One of the reasons the mobile game market can seem appealing to up and coming developers is due to the low barrier of entry. The medium tends to be an avenue for inexperienced developers to learn the tools of the craft and eventually spread their wings. Although developer Microsheep is no stranger to the mobile game space (having released over half a dozen games on the platform), Grimma still feels very much like a “my first game” attempt, with its bland presentation and simplistic gameplay. This is likely due to it being their first entry in the genre, and for a first attempt, it’s passable at best.
Grimma is a first-person adventure game similar to Myst, except the player taps on the screen to transition into the next area. Each area typically has a puzzle that requires a certain item in order to solve, most of which are found in different areas. This results in having to frequently travel back and forth between locations, either to find a new item or examine markings that serve as hints to future puzzles. At first, this creates a decent sense of variety, although having to constantly travel back and forth becomes tedious after a while.
Puzzles range from the fairly obvious to the somewhat challenging. Some puzzles simply require placing a certain object on another object to obtain a new object or advance to a new area. These can usually be solved through pure brute force, by selecting every item in the inventory and tapping everything on the screen until something happens. Others are slightly more involved, with several areas containing markings that need to be closely examined to solve other puzzles. There are a few cases where the player might get stuck since the solution isn’t always clear. Most cases, however, the answers will become apparent if the player stares at it long enough.
The game’s presentation is bare bones. It begins with a storybook-style intro, telling of a knight who must save a princess locked in a tower by an evil witch (stop me if you heard this before). The player is then immediately thrown into the game’s environment, which consists of a large tower connecting to different rooms, as well as a surrounding area. The art style is also reminiscent of a storybook, with its simplistic models covered in a layer of sepia tone. Nothing about the game’s style is all that remarkable, nor is it really offensive. Although if you choose to download it, prepare to hear the same insipid piece of music over and over again.
Grimma is a totally serviceable product, with nothing more to elevate it from just that. Though there’s nothing technically wrong with it, there isn’t anything that sets it apart from other entries in the genre either. The game can be finished in a little over an hour, provided you don’t get stumped on a puzzle for too long. Even then, once you complete the game, there’s really not lasting value since the puzzle solutions will have all been uncovered. If you’re looking for a short little time-waster that is slightly more involving than the average Farmville clone, you could certainly do worse than this.
Is it Hardcore?
Grimma is a completely competent, if unremarkable, little adventure game that will likely leave little lasting impact.