Kickstarted Point & Click Detective Grimoire has finally hit the various online stores but was the wait since the original flash game of 2007 worth it?
Reviewed on a Nexus 7 (Android 4.4)
Also available: iOS, Windows, Mac, Linux.
Originally slated for a September 2012 release, Detective Grimoire has seen its fair share of setbacks and delays. It's not uncommon for indie games to to this nowadays as they often only have a couple of people building it. In this case, brothers Tom & Adam Vian took the vast majority of the strain though there are a full list of people who helped to bring the game to its current form.
Grimoire's problem was that it so very nearly created a reputation that would precede its own legacy.
Turns out that SFB Games have made a beautiful and coherent detective game which excels the usual standard app games that are released on a seemingly daily basis. Grimoire is a very satisfying game to play and oozes quality with a full voice cast and original score. It doesn't actually make sense that the game was made by such a small team. Personally, I'm a big fan of Harper's voice acting...
You follow control Grimoire on a mystery to discover who has murdered "Boggy's Bog" owner, Richard Remington. Boggy is in fact a lizard, frog type mythical creature who allegedly lives in the Bog. I'll leave further plot details to be discovered, that's the whole point after all.
|Dynamic problem solving from Grimoire|
It works in a Professor Layton style. Pick this up, take it there, ask people about it, come to a solution and solve a puzzle. There are some touch screen style mini-games that last a few seconds each but these are very simple and are more technical than story based. Still, they are a nice touch and it's certainly better than just finding something or picking it up.
For me the game seemed easy. The challenge aspects of the game (essentially when you make a precise interrogation) are fairly straight forward but the games satisfaction comes from the story, the characters and just how natural it feels. The game responds as you would expect it to and the tutorials are 'just there in case' rather than being a constant reminder pulling you from the moment you're in.
The game will take you a couple of hours to finish and you may even do this in a sitting or two but it works and it is rewarding. Personally I would like to have seen a Cluedo style accusation where you are either proved right or wrong rather than the game pulling the strings together for you. Of the 7 charcters you can talk to, it only feels like 2 or maybe 3 would be capable of the murder - either that or I'm just a natural detective ;)
|Too many beers. Grimoire wonders what he and the red head got up to last night.|
There's some nice self awareness in here with the game having a pop at the top hatted fellow and also referencing other SFB Games such as Haunt The House.
Overall it's a short game but its certainly one you should pick up and have a go on, even just to appreciate the design. The story could have done with some more dead ends or pitfalls but maybe this game is just a set up for an entire series....
You can find all the information about the game here: www.detectivegrimoire.com