You are able to create a party of up to 4 different characters of different races and classes. Each one has special bonuses and play styles, which gives the game a lot of replayability. Examples are being able to play as a human or insect, while fighting as a warrior or mage. Even though theres a lot of variety when it comes to actually creating the characters themselves, each class even has multiple ways to develop them… you could even have 4 different types of mages where each will use magic from the different elements.
The combat in Grimrock could be said to be very basic, but as you collect more equipment and spells to use, as well as run into larger varities of enemies, it can start to get hectic. It is always played in real time, though movement is limited to a grid so there is a limit to where you can move to. Attacking is done by clicking on an item that you have equipped in either hand of any of your party members, though how much damage you do and whether or not you will actually hit is determined by how you and the enemy are positioned. The two members in the back of your party can’t attack with melee weapons since they won’t have the reach, though magical and ranged attacks will work, and the same concept is applied to the enemies as well.
An rpg dungeon crawling game isn’t complete without secrets, and Legend of Grimrock has plenty of them to keep you guessing. The most basic type of secret that you will run into are small hidden buttons that you can find on walls, and pressing them generally opens a hidden door somewhere with treasure inside of it, and sometimes even more secrets! Eventually you will have to start looking harder to find secrets, since they won’t always be related to a button on a wall, such as having to fall into holes in the floor and even the optional puzzles can reward you with secret areas.
Other than combat, puzzles are another big attraction to Grimrock that will force you to do some thinking. The main pathways through levels will always have puzzles involved, but they of course are generally easier to complete than the ones that will reward you with secrets and powerful artifacts. They can range from simply finding a key for a door somewhere, to having to move and touch certain objects in certain orders to complete. Luckily, other than finding keys for doors, there is a very large variety of puzzles that you can run into which means you won’t be having to repeat the same ones over and over.
If you are of the creative type, the level editor that is available is something that you will find easy and fun to use. Since the game uses a grid for movement and everything, it is very easy to create levels and place items and monsters into them. There is however a way to link objects and switches together that allow one to create puzzles, and if you are an advanced user you can even use scripting to more easily make them. These levels that are created by you or other people can be shared on the steam workshop page so everyone can see all of the work that you have done.
You will find some miscellaneous options available in Grimrock that will help you play this specific type of game, such as having movement arrows on the screen so you won’t have to use the keyboard to move. The actual graphics themselves are nice, and it is especially good looking when the shadows of enemies are casted by the many torches spread around the levels so you can tell when something is coming. Dungeon sounds and everything are all over, as well as audio clues to which enemies may be around the corner.
Legend of Grimrock is the only modern game of its kind that is currently available, but it is based upon the old Eye of the Beholder game which was very popular back in the day. A sequel to Legend of Grimrock is also currently being worked on which will include improve on all the aspects that already exist in it.
The only main negative would have to be that combat can be pretty boring and basic if you are only fighting one enemy at a time. This is because you can easily kite enemies around in a circle and always hitting their sides and never allowing them to actually attack you. Then again, it makes sense to have an advantage when you’re only fighting one thing at a time, and all the other encounters that include more than one enemy make up for this tactic.
Since you can choose the difficulty of the game, the combat especially can be made to be very easy if it is what you desire. Combat will go a lot slower and the amount of damage that you give and take also change based on difficulty. The puzzles that exist can be tricky, but they aren’t necessarily hard, they just need a little bit of brain power to overcome. Luckily, only optional puzzles tend to be hard and if you are only interested in beating the game you won’t run into anything that is too hard.
Since it is a single player game and are able to save at any point, anyone with a tight schedule will be able to experience and enjoy Legend of Grimrock at whatever pace they would like. Putting the game into its hardest setting is the main way to make the game harder, though there is another unique option that is available. If you want, you can turn on old-school mode which will cause the in game map to not work and you will have to draw your very own map yourself. Even if that is not your thing, the simply hard difficulty option will still give you a good challenge. The many optional puzzles that you run into will become more challenging as you progress, and they will be sure to cause you to stop and think.
Other than earning all the achievements that are available, the main thing to do is finding all of the hidden secrets that are spread all over the levels. They are all filled with useful treasures and a lot of the achievements are attached to them as well. There’s even a hidden character to play as when you beat the game.
Legend of Grimrock currently sells for 15 dollars, so if it is somewhat interesting to you it will be a worthy purchase. Anyone who has ever played the old Eye of the Beholder games should definitely look into this title for sure.