Are you ready for a dungeon crawler? Legend of Grimrock was released for the Nintendo Switch on January 15, 2024. It was developed and published by Almost Human. On behalf of the Handheld Gaming Community I would like to thank the publisher for the review code.
You play as one of four prisoners who are given a chance at freedom. The catch of course is that they will have to survive the dungeons within Mount Grimrock. They have committed crimes against the king, and have been sentenced to be dropped into the mountain. They will be pardoned if they can make it out alive.
You will play Legend of Grimrock from a first person perspective. The game draws inspiration from the likes of Wizardry and Eye of the Beholder. You have the option of creating your own party of characters, however the game defaults to set of pre-built characters. That is how I played.
The game assigns a party member to each of the face buttons. This how you attack while in an encounter. You press the left trigger with one of the face buttons. If your character has something equipped that can be used to strike the monsters, you may deal some damage.
Once you start move around in the dungeon, you will start creating a map. You can mark up this map. The one thing I wish that Legend of Grimrock had was a mini-map. You must stop and bring up the full map every time otherwise.
As you traverse the dungeon you will find items. These items could be things you can equip like weapons and armor. You may also be able to pick up pieces of the monsters you kill. One of the metrics that the game keeps track of is food. My assumption is that if you run out of food you will start taking damage or will otherwise have your stats penalized. The other thing that I have been picking up lately is scrolls for my mage.
It took me googling to figure out the magic system in Legend of Grimrock. Your mage will have a set of nine runes to use to attack. Before I googled, I had no idea what to do. You must take a look at your scrolls and when in your inventory you must press the right trigger, and it will show you the requirements as well as the rune pattern. Now when in battle you can highlight the rune pattern and cast a spell.
The game is well configured for a game controller, although the controls do take some getting used to. They were not play tested well. However, as of this review, they just released a patch with some improved controls. I have not tried the new control options. You get used to the slightly obtuse controls.
Legend of Grimrock released originally in 2012 for PC. The graphics look very good, and the game performs well. The graphics look on par with games such as Elder Scrolls Oblivion. I likedf that the lighting effects were good enough to let you know when your torch was starting to go out.
The story in Legend of Grimrock is pretty much just that opening cinematic. You committed crimes against the king, and you have to make it through the dungeon in order to be free. At certain points in the game you will get some narration. This comes in the form of dreams, and messages etched along the dungeon walls.
The sound design in Legend of Grimrock is very simple. It focuses on environment noises. At first the lack of music in the background bothered me. However after a while it made me feel trapped. I haven’t played this game on other consoles/computers. Is this is a concession for the Nintendo Switch? The game maybe designed that way. I can definitely see someone just ignoring the sound, and popping on their own music, audio book or podcast. There have been times when the environment sounds have warned me that an enemy that I was far too weak to fight was approaching, so maybe don’t totally ignore the games sound.
You can buy Legend of Grimrock on the Nintendo Switch eShop for $17.99. If you are a fan of old-school dungeon crawlers, or just dungeon crawlers in general you should buy this game. I spend several hours just walking around the first couple of levels trying to find the thing that will allow me to progress further. So you will definitely get your monies worth if you like Dungeon Crawlers.
Legend of Grimrock is very approachable unlike some of the games it draws inspiration from. There is a better than zero chance that you will stay alive for at least the first level of the dungeon before having to respawn at your last save point. I found myself wanting to explore deeper and deeper into the dungeon, eager to find what was coming up next. You can buy Legend of Grimrock for $17.99 on the Nintendo eShop. On behalf of the Handheld Gaming Community I would like to thank the folks at Almost Human for the review code.