain,” you’re giving me good reasons to refrain from buying your game. But, like I said fair play to him on the pricing thing. For the sake of referencing:
            link to vault-co.blogspot.co.uk
            link to vault-co.blogspot.co.uk

          • Martel says:

            /r/iamverysmart

          • dog2 says:

            I know you’re doing ‘wheat from chafe’ on purpose, and I know it’s meant to upset me, but you need to be jailed.

            In all seriousness, while your irony is refreshing, it really does not hide as much as you would think. Blakemore is an embarrassment even beyond the realm and expectation of outsider art and, if his game should be played by anyone, it should be illegally.

            You might think the dude is owed his dues but it’s like, come on. Half the reason it took 20 years is because he kept scraping it, rewriting it, and not being able to keep his spaghetti code under control. He is owed nothing, not even Codexer pity (which is worth so little…).

          • goodgeorge says:

            Why does it matter to you what kind of person the developer is? If a pedophile made a great game then I would see no issue in buying that game unless he clearly states that he will use the profits for molesting children. If you cannot buy this game because of the developers views then don’t you kind of have an moral obligation to throroughly investigate the backgrounds of the developers of all the games you buy?

          • Sin Vega says:

            Ha! The joke’s on you, because I have 151 IQs and they all think you’re a ridiculous child.

          • ResonanceCascade says:

            @goodgeorge I think it’s perfectly acceptable if people don’t want to buy things made by people they don’t like, but I’m definitely a “trust the art not the artist” kinda guy. Otherwise I’d have to ditch Miles Davis, Lou Reed, and most extreme metal.

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            MajorLag says:

            While I can understand that position, I find it difficult to agree with. Unless the game itself is being used to promote such views, I don’t really see it as any of my business what the developer believes any more than it is my business what my mechanic’s or doctor’s beliefs are.

            Think of it this way: imagine a world where everyone knows literally everything about someone at first glance, and they insist on “not supporting” people they disagree with. At best society wouldn’t function at all, at worst it would quickly divide into warring echo-chamber tribes and the species would be extinct in short order.

          • Saarlaender39 says:

            @goodgeorge:
            Quote:”Why does it matter to you what kind of person the developer is? If a pedophile made a great game then I would see no issue in buying that game unless he clearly states that he will use the profits for molesting children.”
            ———-
            Funny that you mention this, because I would never buy something from someone, who is known as a paedophile.

            Maybe that’s because I am a man with principles.
            Seemingly, not all of us have that 'problem'.
            ——————–
            Quote:"If you cannot buy this game because of the developers views then don’t you kind of have an moral obligation to throroughly investigate the backgrounds of the developers of all the games you buy?"
            ———-
            Nope, I haven't such a moral obligation!
            Because it's not up to me to actively search through everyone's behavior, just on the off chance to maybe find something which I find inacceptable – but it's up to me to act according to my beliefs, when I become aware of such things.
            ——————–
            If I remember correctly, it was last year in another comments section here on RPS, where I wrote this:

            "Maybe the owner of my preferred brick-and-mortar-store is secretly a hardcore fascist, who loves to bear a Gestapo-uniform while banging his 'costumed-as-a-concentration-camp-prisoner' wife from behind.
            The thing is: as long as I don't know that little fact about him, I don't have to care – but as soon as I become aware of it – I'll spend my money somewhere else.
            And that's for sure!"

          • dog2 says:

            @goodgeorge

            If you’re implying what I think you are, I can head it off right there. I don’t really care about the quality of Blakemore’s political beleifs. I care that he’s a coward — a stupid nazi that walks right up to the line of white identitarianism and eschatology but is too chicken to go so far as to embrace it. In everything, the man is terrible. Terrible coder, terrible socialite, terrible designer, terrible planner. He’d be a terrible person too, owing to the nazi stuff, but he’s just too terrible at that. He’s a dumb, dumb, dumb, dirty man and the 20 years of widely publicized suffering he had were some of the best internet comedy to date.

          • dog2 says:

            He’s a gross man that thinks gross, dehumanizing stuff about my people and, though that’s a little sectarian of me, I have, like, negative obligation to give him his dues at this point. I like to think he’d understand, anyway. Maybe he’d have a funny racist joke about it.

          • Minglefingler says:

            @MajorLag Whilst I agree with you to a point, I have a limit regarding the amount of poisonous invective someone can spout before I feel queasy about giving them money. There are people with whom I vehemently disagree and whose products I still buy, however this chap goes way beyond the point at which holding my nose ceases to be effective.

          • goodgeorge says:

            @Saarlaender39 I’m a man with principles too, some of my principles just happen to be different than yours. You saying that your principles are somehow better or more correct than mine is kind of a strange thing to say. I just don’t share your view that we should forever boycott someone who has committed a terrible crime. They should be jailed for a long time, but after that if they would create something that would bring joy to the lives of other people, I would not see a problem in enjoying their creation and giving them compensation for it.

            @dog2 Maybe the thing here is that he has done something that is very personal to you. I might feel different if I was part of “your people” as I don’t get offended for things that don’t have anything to do with me. I have never been in a situation where I have felt that I would need to boycott someone’s creation based on the person. I know nothing about this developer and I just made my original comment because this seemed so similar to what happened with Phil Fish. The guy might be an ass, but I would have missed something really special if I would have not bought Fez because of what the developer is like as a person.

          • GeoX says:

            I don’t get offended for things that don’t have anything to do with me.

            You ARE aware that you just casually admitted to being broken inside?

          • ResonanceCascade says:

            “Seemingly, not all of us have that ‘problem’.”

            Buying things from people they don’t like doesn’t make someone unprincipled, but making ridiculous statements like this definitely makes someone ridiculous.

          • goodgeorge says:

            @GeoX No I’m not aware and I have no idea what you are talking about. Are you saying that for example racism against blacks hurts normal whites? Making fun of fat people hurts normal thin people? I guess I’m pretty broken then as that sounds completely alien to me. For me not getting hurt about these things is completely separated from the fact whether I consider them bad things.

          • dog2 says:

            “Maybe the thing here is that he has done something that is very personal to you.”

            No shit, dude?

            “I might feel different if I was part of “your people” as I don’t get offended for things that don’t have anything to do with me.”

            You’re really stretching the point here. If a man repeatedly said that you, personally, and everyone you knew would be responsible for the downfall of Western Civ, and was held up in this belief by a huge contingency of the population (that has caused you and most people you know problems in the past), are you really telling me you’d feel completely removed from the situation? Like, that that would have nothing to do with you. Can you really not empathize? Come on.

          • dog2 says:

            “Are you saying that for example racism against blacks hurts normal whites? Making fun of fat people hurts normal thin people? I guess I’m pretty broken then as that sounds completely alien to me.”

            Most people feel upset when they see someone else feels upset. Christ.

          • GeoX says:

            I’m SAYING that if there’s a distinction between “I might feel different if I was part of ‘your people’ as I don’t get offended for things that don’t have anything to do with me” and “I am incapable of empathy,” you’ll have to explain to me what it is. And we have a word for people incapable of empathy: that word is “psychopath.” Now, I’m willing to concede the possibility that you’re NOT actually incapable of empathy; you’re just incredibly bad at communicating using words. But this is the internet, your words are all I have to go on, and they ain’t pretty.

          • goodgeorge says:

            @GeoX Well I think that not getting offended and lacking empathy are clearly completely different things. When someone says to me that my mother is a whore then I will get offended. When someone says ugly and unjustified things about a group of people I don’t belong in, I feel can feel empathy for that group, think that the person is an ass, but I don’t get offended. Getting offended on behalf of other people is very popular currently, but that is something I just can’t understand. Like dog2 said, what the developer of this game has said is very personal to him. It’s not at all personal to me. In a situation like this I don’t see any reason for me to boycott the game. It would only deprive me from a potentially enjoyable experience and not actually accomplish anything in the process. I wouldn’t hire a person like this developer, but for me bying his game would not be an issue.

            It is actually true that I’m not great in choosing the right words. Not even in my native language that isn’t English. I don’t understand why this happens, but this is the third time when I have tried to participate on RPS in a discussion about some actual issue and it has turned to my total surprise to shit very fast. Previously I have been accused of being sexist, homophobic and now a potential pychopath. Maybe RPS discussions just aren’t for me.

          • goodgeorge says:

            @dog2 I think you understood my comments very wrong.

            When I said “Maybe the thing here is that he has done something that is very personal to you.” I was trying to communicate that now I understand your point of view on this matter. Also what I tried to very clearly state was that I had no idea what kind of stuff the developer has actually said. Just the general idea of hating the game because of the developer was a foreign concept to me and the reason that I originally commented.

            What you are saying sounds pretty horrible. Although from your description I’m not really sure what group of people you are talking about. The description doesn’t resonate very well with any group of people or how they are treated in my small country. That actually makes me kind of removed from the situation, but I have very much empathy for all kinds of injustice. I even expressed empathy for pedophiles in my earlier comments to this post. I wasn’t talking about empathy when I was talking about getting offended. Those are two very different things in my mind.

            I think I should end commenting to this post before things get more heated. I guess I’m not very good at commenting on issues like this.

          • dog2 says:

            “It is actually true that I’m not great in choosing the right words. Not even in my native language that isn’t English. I don’t understand why this happens, but this is the third time when I have tried to participate on RPS in a discussion about some actual issue and it has turned to my total surprise to shit very fast.”

            Awh, dude. I should’ve been nicer. Sorry :(

          • Saarlaender39 says:

            Quote 1:”I think it’s perfectly acceptable if people don’t want to buy things made by people they don’t like, but I’m definitely a “trust the art not the artist” kinda guy.”
            ———
            Quote 2:”“Seemingly, not all of us have that ‘problem’(*).”

            (*)’The problem’ = having principles to follow.

            Buying things from people they don’t like doesn’t make someone unprincipled, but making ridiculous statements like this definitely makes someone ridiculous.”
            ———
            You know, if I can choose, whether I give my money either to people who I like, resp. who haven’t given me reasons yet not to like them, or to people who (for whatever reasons) I don’t like, I’ll always choose the first.

            Why should anyone choose the latter? Genuine question.

            When it comes to child molesters (as that was goodgeorge’s example) or white supremacists/nazis – there is definitely no “oh sure – he fucks little kids resp. burns crosses in the front yard of black families, but man – the game he made is awesome, really, you should buy it!” – attitude.

            Not from my side, that is.

            You, on the other hand, have seemingly no problem with such things.
            (And so the circle closes) ;o)

            I guess, I have to accept, that there are some guys in the world who only care for their own wellbeing / their own entertainment.

            I call those the “Me first, gimmie, gimmie, fuck the rest” – fraction.

            As I wrote – I have to accept that mindset…but I despise it!

            Have a nice day.

          • Saarlaender39 says:

            @goodgeorge:
            Quote:”@Saarlaender39 I’m a man with principles too, some of my principles just happen to be different than yours. You saying that your principles are somehow better or more correct than mine is kind of a strange thing to say. I just don’t share your view that we should forever boycott someone who has committed a terrible crime. They should be jailed for a long time, but after that if they would create something that would bring joy to the lives of other people, I would not see a problem in enjoying their creation and giving them compensation for it.”
            —-
            First things first: I did not say, my principles were better than yours – I simply assumed, you have none. :o)

            In regard to my principles – I also think, after someone has served his sentence, s/he should get the chance to reintegrate into society.
            (Though in cases of child molesters/rapists, etc. certain restrictions should be set, to (hopefully) avoid re-offending)

            However…

            That was not what you wrote in your original comment.

            Your original comment was, and I quote:

            ”Why does it matter to you what kind of person the developer is? If a pedophile made a great game then I would see no issue in buying that game unless he clearly states that he will use the profits for molesting children.”

            Two things:

            1.) you didn’t talk about someone, who has already served jailtime, and should now be supported in his efforts to reintegrate (or if you did, you did it very poorly).

            2.) do I really have to point out, how ridiculous it is to assume, a paedo would tell you upfront, that he’ll use your money to molest children?

            After all that has been said, we can conclude:

            – I would not buy from a confessing paedo, no matter, how interesting his game may be.

            – You would buy from him, as long as he lies to you (“hey man, of course I’ll never use your money to harm children, I promise!”), because – let’s be honest – you really want that game, and you don’t care for anything else (I exaggerate!).

            As I said: principles!
            Some of us have them – others not so much.

        • aepervius says:

          Good to him, then I will sadly never ever play it.

  2. Demiath says:

    I’ve only spent a few hours with the game so far, but combat seems to get noticeable easier after the first few XP levels (mostly for the simple reason that your characters acquire more HP and thus survive longer).

    There’s nothing revolutionary about the gameplay, but Grimoire makes me happier than just about anything from the Kickstarter era of nostalgia RPGs (Pillars of Eternity, Divinity: Original Sin, Wasteland 2 etc.). For one thing, there’s nothing fashionably retro about a game that’s actually really old…

    • donnus says:

      Well said. It’s not the kind of “retro” that’s looking for Facebook likes and approval from the lowbrow. It’s a real game with a dank, dark heart and the kind of stinking nerdy depth of the greatest classics. It’s not a toy or a gimmick like PoE. It’s legit. We’re living in dark times, intellectually and psychologically and this game, in a way, is proof that something has been lost in our transition to the frightfully stupid, weak, childish and repressive safe space culture. Such a culture is the product of stagnancy and creative failure. Awards for effort, rather than true passion. Making games because you want to look like a “game designer” in your profile picture so a bunch of your high school friends from 10 years ago will like your posts, and you can be a normal person like everyone else!

      Sorry folks, this game is from the age when games were made by the true gamers and eccentrics, people who played games before it was something that made you fit in in the eyes of others in the digital social cataclysm, and for that reason there is passion inside of it, rather than the shallow “participation trophy” level of aesthetics in most of today’s safe space “pat on the back” circle jerk of mediocrity creations like Undertale and Pillars of Eternity.

      Whether this is “sensitive” sounding or not is so far beside the point as to be completely meaningless. Sensitivity is less important than the truth to anyone with a moral bone in their body when faced with society-wide degradation.

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        John Walker says:

        The dishonesty of this sort of screed must surely cause you to twitch as you write it, no?

        This notion that there were once an era when all computer games were phenomenally hard, when they were only created by and for the intellectual elite, is so outstandingly, obviously, demonstrably silly.

        Sure, there were some super-tough games back in the 80s, and you know what? Loads of really easy and normal ones too! Games were for everyone then, too, and lots went to great efforts to be inclusive. The idea that games have changed to match your political delusions and fear of culture is simply unproveable.

        There wasn’t an era when all of games were exclusively for people who looked uncannily like your reflection. Wizardry V came out the same year as Garfield: Big Fat Hairy Deal. Fallout 2 came out the same year as Croc: Legend of the Gobbos. BioWare games had an Easy option just like all the rest.

        “But RPGs were far harder back in [imaginary year X]!” And easier, too. Planescape, a Codex-approved game, was a piece of piss. Ultima Underworld was designed to be enjoyable by anyone. It wasn’t a crime then, and no matter how much deluded nostalgia you try to stir in, it isn’t a crime now.

        Inaccessibility writ as an achievement is its own deep cauldron of ridiculous, and decrying the gaming community for not enjoying games that are excruciatingly hard to enjoy is, well, the sort of behaviour you’d expect from someone simple enough to want all their games to be easy, eh? The audience that exists for games that are woefully obtuse certainly exists, and it was incredibly small back then, and incredibly small today.

        You’d imagine on receiving a game like Grimoire, such a small group of people would be spending their spare time gleefully devouring its 600 hours of joy, rather than policing the internet to berate anyone who doesn’t enjoy the game properly.

        It’s almost as if it’s not quite occupying their time…

        • ColonelFlanders says:

          Why even waste your time replying to that pile of useless vitriol? You won’t achieve anything other than him thinking he’s winning the argument.

        • draculard2 says:

          Hear, hear John. People who view unnecessary complexity or deception in data and interface presentation as some arcane measure of value or intelligence should take the time to read Edward Tufte.

          Here’s a link in case the OP would like to broaden his horizons.

          link to edwardtufte.com

          Having said that, I’m actually interested in the game, even despite it being made by Cleve , someone I find to be an almost unbearable human being. The mechanical depth of it, even if buried beneath a ridiculous ui, appeals to me.

          • Premium User Badge

            Harlander says:

            As an alternative, people who view unnecessary complexity in data as some arcane measure of value should be forced to read William Hope Hodgeson’s The Night Land.

          • Daymare says:

            Wait, what, why? Because Night Land’s language is unnecessarily complex so people conflate that with value?

            I’ve been reading it on and off during the last 6 months or so. Guess I’m about halfway through, but I can’t say I … disliked its language; I thought it was purple and very unconventional in a sermon-like way; and very long-winded. And I dislike how the narrator treats his ladyfriend/wife.
            And I thought the setting and the tedious, repetitive journey were what made it interesting in a meditative sort of way.

            Honestly I don’t know if I’m making sense here.

            Anyway, that just got me curious what other people think about the book.

          • Premium User Badge

            Harlander says:

            Yeah, Night Land‘s hyperflorid language is the literary equivalent of a game aping the UI conventions of 30 years ago in my opinion. I don’t think the intent was to make it harder to parse, but…

            Actually, I liked the novel, turgid pace and parse-defying writing aside. The setting’s just chock full of delicious cosmic weirdness. You’re right about the protagonist’s treatment of his lover, though. That’s not a great way to relate to a dog, let alone a person.

        • Saarlaender39 says:

          Well written, John!

        • Premium User Badge

          Stompywitch says:

          Well, that’s my next subscription earned.

        • Scraphound says:

          ” The audience that exists for games that are woefully obtuse certainly exists, and it was incredibly small back then, and incredibly small today.”

          What are your thoughts on Dwarf Fortress? Games don’t get much more obtuse than that. Is it fair to compare a lifelong labor of love like that to something more intuitive and mainstream? Would it be fair to stand DF next to something like Stardew Valley?

          Grimoire is a different beast from today’s one-man indie game. Just to be perfectly clear, I’m not trying to go off on some kind of elitist gobble-dee-goo, nor am I delving into politics of any kind.

          Grimoire is an obsessive labor of love. In that regard I find it fascinating. It isn’t obtuse for the sake of being obtuse. It’s a 90s indie game that never got released, with all the wonky UI, imbalances, and bugs that such a game would have.

          If Cleve kept his views to himself and released Grimoire for free I think it would garner the same kind of following as Dwarf Fortress. And if it was continually patched and updated with community input I think in a few years it would evolve into something incredible.

          All that said, there’s no way in hell I can play Grimoire today. In a few years, assuming continued patching, or better yet, community built mods, that may change.

        • Premium User Badge

          subdog says:

          *Applauds*

      • Caradog says:

        Congratulations : you’ve managed to conflate right-wing rhetoric and nostalgia for a long-past age with the change in difficulty and game design over time.

      • Doug Exeter says:

        I don’t have anything as eloquent to retort as John so I’ll just say what the hell are you talking about. This reads like one of those Copy and Paste rants off of Reddit or 4chan.

      • ResonanceCascade says:

        *cringe*

      • Spakkenkhrist says:

        Sweet gatekeeping, what a ludicrous attitude.

      • zero signal says:

        They sure don’t make pompous nostalgia-tinged conservative tantrums like they used to.

      • csbear says:

        RPGCodex is not even respected by the developers and artists they worship. No one takes RPGCodex seriously… They don’t even take themselves seriously.

        Let him/her be… Have a good laugh as I do when I read their forums, full of antiquated ideas and myopic thinking.

        That being said, I will play Grimoire with an open mind as I am a 43 old sucker for old school blobbers.

      • Fnord73 says:

        Wow, to state that Wizardry or Eye of the Beholder were made by true eccentrics, like a bunch of monks somewhere in the Himalayas. Wow.

  3. upupup says:

    I picked this up hoping for an old-fashioned Wizardry clone, but I’m not happy with what I actually got and refunded it. It plays like a clunky, expensive, Early Access game with too many bugs and it constantly breaks when it gets updated. I might check again at a later date as there’s not many dungeon crawlers nowadays, but at the moment it’s very much not worth the price.

    • Ragnar says:

      Not as many as there were in the 90s, certainly, but there are quite a few.

      I’m a casual fan at best, and of the top of my head I can think of the Etrian Odyssey series, the Grimrock series, Stranger of Sword City, and a new sci-fi one I saw on Steam who’s name I can’t recall.

      And that’s assuming you’ve played all the classics that GOG has made available again.

      • upupup says:

        They’re not Wizardry-level though, which is what I’m eager to see more of. I also already played what the genre had to offer back in the day, so GOG re-releases don’t apply to me.

        I still appreciate the recommendations though. There’s also a couple of kickstarter projects that I’m keeping my eye on that might turn out worthwhile.

      • Einsammler says:

        That would be StarCrawlers, very much a dungeon crawler.

    • Premium User Badge

      Herring says:

      If you haven’t already tried it StarCrawlers is a fantastic Sci-Fi dungeon-crawler. Very old-school in some ways (lots of stats, tricky secrets) but with some modern sensibilities to smooth off the corners.

      I’m having a lot of fun with it.

  4. Neurotic says:

    I desperately want to love this game, but I’m just not ‘ard enough.

  5. Michael Fogg says:

    This reminds me that I finally need to sit down to Wizardry 6/7/8 that have been sitting in my Gog library for ages looking with sad puppy eyes…

  6. Premium User Badge

    teije says:

    I liked the old school RPGs 20 years ago, but now I just don’t want to waste my gaming time fighting a wilfully difficult UI to get anything done, or get basic info. So not for me.

    • Tuidjy says:

      Exactly. In the 90s, I could spend all my free time on an obstinate RPG that would fight me every inch of the way. It was either that, or freeze/boil my ass in Boston weather, or spend precious quarters on Tekken/Virtua Fighter 2, cursing my luck if I had to beat the AI due to lack of challengers.

      Today, I have better things to do. I want a minimum of fuss, a maximum of excitement, and absolutely no time spent on inefficient interfaces.

      • Ragnar says:

        I completely agree (and having lived in Boston, I know exactly what you mean by the freeze/boil – which would happen on the same day if you were commuting on the T).

        If I want to play a dungeon crawler today, there are many better options that don’t waste your time and try to be purposefully obtuse – Grimrock and Etrian Odyssey being the highlights for me.

      • donnus says:

        >Better things to do
        Like what exactly? Play ten mediocre, unrewarding games instead of playing one great game that actually challenges you, extracts moral fibre from you, pushes you and forces you into an immersive and deadly experience? Post on Facebook and take selfies for your high school acquaintances you haven’t seen in 20 years so that you can feel adequate as a person? Watch Game of Thrones?

        Really, what “better” do you have to do?

        • spacein_vader says:

          Wow. Didn’t take the dev long to find the article then? If his game is as ‘unique’ in the same way as his world-view I’ll pass.

          • ColonelFlanders says:

            Wait, this dolt is the developer? In that case I’m definitely not buying his garbage-ass game on principle. I might even steal it just to be an extra dick.

        • Chairman_Meow says:

          Better things to do than play this rot:
          Eat a delicious meal
          Watch paint dry
          Chinese finger trap
          Rubik’s Cube
          Almost any other video game
          Go hiking
          Compose rebuttals to pushy judgmental loons on the internet
          Hand carve every entry from TSR’s Fiend Folio out of soap
          Get hit by a car
          Fill out forms for the government in triplicate

        • Nahadoth says:

          Have a life?

        • Sin Vega says:

          extracts moral fibre from you

          I… I can think of no interpretation of this that sounds like a good thing

          • Vacuity729 says:

            That Weetabix has got to come back out again one way or the other…

          • Caradog says:

            It’s quite possibly the ludicrous claim I’ve heard about a game in recent times.

        • sharpmath says:

          Haha as soon as I saw this response I was like “This has to be the 150 IQ r/iamverysmart guy from above” and.. it was!

        • MisterFurious says:

          “Watch Game of Thrones?”
          Yes.

        • cpt_freakout says:

          I have an IQ of 666 and can confirm with all my glorious superiority (I already had my moral fibre extracted today by my underlings) that Dragon Age 3 is better than Grimoire

        • ColonelFlanders says:

          We get it, you like the game and don’t like other people. Believe me when I say the feeling is most definitely mutual. Begone foul wart, and thrust your bullshit upon someone who gives a fuck.

        • Spakkenkhrist says:

          Go on, say sheeple you know you want to.

        • Premium User Badge

          MajorLag says:

          Am I actually seeing someone berate someone else for deciding they might have better things to do than play a video game?

          What has the world come to?

    • Aphex242 says:

      Bingo.

  7. Nahadoth says:

    Huh. I’ve seen this game come up every now and then over the years. Mostly when someone was mocking the creator (for, from the little I’ve read about him, mostly very valid reasons). Apparently he has managed to complete this after all. Good on him I guess. For me, the main improvement in gaming since the early days has been over the UI. I really see no reason to go back to that horrid mess in the screenshots.

  8. racccoon says:

    Waiting 20 years for game is a long time. I haven’t waited for this one, I do not think it was needed to be completed, it just needed to be put away & forgotten like it was. I’m sure it would be great game, but, that great game concept was 20 years go! I just hope today’s players can understand a game of that time. To announce its release now without any modernization is a bit like saying, hey guys, I just released a new version of taipan 35 years old!! and it plays just the same as did back then. I’d can play it again here….link to taipangame.com brilliant!
    What a game lol

    I loved Ultima Online it is a great game & I have waited for them to realize maybe going to F2P with a shop would be a good idea. but, the UO team seem far from that. They seem very beholden to a tiny few players that have been there since year dot. UO are blind sided by there passion to the players of dedication, whether there are only two or three players left in game, they do not know the money they passed away by not going f2p. Now that’s a 20 year of wasted wait. lol
    go play taipan you know you want too! :)

    • John R says:

      Taipan was rock hard on the Spectrum, mostly because of the physical limitations; if your remake doesn’t perfectly mimic the frustrations of finding the right spot on the tape to load each port you visit before it’s time to turn the computer off because dinner’s ready, I’m out!

      Also: wow, Taipan!

  9. Sin Vega says:

    Man am I glad you didn’t ask me to do this one. I don’t think I’d ever have forgiven you.

  10. mgardner says:

    It takes a certain level of masochism to play this game right now, for all the reasons mentioned in the article, and more. The UI is awful, there is no manual (yet), the daily patching has invalidated save files twice and introduced bugs far more grevious than it fixed (although the current build seems pretty stable), it feels WAY over designed (how many types of resistances do we really need?), the list goes on.

    BUT! I gladly bought into the game as soon as I heard it was released, even aware of all of the issues and risks. I have only played a few hours and don’t know if I am having any fun yet. I think right now I am excited about this game just because it has been on my radar for so many years. It feels legendary, iconic, monumental. I am here for the meta. I want to be part of this cRPG history, part of the controversy that surrounds Cleve like a noxious cloud. I am hoping I will have a great time playing this game, but right now that is only a secondary concern. Masochism.

  11. MasterWuu says:

    I enjoyed my time playing the Etrian Odyssey series on the DS (sadly never bought a 3DS) but this game seems to lack all the polish of that game and just made it difficult to play to feel “old school “.
    If I ever found a game similar to ES on the PC I’ll give it a shot, but a pass for me on this game. I don’t have the time nor patience for games like this anymore

  12. colw00t says:

    Wow, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a “fantasy heartbreaker” in VideoComputerGaem land. This sort of thing is usually the realm of the PDF or home-printed binder. Fascinating.

    Of course, much like its print bretheren, I have only a forensic interest in actually PLAYING the damn thing, but it’s still interesting.

    • Premium User Badge

      subdog says:

      I had the exact same thoughts when I looked at some of those screenshots. Like someone made FATAL into a computer game.

    • Traipse says:

      Context: Ron Edwards’ post about the “Fantasy Heartbreaker” genre of role-playing game is a particularly apt companion piece to this RPS article. It’s about tabletop RPGs, but almost all of his points apply directly to the author’s criticisms of Grimoire.

  13. felipepepe says:

    TIP: You can play in windowed mode to make alt-tabbing easier, and take screenshots by pressing the Windows key + Print Screen.

    And yeah, Grimoire is made for a very specific niche… but if you’re in the niche, it’s an amazing game.

  14. Cablenexus says:

    The game was complete if there was a 400 page manual at release. For some reason the developer decided to release the game without it and is working hard atm to release it asap.

    On the other hand, your brain is triggered to think even more about every step you make in any of the hundreds of maps the game is rich of. There are many stats and abilities you can use, often in combination with each other, to achieve hidden goals you can only find out by trial and error.

    There is little to no streamlining in this game. There isn’t a huge golden arrow on top of your screen that let you autorun to every next quest location.

    You find yourself often in situations that your assaying skill isn’t high enough to identify a new item, so you have to use your identify spell from another character to boost the skill. Same for the scribe skill, detecting secrets and scouting the area.

    Game isn’t a clickfest either. You give orders to your eight partymembers before you hit the battle button and the battle plays out on his own, till your next turn.

    Another great feature I only discovered after eight hours of playing is that you can set a point on the map you already discovered and autowalk your way to it with the pathfinder option in the automap.

    Every playthrough (and yes I had to start over a few times because of broken savegames after patching) I discover new mechanism and tools I can use to make life easier.
    I can even find myself playing this in a weekend or a long night writing down all my discovered enemies and there strength and weaknesses against my powers, weapons and spells since there is so much to discover.

    I’m happy this game is created by an individual without the need of metting production standards controlled by managers instead of artists. If it was we only had a half baked game with the options I like most wiped off by the marketing departement.

    Last but not least the interface isn’t that cluncky if you still use a mouse and a keyboard like I do. Yes there are no huge “Little Pony” style buttons you can touch your little snowflake fingers on. The sound effects and music is memorable. There are some very good classic tracks that you keep humming after your playsession and the soundeffects are crystal clear, just morphed so they remind you of classic MIDI soundeffects from the Dungeon Crawlers from the past.

    If the developer was really a jerk he released just a small part of the game for 20 dollar and released his already finished content in DLC packs 10 dollar each, a subscription service to play and microtransaction to unlock half of the available classes.

    • JB says:

      “There isn’t a huge golden arrow on top of your screen that let you autorun to every next quest location.”

      “Another great feature I only discovered after eight hours of playing is that you can set a point on the map you already discovered and autowalk your way to it with the pathfinder option in the automap.”

      Pfft.

      • ColonelFlanders says:

        “your little snowflake fingers on.”

        Even bigger pffft. To be honest the kind of people this game attracts makes me not want to play it more and more with every comment I read.

        • Cablenexus says:

          Good for you. Me I decide on my own what I like and what not.
          You can scrap the 600+ other titles from my library as well since I’m attracted to all of them. Good luck!

        • Gothnak says:

          I quite liked the look of the game, but would get it if it was cheaper.

          However, anyone using the term ‘snowflake’ obviously goes on social media too much and should be ignored.

      • Cablenexus says:

        Having an arrow showing you the quest location isn’t the same as an autowalk function on the minimap. It’s just a tool to walk to an already explored point on the map. It doesn’t effect gameplay at all. You still have to search the map yourself.

    • napoleonic says:

      You and donnus should hang out.

    • Sian says:

      Many an old dungeon crawler had icons large enough to make modern touchscreen-controlled games proud. I just thought I’d mention that.

      • Sian says:

        Now that I’ve had a look at some videos I can confidently say: The sound effects are certainly “memorable”. Pain, after all, is our body’s way of teaching us not to do whatever it was again.

    • onodera says:

      Discovering an interface feature 8 hours into the game is a sign of terrible UX design.

      • Cablenexus says:

        Well I did not expected such a hostile respons from many of RPS readers. It’s not what I used to read when I visited the site more often.

        About the UI. It was a very prominent option, I just didn’t felt the need to use it before the 8 hour timeline since I was so impressed by everything I encountered I didn’t want to autowalk. But when I used it it was a real nice feature to go back and forth in dungeons you explored for 85% but miss some secrect etc.

        • GeoX says:

          Protip: when you express contempt for people who don’t like your games of choice, you’re not going to be met with open arms. Especially when you use words like “snowflake.”

          I mean Christ, I thought the classic RPG was just an interesting type of game that it’s difficult for me to get into nowadays, but apparently it’s ACTUALLY the last resort of maladjusted alt-righters (but I repeat myself). What a bizarre flippin’ world.

          • Esin12 says:

            Haha, seriously. This whole comment section is a fucking trip. I never would’ve guessed that old school Wizardry-esque games were apparently the Alt-Right genre of choice. Very eye-opening.

    • machineageproductions says:

      Speaking in the third person is weird, The Developer.

    • arienette says:

      Alright mate, you go bash your head against a rock for 600 hours. Convince yourself the blood makes you a bigger man.

    • left1000 says:

      oh also, the game IS a clickfest, because for every action in combat you have to hit enter or click once to skip fast to the next action. So each round in combat you either spam click 30 times, or waste a minute or two of your life.

  15. Premium User Badge

    Herring says:

    I’m an old-dude who’s top-3 games are archaic RPG’s but slavish adherence to old design sensibilities seems crazy. Developers back then didn’t create games with obtuse UIs because they wanted to, they did so because they had to, limited as they were by the systems of the time.

    I’d like to think that the pioneers of these games would create far more accessible pieces of work if they developed them today. Looking at the various games coming out of Kickstarter by those very developers that seems to be the case.

    • Premium User Badge

      teije says:

      Great comment! It’s like not using electricity to feel like a true homesteader.

    • csbear says:

      Many of those devs would and are doing it as you pointed out. But that’s the RPGCodex paradox at work.

    • Chaz says:

      Here here, I absolutely agree!

      • Sian says:

        If I may, I’d like to make a teensy correction: It’s “Hear, hear!”, apparently short for “Hear him, hear him!”

  16. DGriff says:

    I’m always interested in new RPGs but this review gives me the impression this game was made by somebody who fetishises difficulty and that is always an attitude that puts me off, usually just a cover massive contempt for other people in general.

    And wow do the comments here reinforce that view.

    • wcq says:

      Yup, some of these guys really aren’t doing the game any favors.

      But I do suppose that’s the point. If the game became very popular all of a sudden, they couldn’t feel superior for liking it anymore.

  17. napoleonic says:

    This is how I feel about Pillars of Eternity.

  18. neofit says:

    I would have been all over it 25 years ago, but I evolved since then and nowadays I require a minimum of effort in visual feedback and interface ergonomy.

  19. Sian says:

    So am I correct in assuming that character creation involves rolling dice over and over again until you get rolls that fit one of a number of quite narrow builds that it possible to survive in this game?

    If so, count me out. I love character creation because I love experimenting. If a game requires very strict builds to be playable, a big part of my enjoyment vanishes – especially if I have to reroll dice for ages until I get lucky enough to get the stats I want. Rolling dice to get random characters with which a game can be unexpectedly challenging in ways I wouldn’t have seen otherwise is fine, but rolling dice to see whether I even have a chance in early encounters is not.

    • Premium User Badge

      Harlander says:

      Randomly rolled characters with infinite rerolls is a pretty weird evolution of game development when you think about it.

      I mean, the first instances had randomly rolled stats because the games that inspired them did, for whatever reason. Then someone thought “hey, why not just let the player re-roll forever?” So you end up with a situation where getting an optimised character is a challenge of withstanding tedium and nothing more. Odd stuff.

      • Sian says:

        Yeah, I’ve never quite understood it either. I vastly prefer points-buy systems both in CRPGs and in pen & paper games.

      • durrbluh says:

        What’s really odd about the mentality of dice-rolling, is that when I picked up the re-releases of the old Forgotten Realms games (Treasures of the Savage Frontier et al) I had the option of just editing all my characters stats to max… but I *could* roll the dice indefinitely if I chose to do so. I’m not sure if this was included as part of the GOG release, or whether it was always there and I simply don’t remember, but it certainly made my little amble through nostalgia lane less time-consuming/painful.

        • Sandepande says:

          It was that way in the original. Obviously we maxed everything.

          I wonder if this clickfest makes playing with sub-optimal stats more interesting or simply more frustrating…

          Yeah. Shitty design.

  20. Premium User Badge

    Drib says:

    “This game sounds pretty awful.”

    That’s what I was planning on typing here, but then I read through the comments.

    Good lord. What is going on here? Who is this /r/iamverysmart jackass that some people seem to think is the dev? Is he actually the developer?

    Edit: (re-reading one of his insufferable comments, he says he bought the game. So I’m guessing he’s not the dev. Also ‘150 IQ’… please, man.)

    This game seems pretty overdone. Trying really, really hard to be from a different era, and built for enthusiasts of that largely imagined age.

    600 hours? Who has that much time? Jesus.

    A shitty UI and being absurdly difficult, fairly or not, does not make a game better. I’m not saying everything has to be handholding nonsense, but just being harder to play doesn’t make the game better either.

    Just, everything about this game looks bad. I feel bad saying it because obviously someone put a lot of work into it, but… just bad.

    The comments for this article just make the game look even worse.

  21. ben_reck says:

    I thought this was a sensitive and constrained initial review. Very professional.

    In the end, at 45, I believe I would be happy to have other people play this game for me.

    • Chaz says:

      I some how don’t think you’re going to see many “let’s plays” of this on Youtube.

      • lglethal says:

        I’ll wait for the speed run version to appear on youtube… :P

      • ben_reck says:

        haha…reading about another’s experience rather than watching it.

        speed runs are another topic entirely. the youth of today!

  22. Premium User Badge

    Herring says:

    As this whole thread has got me thinking about the good old days I remember when the three main alt.gaming newsgroups I read had regular visits from Cleve (.RPG), Derek Smart (.strategy) and some lunatic railing against Steam I forget the name of (.action).

    The well-reasoned and calm debates they weighed in with brought joy to the world.

    • Sian says:

      Remind me, please: Who’s Derek Smart? I remember his name, but that’s just about it.

      • colw00t says:

        Derek Smart is most famous for Battlecruiser 3000AD and for being a… “passionate” defender of his games in online forums.

  23. sagredo1632 says:

    So…. given that sort of reasonable half-assed bugfixing in a normal release typically takes at least one development cycle to complete, we should expect a fully functional patched version in… 2037?

  24. TrenchFoot says:

    Sounds like a dreadful game from a possible sociopath.

  25. Urthman says:

    I’m mostly disappointed that the launch trailer doesn’t feature the kind of over-the-top bombastic ranting by cleve himself found in his 2012 IndieGoGo video:

  26. Fnord73 says:

    “The black panthers was entirely funded by the CIA, who invented the fake history of the transatlantic slave trade and another fake history of Africa, creating a fake African culture that never existed of fake holidays, fake dress and fake customs. ”

    Ah, a conspiracy-nazi made an old school game. Oh well.

    • Chromatose says:

      I kind of imagine this guy and Varg from Burzum would get along famously.

      • Esin12 says:

        Hahaha! Oh boy. I’m sure this is top priority on Varg’s to play list.

  27. rusty says:

    Jesus Christ, I look away for half a day and this happens. It’s as if someone mentioned Derek Smart.

  28. dog2 says:

    “I think I should end commenting to this post before things get more heated. I guess I’m not very good at commenting on issues like this.”

    I’m sorry, dude. I misread what you were saying. It’s all good.

  29. left1000 says:

    one thing you left out…. FIGURING OUT how to even reach the party creation or character creation menu is nearly impossible. Nothing has a tooltip.

    The game was kinda fun, but he shouldn’t’ve released it until the manual was done!

    old wizardry games may have been using a similarly old school ui, but they had paper manuals that came with them.

    • left1000 says:

      oh also, try playing on easy instead of the default which is something insane like advanced or master.

  30. left1000 says:

    seriously, please, someone tell me EXACTLY how to create a character?
    I can create a custom party in the library, but only the DEFAULT 8characters that are in the “quick start” of the game are options to add to my party.
    where do I click to create custom party members to add to make a different party?

  31. LessThanNothing says:

    Has someone beat the game with Cheat Engine? Should be easy to do and I would be amused to see the “ending”

  32. poliovaccine says:

    This old school CRPG worship always reminds me of the Kings in Fallout New Vegas.

  33. jeremyalexander says:

    I’ve always liked change and new things, but for a long time I was blinded by nostalgia goggles. I swore the Ultima series was the greatest ever, that Fallout 1 was the best, that Might and Magic was fun. Then GOG came along and I rushed to buy all of my old childhood favorites from the 80’s and 90’s. Then I played them and promptly realized just how primitive and awful those games really were. People that think games like Grimoire are somehow more intellectual or deeper than modern rpg’s are delusional. There is nothing intelligent about a crummy user interface that ignores 20 years of advancement, not telling people how to play your game isn’t challenging, and being a solo developer is no excuse. I see solo developers that make superior games in a fraction of the time. This is crack for the nostalgia crowd so incapable of self analysis and reflection that they cannot change and therefore think all that is good came in a past that never really existed as anything more than a cloudy memory your brain has rewritten and reimagined many times over. This is the Ready Player One of videogames. A pointless and vapid nostalgia trip that appeals to the worst aspects of some peoples inability to grow and need to feel superior to others via the things they attach themselves to. I’ve spent enough on GOG facing the truth, I have no interest in further spending money to nurture the 10 year old manchild in me. There are far too many new and interesting things to do an experience. Plus the developer is a real ahole and I refuse to give him a penny of my money.

  34. mercyRPG says:

    Alec, You spend Your life on similar useless things, these videogames losing not 100, 200, 600, but infinite hours on junk games. At least solving the puzzles and disentangling multiple-NPC cross interactions make you THINK SERIOUSLY in this one.

  35. Premium User Badge

    Graham Smith says:

    Some of the conversation threads here are beginning to wander down a hole, and most of the constructive discussion has already been had, so I’m going to lock the comments on this post now. Thanks all.