[Click for all books]
Armchair ArcadePromote Your Page Too
I'm just glad they stuck with the basics and didn't try to turn it into YAFPS. The limitations of the movement offer some interesting gameplay mechanics, such as the turn shuffle step kind of combat. It also is a scramble trying to do that and get some runes lined up...Frustrating, perhaps, but also exhilarating when you're able to pull it off. We all like to bitch and moan when we die or feel like we're playing terribly--easier to blame the game, of course--but it can make the victories sweeter.
My pattern with this game was initially impressed, then turned off, then warmed up--hotter, hotter, really getting into it--and the floor fell out from under me with that stupid hallway puzzle. Now I'm back down to "meh" and they'll have to "work hard" to warm me back up to the prior level. I did a little checking and it seems a lot of people are upset about the puzzles. I've enjoyed most of them and am able to bypass ones that I can't figure out...For Pete's sake, though, if I run into a few more of those "pillaried hall" puzzles I'm done. I enjoy tough puzzles, but I want the toughness to be in solving the puzzle, not reverse engineering a bad puzzle design.
AS to Bill's more general topic, I'm somewhere in the middle. It wouldn't bother me to see Grimrock bring back this niche, and spawning a few different series of similar games. Why not? I might not get into them as much as I have Grimrock, but I'd at least like to have the option. I know it's a lot easier for most folks to copy and innovate a little bit than to come up with a bold new game all on their own. That's why we hold up people like Arnold Hendrick and Jon Hare as geniuses around here. ;)
My thing is, I hate playing games that aren't properly polished. There are several spots that badly, badly needed polishing in Grimrock. A good example is quest items. I just got burned twice by having to backtrack wayyyy back to recover some "useless" items I in fact needed for a puzzle. I'm generally pretty good at detecting these, but these really did seem useless--a skull and a bone necklace. You find multiple ones during the game, and the weight restrictions keep me from lugging around junk. WOW and others long ago solved this problem by having a category of "quest item" that is weightless and asks you "Are you SURE you want to delete this?" before getting rid of it. It certainly wouldn't hurt a game like Grimrock to have a "quest item" category and make it clear to you that you should hold on to it. At least the items you drop on the ground seem to stay there indefinitely; otherwise, it'd be a complete disaster.
Other spots that need polishing are the map and the journal. There are plenty of games like this that have more detail on their automaps. Would it kill them to track your crystals, room names, etc.? I know you can enter your own notes, but that's just a nice little touch that I appreciate in other games. I'd really like for it to track the spells I've learned, too, so that I can pull up a screen and see the runes. Even if I agreed that I should have to click on the runes for each cast (which I don't), I don't see how anybody could disagree that the game should at least keep track of the spells you've discovered for you, without forcing you to refer to notes or the scrolls you find.
On the other hand, I agree with Bill heartily that it's a shame to see people reinventing the wheel. Why use all those resources duplicating an existing game when you could do something new? Grimrock is a nice homage to DM, obviously, but I have a hard time seeing it as anything really groundbreaking. DM wasn't a clone or homage of anything. Why not pay homage to that spirit rather than the game itself? That's what I'd love to see.
More information about formatting options
All editorial content © 2003 - 2013 Armchair Arcade, Inc., an Armchair Creative Services, L.L.C., property. All rights reserved unless otherwise indicated. All trademarks and copyrights are retained by their respective owners. No content is to be removed or reused from the Armchair Arcade Website for commercial purposes without explicit permission from the principal Armchair Arcade staff, or the original trademark or copyright holders. Armchair Arcade, Inc., is not responsible for the content of any external sources or links. Further, endorsement of any external sources or links is neither implied nor suggested.