Tuesday, August 19, 2008

American McGee's at it again

While browsing the latest EGM the other day, I came across an ad for American McGee's Grimm. My first thought was, "Hey, this ad art looks cool!" My second was, "Hold up...American McGee? hmmmm..." I haven't forgotten about Alice. But it said the first episode was free to play on Gametap (it's $4 an episodes thereafter), so I figured, what the heck, right?

Grimm is best described as the antithesis of Super Mario Sunshine, with overtones of Dungeon Keeper and Nightmare Before Christmas. Instead of cleaning off the yuck and spreading cheer, you run around classic fairytales as a crass little troll (Grimm), blazing a path of grossness everywhere you go, and "going" everywhere you stop. The draw is mostly in seeing what pretty things turn into when you nastify them, and hearing the locals express their disgust. It's a game, but more primarily a sort of marionette theaterish eye candy experience. That is, if eye candy actually did contain eyes. And spiders and worms.

The demo episode features missions such as turning a playground full of children into giant match-sticks for a finale where they catch fire and jump on a pile of books surrounding a teacher tied to a stake. Yeah, I know, right? It's like a weird dream, the kind you wake up from with a headache, and it was partly the very narrow line between good fun and mildly offensive that the game walks that kept me playing. I can't definitively say it's cool, but it's at least worth checking out if you like dark humor and classic fairy tales. And spiders and worms.

PS - While we're on the subject, you may want to check out The Brothers Grimm (2005). It was a MUCH darker film than I'd expected (pretty extreme for PG-13), and I rather liked it. Heath Ledger plays the role of Jacob Grimm.

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