Following the bread-trail of the point and click variety, Grim Legends: The Forsaken Bride takes you down the path of the mystical and adventurous. Artifex Mundi’s latest release further elaborates on their knack for the genre, while introducing some new puzzle varieties along the way. It may not shine bright in the technical or storytelling department, but it can still trickle in enjoyment and confidence in player intelligence. Gorgeous, hand painted landscapes provide a lush setting and wrap Grim Legends up into a pretty fulfilling package.
This is a sorrowful tale of a young woman’s sister who is kidnapped before her wedding day by a ferocious beast. You must uncover the mysterious path that lay before you and bring her back to safety. Joining forces with your sister’s future husband, you embark on a hunt chock full of twists and turns, discovering much more than meets the eye. I wanted this story to work. I really did. Unfortunately with a stiff and uninspired approach to the narrative, it quickly feels like filler content in between what is the excellent hidden object portions. Whether it’s the awkward approach at emotion, or the actors talking way too close to the microphone, the delivery of the story never quite hits.
Now one thing that does hit, is the entire puzzle and hidden object components of Grim Legends. They are crafted so well and really challenge the player to think and observe. Nothing is completely black and white. You have to read in between the lines and marinate on your environments to progress. Many times it felt as if I were going down the rabbit hole with one item leading to another, that creates something new, that leads somewhere else. The best example of this is at a certain point into the game an alchemy component comes into play. It was so fun to piece by piece find and create your ingredients, ultimately formulating a magical dust that assists you in further following the beast’s trail. It’s a well devised approach that really had me entertained.
Artifex Mundi took The Forsaken Bride as an opportunity to implement some new features, and it paid off. Being able to have a sidekick really diversifies how you can overcome puzzles and keeps the gameplay fresh. What helps is the adorable factor as well, your sidekick is none other than a furry little kitten. One that will even make an attempt to play with a yarn ball, cuteness overload. On your screen whenever you see the cat icon appear in the reticle, you know that your faithful feline has some work to do.
Also being introduced are some pretty cool enhanced gameplay mechanics for the series. One of the most prevalent being the use of the crossbow. Switching to an iron-sight first person camera view, you can fire the weapon at targets that will progress in your puzzle solving. Shooting the sandbags from a drawbridge to raise it threw me off a bit, as I was not accustomed to using this type of controls in the genre. I must say that it was welcomed and refreshing, and I hope that these features are adopted into more hidden object games. Grim Legends overall does a fantastic job of not pigeon-holding itself into the point and click style. Playing it through you feel many different influences and depth within its mechanics.
Now I know some may believe that there are certain qualifications for a game to be deemed with the “great graphics” label. Let me clarify my stance then, anytime a game, big or small, action or not, can give me the “Wow” factor, that’s enough for me. The Forsaken Bride deliverers beautiful, crisp, and colorful hand painted scenery. Each one really drew my eye in on the blooming use of colors and detail. There was no need for full motion or explosions firing off every which way to appreciate the presentation of The Forsaken Bride. I could have done with less screen time from the dated and stiff character models, but that all seemed to wash away when greeted again with the lovely canvas.
Artifex Mundi has created a worthwhile experience with Grim Legends: The Forsaken Bride that any player can appreciate. The Forsaken Bride utilizes new gameplay mechanics and derives off the path of the usual hidden object game-type. Having your adorable feline sidekick freshens up the way you can approach puzzles and carves out a bit more depth in the gameplay. While the narrative and technical points may not be spot on, the gorgeous artwork and amusing point and click play will see you right to the credits.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Microsoft Xbox One code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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