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Doing more with less
June 28, 2012 9:11 AM   Subscribe

"Legend of Grimrock is a party-based dungeon-crawler RPG made by a crack team of four experienced Finns in just ten months. It is also one of the finest, best thought-out games I’ve played in a long time. Here is a game defined by limitations – small budget, small team, goofy 2D tile-based movement – and yet it is a stunning success because it respects those limits and uses them to do more with less. There is a lesson here for studios both starving and bloated. " An article on how The Legend of Grimrock (released in April of this year, previously on Metafilter) takes a simplified set of rules and turns them in to a finely crafted machine.
posted by codacorolla (22 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite

 
Grimrock's developers have also recently released a teaser of how the map editor for the game will work: available here.
posted by codacorolla at 9:12 AM on June 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Grimrock is an RPG that treats you like an adult, instead of an amusement park patron who needs to be led by the hand to each attraction. You can actually completely miss certain rooms and challenges. I'm not used to it at all and I'm struggling with a sort of learned impatience I've managed to acquire from, say, Oblivion.
posted by Grimp0teuthis at 10:17 AM on June 28, 2012


I was tempted to get this and then not play it like all the other games I have handy. Damn you real life obligations!
posted by RolandOfEld at 10:37 AM on June 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Interestingly I was just thinking the other day about my current frustration with Bioware games, and came to the conclusion that they desperately need an editor willing to cut the "big ideas" down to a handful in a given release, and take an even more aggressive view regarding the use of in-game dialogue. Every mission in Mass Effect 3 has something to say and makes certain you hear it through an increasingly aggressive, didactic, and redundant series of gameplay interrupts.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 10:41 AM on June 28, 2012


CBrachyrhynchos: I feel like BioShock excelled at doing a good job of what you're talking about. I haven't touched any of the Mass Effect games (I know, I know) but I see how that could get old.
posted by RolandOfEld at 10:48 AM on June 28, 2012


Tried Grimrock after it got metioned in this podcast.

Completed several levels, and did enjoy it, but the combat is just too frustrating for me. It is very much, try to hit enemy, move out of the square you're in, wait for the enemy to move closer to you, repeat. Go through that one or two dozen times for each enemy and it just gets boring. Of course, you can't change the combat difficulty after you've started so you're just stuck with a boring pillar dance, one after another.

The puzzles are fun, although I hope the challenge of them ramps up a little. Finding every little secret button and the like takes ages though.
posted by YAMWAK at 10:54 AM on June 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm so disappointed; I misread this to be the legend of grimLOCK. It's not your fault, I just need a minute to recover from my expectation high.
posted by nickgb at 11:14 AM on June 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I agree with YAMWAK - I enjoyed some of it, and the exploration and puzzles were fun, but combat was really just a total chore. After the first few levels I realized that combat was going to be integral, and that it wasn't going to get any better. I appreciate what they created, but in the end it was only half a game to me.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 11:15 AM on June 28, 2012


Me Grimlock want to hear about petro-rabbits!
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 12:02 PM on June 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


Combat tends to get more interesting as soon as you have all four characters doing cool things. This means that at first your mages and ranged attackers are going to suck, but at around the fifth floor things click and combat becomes more strategic than playing keep-away with enemies. Also at this level you tend to become surrounded more often, which means you have to pick and choose your battle carefully while acting quickly to pull off strategies.
posted by codacorolla at 12:05 PM on June 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


As a general tip to those who haven't stumbled upon it... if your back-ranks run out if ammo/mana you can equip them with spears, which give them the reach to be able to hit monsters.
posted by Zack_Replica at 1:51 PM on June 28, 2012


I may have mentioned this in the previous thread, but FUCK SPIDERS.
posted by radwolf76 at 2:39 PM on June 28, 2012


radwolf76 - you're not alone in your hate. If you can get a door/portcullis in between you and them, you can wait until they move away, open the door, fire off poison cloud, close the door, and watch as they stand there getting DOTed to death. heh.
posted by Zack_Replica at 3:05 PM on June 28, 2012


Maybe there's a good game hiding under that horrible interface, but I'm not going to torture my hand with all the hours of clicking and dragging it might take to find out.
posted by Phssthpok at 6:28 PM on June 28, 2012


This sounds just like my beloved Eye Of The Beholder. Is that a somewhat fair estimate?
posted by Magnakai at 6:40 PM on June 28, 2012


take an even more aggressive view regarding the use of in-game dialogue.

I thought a huge criticism of Dragon Age etc was the perceived dumbing down of dialogue and dialogue options compared to say, Baldur's Gate II?

(I have not played any of the dragon age games)
posted by smoke at 6:56 PM on June 28, 2012


So there is a modern version of Dungeon Master?
posted by rr at 7:02 PM on June 28, 2012


So, what's a good RPG for Mac or iOS these days then? I'm kind of excited for Baldur's Gate, if that gives you an idea what I'm looking for. Not an action game, but a fun story and party based epic.
posted by freebird at 8:53 PM on June 28, 2012


This sounds just like my beloved Eye Of The Beholder. Is that a somewhat fair estimate?

Yes, this is the game you've been waiting for.
posted by naju at 10:02 PM on June 28, 2012


One observatio regarding Eye of the Beholder. If I recall correctly, EotB had friendly NPCs and occasional sub-quests and maybe even shops. I stopped playing Grimrock around level 5 and I have not seen any friendlies of any stripe. No dialogue - text is restricted to puzzles, the odd note and some portentous, mysterious text addressing your party while you sleep.
posted by YAMWAK at 11:50 PM on June 28, 2012


Yeah, in that respect Grimrock reminds me a lot more of Dungeon Master, like rr mentions.
posted by radwolf76 at 1:24 AM on June 29, 2012


It is very much, try to hit enemy, move out of the square you're in, wait for the enemy to move closer to you, repeat. Go through that one or two dozen times for each enemy and it just gets boring.

From the Giant Bomb preview this game looked to me more like a slow-motion roguelike with a massively restricted field of vision. That's kind of a pain, because one of the good features of a turn-based game is that you can make the game go as fast as you can input, and a traditional roguelike gives you a lot more information on screen. Not sure if the kind of gameplay I saw is really well suited to a first person crawler.
posted by fleacircus at 7:15 AM on June 29, 2012


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