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Jordan Smith

Reviewed By:

Review Date:

02/08/21, 14:30

Grime Review

A little over a year ago, when we first started reporting on games, we found a surreal looking indie game called Grime, which absolutely blew our minds. A world of out of proportion characters and a black hole for a protagonist?! We were in awe. Since then, the developers at Clover Bite have evolved Grime, and we can finally start talking about it properly, as Grime is now available on PC. We have been very fortunate that we have been among the first to play Grime, and now we can share just what we thought about it in our review below!

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Gameplay - Your Next Challenge

When it comes to gameplay Grime certainly isn't for the faint of heart, as you will be challenged, and your skills will be tested in intense melee combat where timing is pivotal if you are to succeed.

When it comes to gameplay Grime certainly isn't for the faint of heart, as you will be challenged, and your skills will be tested in intense melee combat where timing is pivotal if you are to succeed against the disproportioned nightmares that want to destroy your perfect vessel. Grime is a 2.5D Metroidvania style game containing some RPG elements in terms of upgrading and armour along with some RogueLike elements where death still allows you to upgrade your character before trying to go. If I was to summarise what Grime is, I would say overall it is Souls-like, a word that I find overused personally, but honestly, the level of challenge and the incredible progression style used within Grime makes it a worthy addition to that genre.


Grimes combat mechanics are unbelievably smooth. Every strike with your living weapon feels intentional, every parry or absorption made using your black hole makes you feel victorious. Grimes combat is a memorable experience. Timing is everything within the game. The early peons you battle can easily be hacked with your living weapons, but simply hacking away is no longer a viable solution as the game progresses. Instead, enemies will need to be blocked and sometimes absorbed to prevent attacks that can land faster than yours. Timing is key when using the blackhole to prevent these attacks from landing. If you time it too early, your blackhole will dissipate. Timing it too late will see you taking the damage and being knocked back, unable to use the ability. The blackhole will also charge up your gauge for healing, something I found myself needing a lot of throughout my experience playing Grime.  However, the blackhole doesn't solve all of your problems. Some enemy attacks can not be blocked and instead requires you to time a dodge almost perfectly to avoid their more fatal moves.

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Grime isn't just about battling Peons though, as there is also a range of devastating bosses to take on, each with their own unique disproportioned bodies, from the spider-like amalgamation of arms that guards the first location through to the big-mouthed, flower-like Mothers that hold a tight grip over a village of giant-headed beings. These bosses add a whole other layer to the challenges you face. Your timing with absorption and dodges is even more critical than before, as these bosses have an unbelievable array of moves, each just as aggressive as before, and each just as devastating if I land a hit on you.


The final praiseworthy feature for Grime is the exploration, as there is a lot of it, and it is a great addition to the overall gameplay. With Grime, it can be very easy to take a diversion from the objective as each location is filled with varying paths and hidden passages, each holding many secrets, unlockables and even more disproportioned beings who want nothing more than your destruction. Checkpoints are a rarity within each of the large areas that have been stitched together seamlessly. During your journey, it can be quite easy to bypass one before heading into another dangerous environment. I absolutely love the seamlessness between each location, too, with no loading screen, but instead a short transition that is a part of the gameplay, such as a hand-cranked ski lift made out of a pair of cupped hands, which gave us a moment of peace and serenity as we were lifted across the blues skies before entering a shadowy environment full of new dangers.

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Story - All Hail The Black Hole

You, a living blackhole have emerged into a new world. You do not know who you are or what your purpose is, but the world you have entered is incredibly surreal, with characters of all shapes and sizes, not all of which are eager to meet you.

The Story for Grime is surrounded by mystery. You, a living blackhole have emerged into a new world. You do not know who you are or what your purpose is, but the world you have entered is incredibly surreal, with characters of all shapes and sizes, not all of which are eager to meet you. The world is filled with disproportioned characters, from urns with long arms, people with large heads and many more. For many of these people, you are considered strange, an outcast that needs to be destroyed thanks to your perfectly formed body, but for others, you are a god, mostly thanks to your first friend, Yon, who thinks you are the most beautiful thing it has seen and gathers followers and gifts for you as you make your journey through this strange world.

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Without giving too much else away, I will leave you with this for the story. Whilst it is not as in-depth as some of the many AAA games that give us cinematic experiences, Grime offers a fantastic narrative that plays over the game through small conversations that take place in varying locations. With each location, it is clear what is happening, such as in the second area where a village scout realises it is outmatched and runs to his mothers, who serve as the area's boss. As you follow the scout through the labyrinth that makes the village you eventually make it to the mothers, where the scouts story continues with him warning his mothers of your arrival. These small plot points and continuity moments really add an extra depth to the story that builds up to Grime being an incredible game overall.

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Audio - What Does Yon Sound Like?

Instead, it brings an ambient yet exciting soundtrack to each level that pairs perfectly with every level. I honestly cannot fault the effort that has gone into the soundtrack.

Grimes soundtrack doesn't strike the epic proportions of, say, Demon Souls or Assassin's Creed. Instead, it brings an ambient yet exciting soundtrack to each level that pairs perfectly with every level. I honestly cannot fault the effort that has gone into the soundtrack and strongly advise you checking it out for yourself. There are no awkward silences when exploring, and pieces used throughout do not force you to panic as battles get more inense, allowing for the game to be enjoyed at your pace with not major distractions to your timing.

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The only thing missing from Grime is voice acting. However, it is not something that is missing. As much as I would love to hear whether Yon and the other big-headed citizens sound as mad as they do in my head, I also believe that the voice acting is not necessary as the on-screen text carries a lot of weight in the way it is laid out and scripted.

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Graphics - Uniquely Surreal

The graphics, art design and level design are undoubtedly the strongest aspects of Grime. They are also the most unique that I have seen in a game in a very long time.

The graphics, art design and level design are undoubtedly the strongest aspects of Grime. They are also the most unique that I have seen in a game in a very long time. In fact, it is the overall art design of Grime that brought the game to our attention in the first place. The level designs are incredibly unique in their 2.5D design, not just in how the layers all build up a 3D perspective but also in how the environment is made up of various body parts and rocks in order to form intricate cliffs, caves and valleys that adorn the above-ground environment. Not only that, but these body parts also form as part of the level foreground too, not just in the characters but with the cables and crevices. Giant arms sprout from the walls and doors, adding dangerous traps to the world, alongside the crumbling rocks and smashing pillars.

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Moving away from the incredible level design, we have the characters, which have all been designed with astounding detail to make each of the different enemy types look unique. I love how each of the characters holds distinct familiarities to not just people but animals that we all know, but all of them hold distinctly unique and disproportioned features that make them unique and, in many cases, even more, dangerous than their real-world counterparts. Moving onto the bosses, their design is even more unique and. Each of them has an unfamiliar look that gives them the fear they rightly deserve, such as the cyclopes creature known as the Amalgam, which is almost spider-like with its many human arms, but its rocky body gives it a unique appearance that allowed it to stay hidden within a giant statue of a perfectly formed face.

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Review Summary:

Incredibly Surreal

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Gameplay - Your Next Challenge

Story - All Hail The Black Hole

Audio - What Does Yon Sound Like?

Graphics - Uniquely Surreal

Overall, playing Grime has been an outstanding experience, and I am already strongly recommending this title to those I know whose preferred platform is PC. This game is definitely for you if you are looking for a game with a unique design that will captivate you as you explore or are looking for your next challenge. Grime is definitely not a beginners level game but is incredibly enjoyable and well worth the experience. If you want to get your hands on Grime, then be sure to check out its Steam page here, where you will be able to try out the demo or dive straight into this fantastically surreal world and see how far you can get before your first defeat. Overall I am scoring Grime 9 Bits out of 10, as this is a game that truly brings everything to the table, from intense gameplay right through to an incredible in game design. We hope you enjoy Grime as much as we have. When you have tried your hand at Grime, we would love to hear your thoughts, too, so drop us a follow on our Twitter and Facebook pages below and let us know whether you agree with this article in the comments.

Pros:

Outstanding Art Design

Incredible Level Design

Smooth Gameplay

Unforgettable Experience

Tough but fair

Cons:

No Voice Acting 


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