Platforms: Win, Mac, Linux
Grim Legends: The Forsaken Bride is really an adventure game masquerading as a hidden object puzzler. Normally, for me, that would be cause for complaint, but I can’t because as adventure games go, it’s a pretty damn good one.
I’m going to make a little confession: Once in a while, I get a quiet day at home. During those days, I plan to knock out as many games as possible for the blog to allow for those days where I can’t find an extra half hour in my day. So, that was my plan, but I accidentally played the whole game. Oops.
Early on, the puzzles seem pretty basic, and you forgive the game some simplicity because it’s just so damn pretty to look at. It’s also got better than average voice acting for a game of this caliber. But as you progress through, things start to get more complicated. You need to backtrack sometimes, and occasionally, you can even find items and do things a little bit out of order. Like every adventure game, it’s on rails, but it allows for an occasional detour here and there.
You do get a map pretty early on, and it can be used for fast travel, although you’re never explicitly told that. There’s also an objectives tab on your map if you forget what you’re supposed to be doing, or even if you come back to the game after a time away.
A couple of other minor things set it apart from most hidden object / inventory puzzlers. First, you have the option to play a domino game instead of a hidden object scene; it’s not quite enough to eliminate all need to look for things, but if you struggle with hidden object game play, it gives you another path. Secondly, early on you rescue a kitten and that kitten becomes your companion – if you reach a point where you really feel stuck, you can always drag your kitty to the problem area and see if he can give you a little help.
There are three difficulty levels, and a bonus chapter that you unlock by completing the main game. There are also 24 achievements, and two sets of bonus find-ables. I’m not sure these features by themselves give the game tremendous replay value, but on the middle difficulty it took me about four hours to complete the story, but I didn’t achieve 100% completion or play the bonus chapter.
Grim Legends: The Forsaken Bride is a little pricey for such a short story-driven game, however, it’s currently available as part of a 9 game bundle on Indie Gala. All of the games include Steam trading cards if you want to recoup some of your investment, and the bundle includes the sequel. I don’t know if all the games are as solid as this one, but the current bundle price is a good deal just for this game, even if the rest of them are downright awful.