I tried out the first free episode of American McGee’s Grimm. For those of you who might not know who this designer is, he’s the guy behind the Tim Burton-esque retelling of Alice in Wonderland with “Alice” as well as the man behind one of the worst games to come out in the last decade, Bad Day LA. But it looks like he’s been busy, keeping a low profile after the critical drubbing given to his last title, with a new company and a new episodic project that he hopes to re-inject some of his twisted humor back into with American McGee’s Grimm.
Each game episode takes one of the Grimm fairy tales and casts you in the role of a small, troll like creature, named…Grimm…whose purpose is to turn those happy endings into happy nightmares. Grimm is dropped into the scene of a fairy tale and basically roams around, his aura corrupting everything around him adding to his stinkiness which, in turn, makes him even more smelly and nasty allowing him to go from corrupting the ground he walks on to turning pastel houses, swingsets, and even people into nasty versions of themselves. And that’s basically it. Grimm simply paints the world with his odiferous self until the happy scene is turned into a cesspool.
The cartoonish graphics take on a simple approach as characters resemble cut out, wooden puppets with flat faces and simple, painted on textures which fits the feel of American’s grim retelling and it actually works out for the best. The simplistic gameplay isn’t bad by providing some humor in watching happy go-lucky fairy tale scenes crash and burn as the color and cuteness are wrung out from them thanks to Grimm’s nastiness. It can get somewhat boring painting every level like this since this seems to be all the gameplay there really is, but the resulting fairy tale is long on content as Grimm recounts the transformed story to the watchful player. If it’s a story you’re after, you’ll get it.
The series is available only on Gametap’s service and looks to follow through with 24 episodes. I could actually see this as a downloadable title on Xbox Live or PSN, though.