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GrimGrimoire review

An engaging, captivating fantasy for the hardcore

Speaking of the story, would you believe it's actually pretty good? We're big fans of publisher NIS America, but even we can see that most of the RPGs it brings over are filled with silly tales that go in one ear and out the other. That's just not the case here at all - Grim looks like an expertly drawn fantasy novel come to life, so it's fitting that it reads well too.

You play as aspiring magician Lillet Blan. She's just arrived at a school for witches and wizards and is constantly overwhelmed by the creepy students, eccentric teachers and mysterious creatures. The headmaster, Sir Gammel Dore (ummm), welcomes Lillet and begins teaching her the ways of Grimoire magic. After five days of teaching (and one of the longest tutorials in memory), everything goes to hell as an ancient enemy is revived and everyone is killed. Lillet gives her best Clerks line about how she's not even supposed to be there, and wakes up back at the beginning of her five day stay. Armed with the knowledge of what comes next, she has to figure out who set the Archmage free, who's trustworthy and why she's the only one being flung around time. It's not going to melt your brain, but it's compelling at the very least.

Each time the cycle resets you learn more and more about the Grim world. You also retain all the magical skills you learn, so battles radically change each time as well. Even though you're visiting the same time period, you'll talk to different people at different times and see new creatures, unlock more powerful summons and see the true side of each devious teacher.

The game isn't just pretty on its face, but in execution as well. Each Grimoire of magic, Glamour (nature), Alchemy (science), Sorcery (demons) and Necromancy (undead) looks, animates and behaves differently. Great care was put into their appearances and functionality, so each seems like a real, existing branch of magic inside this world. Granted, not all the units are terribly useful and you're bound to prefer one over the other three, but each allows for a great deal of army customization.

More Info

GenreRole Playing
DescriptionMagic and real-time strategy collide in this dense, intricate RPG.
US censor ratingEveryone 10+
Release date26 June 2007 (US), (UK)