Grimind is a side-scrolling PC platformer from programmer Paweł Mogiła. It’s about a character without memories going through a strange world trying to piece together where he is, who he, is and if he’s truly alone. Does this adventure/horror game tell a touching story through great gameplay, or fall short of a generic “art” game?
Grimind has you control the unnamed and unknown character through the dark and dim world, completing physics-based puzzles to progress forward and find out what’s going on. The controls are quite basic, just what you’d expect from a platformer. The WASD keys move you, while using the mouse controls a reticule, the left mouse button grabs, and right mouse button throws.
Gameplay consists mostly of puzzle-solving as previously mentioned, which works quite well for most of the game, but at points can feel a little clunky and unwieldy. There’s nothing inherently terrible about Grimind, but playing it just seems like going through the motions. There’s nothing special or unique to make it a really fun and enjoyable experience to play. The story follows your character through levels with the narrative device of small text pop-ups, showing what the main character’s thinking, but these take away from the immersion of Grimind. They’re mostly basic questions like “where am I?” or statements like “they are chasing me,” which don’t really add to the game at all; some statements even have grammar mistakes, which further ruins the mood. Playing Grimind might get cumbersome for most as, some levels are very repetitive, and others are almost impossible to solve. It isn’t progressive or well balanced.
The visual style of the game is dark and basic, with an audio track that does create a little bit of an unnerving atmosphere. The character models seem blocky, but not in a charming way, and could’ve done with a little more refinement. Most of the game is in almost complete darkness, walking through levels with a few light orbs to be carried or in the background to light some of your path. There isn’t much in the way of real visual environments to look at. It’s slightly reminiscent of Limbo, but where Limbo has a monochrome-silhouetted environment to create an atmosphere, Grimind uses darkness almost to hide or avoid creating an environment. There’s a horror aspect to Grimind that seems to be inspired by Amnesia, but again, it doesn’t seem to capture horror in its own way. It half-tries to make an aspect of Amnesia its own, and it doesn’t quite work.
Grimind isn’t a terrible game. In fact, it has some ideas that could’ve been great, but it’s missing something to complete the experience. It’s not just lacking a bit of polish, but also a soul. The visuals are underwhelming, and the gameplay is OK, but nothing special, drawing from other titles. The game doesn’t quite have its own feel and atmosphere, but it’s more like a flash game than a full downloadable title. It really did disappoint me, as there are a lot of moments where I thought “this could’ve been better,” and it really could have been if more effort were put into it.
A copy of the game was provided for review.