Video Game Thoughts: Legend of Grimrock

Legend of Grimrock was a 2010 dungeon crawler game by Finnish developer Almost Human for the PC. One day I just felt like playing a dungeon crawler game. I had never played one before. They were famous in the 1980s for being very difficult. In these games the player would create a party of adventurers. The stories were always the same, that for some reason the player’s group was banished to a dungeon by some evil king or wizard. There was no way to save the game. Any bad decisions the player made were permanent. When everyone in the party died, it was time to make a new game from scratch. Thus, it took hours and hours of trial and error to beat the game. That was not my kind of game, and why I never played these games until Legend of Grimrock.

Almost Human took that old style of game but updated it for the modern era. I could now save anywhere outside of combat situations. The game automatically mapped out the areas I had been to, so I didn’t have to pull out graph paper and do the work myself. It was still easy to lose, but those changes were enough to get me to try this type of game out.

My favorite thing was solving the puzzles and finding secret rooms, but this unfortunately caused me problems down the road. I didn’t realize that the party had to eat food while I was walking around exploring. Food was also require to heal wounds from battle. I got to a point where I ran out of food and couldn’t find any. I would have had to restart from a very old save file and redo several hours of gameplay. That was enough for me to put the game down.

I think I would have kept playing if it was just puzzle solving. I’m thinking they could make a game like Portal, but in this dungeon setting. Have the game be more of a maze with puzzles than about survival. So even with the new changes, Legend of Grimrock still wasn’t my type of game. I did get the game on sale though. No harm done.

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