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GrimGrimoire - hands-on

Publisher NIS America revealed GrimGrimoire to the world about a month ago, and since then we've spent quite a bit of time getting to know its rules and realms. What we said  earlier still stands - it's an RTS at heart, complete with resource-grabbin' underlings and progressively powerful units, but it all takes place from the side, not overhead. So, instead of zooming out to see the whole battlefield or scanning a large area, you scroll around a 2D landscape in search of your objectives.

Even if you stopped there, Grim would already be unique. But this game is really kicking us in the crotch with its breathtaking visuals and elaborate music. Have you seen the trailer? That barely does it justice, as do the screens. You really need to see it running on your own screen to appreciate how stunning everything looks. The units animate wonderfully and even the environments themselves have lively bits to them, but when you see your first giant dragon or ethereal ghost monster, your jaw will drop. If it doesn't, then check your pulse, cuz you're dead.

Then there's the setup - you're a little girl who's just started classes at a school for young wizards and witches. And your headmaster's name is Sir Gammel Dore. And there's a Philosopher's Stone. And there's a devious-looking teacher that seems evil but the headmaster vouches for him. Um, we'll look past all that and instead focus on the fact that almost every teacher wants to sleep with every other teacher and one of the student's names is Margarita Surprise. So, if the beautiful gameplay doesn't reel you in, the eccentric cast just might.

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