A Bizarre Dream
Arrows pierce the sky, blotting out the sun as the two armies clash on the battlefield. Humans, orcs, and elves stand together against the demon horde. Despite valiant efforts, their strength flags. But the demons don’t tire and soon a rain of fire consumes the world. You awake drenched in sweat. It was only a dream. Or was it?
And so begins Grim Wanderings 2, a strategic RPG by Ellinia games. The title offers a deep roleplaying experience with players choosing how to best deal with in-game encounters. True to its Dungeon and Dragons inspiration, Grim Wanderings 2 utilizes a strategic turn-based combat system that is as challenging as it is rewarding.
The game begins with the player searching for a hermit who may be able to make sense of their strange dream. It’s not too difficult to find the hermit but Grim Wanderings 2 makes no attempt to lead you by the hand. Unlike most open-world games, there are no quest markers to guide you to your next objective. It’s only through exploring the world that you’ll advance questlines. At first, I found the lack of direction to be frustrating but after getting used to the idea I found it strangely freeing.
Grim Wanderings 2 offers players a deeply in-depth Dungeons and Dragons-inspired RPG experience. Players begin by choosing their character’s race. From humans to ratmen, Grim Wanderings 2 offers 10 races for players to choose from. Races have different relationships with each other. For example, elves are sympathetic to humans while lizardmen hate humanity. Once you chose your race, it’s time to select a class and this game offers a total of 37 classes to choose from. From blood mage, and druid, to monk and ninja, Grim Wanderings 2’s plethora of classes gives players the ability to play their way.
As you explore different parts of the world, you’ll trigger related events. For instance, when exploring a river, you may try to save a drowning man. In the spirit of Dungeons and Dragons’ dice, Grim Wanderings 2 takes advantage of a card shuffle system to determine event outcomes. First, players are shown eight cards face up. Then the cards are flipped face down and shuffled. Lastly, the player selects a card. For example, if the card chosen is a success card in the drowning man event your party is able to save the drowning man, while drawing a fail card means he won’t be so lucky. Dice rolls in video games cannot be truly randomized so allowing players to pick a card after shuffling them adds a bit more of the authentic luck-of-the-draw vibe of a true Dungeons and Dragons experience.
One of the first things players should do is enter their home village and hire troops. Starting out you can have four squad members, including the player character. It’s tricky to create a balanced squad and it might take some trial and error before you find the squad that works for you.
Grim Wanderings 2 utilizes a strategic combat system. Battles play out on a grid and each character has a chance to attack each turn. Strategic placement of characters on the grid is essential to victory. Magic spells tend to have a decent range, but melee attacks can only be used up close. On the other hand, if you want to protect a specific character from harm—for me, it’s typically my healer—you can move them behind another squad member to protect them from certain attacks. At first glance, the battle system seems simple but it’s actually difficult to master and can be quite frustrating. However, that only makes winning a battle all the more satisfying.
Restrictions on Play
Grim Wanderings 2, like its predecessor, is free to download. However, unless you’re willing to shell out the $2.49 to remove ads and restrictions you’ll find yourself limited to playing 60 minutes a day. Using the free version also means you will occasionally be disrupted by ads when you’re in battle. While that can be frustrating at first, Grim Wanderings 2 has no other in-app purchases. Considering the amount of time and money the husband and wife team behind Ellinia Games put into making this game a reality I’m more than happy to throw a few bucks their way to unlock all the games features.
With an abundance of races and classes from which to create your character, Grim Wanderings 2 creates an immersive RPG experience. The combat system is incredibly challenging despite its straightforward design, making it perfect for players who prefer strategic gameplay over hack and slash combat. It’s a tad annoying that the game limits players to 60 minutes of gameplay a day unless they make an in-app purchase. However, Grim Wanderings 2 is clearly a labor of love and well worth the $2.49 it costs to play unrestricted. So, what are you waiting for? Create your character, recruit your squad and delve deep into the forests, caves, and dungeons of Grim Wanderings 2.
Is It Hardcore?
Grim Wanderings 2 offers an in-depth role-playing experience. With challenging turn-based combat and a plethora of classes to choose from this game is perfect for Dungeons and Dragons fans who are searching for a challenge.