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American McGee's Grimm review

A dark fairy tale that lacks bright gameplay


  • Turning levels sinister
  • Amusing dark charm
  • Fresh gameplay concept


  • No real challenge
  • Repetitive audio
  • Bad design choices

Remember the moment you found out that most fairy tales weren%26rsquo;t originally the happy stories the Disney Corporation would have you believe, but rather brutal morality lessons? American McGee%26rsquo;s Grimm manages to turn that childhood disillusion into an episodic game (this review covers the first three of 23 30-minute episodes, to be released weekly on, by playing off those dark origins.

As a mean bugger named Grimm, you sprint through a variety of fairy-tale lands perverting everything within your small sphere of influence. Daisies become man-eating plants, trees shrivel, barrels turn to%26hellip; well, exploding barrels. As more of the level goes sinister, the size and potency of your sphere of yuck increases. Dirtying the pseudo puppet show world is devilishly satisfying - it%26rsquo;s a tad unnerving how dark it gets occasionally, (dead kids on teeter-totters? Really?), but there%26rsquo;s enough dark charm to pull it off.

Sadly, that charm is about all Grimm has going for it, because there%26rsquo;s no real challenge here. Each stage has cleaners that reverse your work, but Grimm works so much faster that victory is a matter of running around the world until you win. When you must buttstomp in order to change larger objects, you%26rsquo;re given two cutscenes and a giant sign that says %26ldquo;Buttstomp Here%26rdquo; as hints. Really. Audio is equally rough, with Grimm%26rsquo;s quips repeating far too often and a looping soundtrack that can be maddening. What a bummer. Grimm comes out of the gate loaded with charm and armed with that greatest of rarities - a fresh gameplay concept - and squanders it with bad design choices.

PC Gamer scores games on a percentage scale, which is rounded to the closest whole number to determine the GamesRadar score.

PCG Final Verdict: 61% (above average)

Jul 30, 2008

More Info

DescriptionThe only thing saving American McGee's episodic fairy tale is its dark, depressing charm.
Alternative namesGrimm
Release date:31 July 2008 (US), 31 July 2008 (UK)
Available platforms:PC
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