Grim Legends The Forsaken Bride gives all Xbox One gamers an opportunity to point and click their way into an average game.
Game – Grim Legends The Forsaken Bride
Platform – Xbox One (reviewed), PC
Developer/Publisher – Artifex Mundi
Release Date – June 10, 2016
Price – $9.99
Grim Legends The Forsaken Bride is a procedural point and click adventure, and it’s littered with ups and downs.
The story begins with a giant bear mauling a horse-drawn carriage. The protagonist hops out, saves the carriage, a baby kitten, and her twin sister’s wedding present: all through the use of puzzle solving point and click. The character makes it back to the village in time for her sister’s wedding. Lily (the twin) is marrying Edward: a valiant and dashing do-gooder. Then the bear crashes the pre-ceremony festivities – jerk move, bear – and kidnaps Lily. Now the player must quest to find a twin, break a curse, and reassemble every broken mechanism in the forest. The player finds out fast that there’s a reason behind the attack, and it has a lot to do with a hidden witch in the woods.
The story has a strong foundation, and its laid out in a beautiful scenic landscape. The artwork is wonderfully drawn giving life to this Grim Legends world. The puzzles are integrated quite well with the cinematic cutaways, and it’s actually one of the finer point-and-click experiences. The artwork also hides well the game’s hidden collectibles and puzzle pieces: typically the objectives in a point-and-click stick out like a sore thumb. Whereas The Forsaken Bride conceals them for a more immersive gameplay experience. Here’s where things start to fall apart.
Grim Legends The Forsaken Bride is incredibly short. There’s the main campaign partnered with an epilogue sequence, and all of it earns the player about 3-4 hours of gameplay. Graciously assuming the player started on Casual, an extra playthrough on Expert totals about 6-7 hours of gameplay. Unfortunately, the puzzles aren’t particularly riveting, and the replay value is pretty low. This makes the extra playthrough a grind for Achievement hunters only.
The puzzles are relatively systematic: find A to get B to unlock C. Grim Legends does manage to allow the player a pretty seamless transition through areas, and the title flourishes as a result. The puzzles are unique in style and art, but almost all of the puzzles can be solved without any strategy whatsoever. There are “I-Spy” sequences that require the player to find hidden objects in a pile of junk. The Expert mode limits the player to a certain number of errors before hitting them with a dizzy spell (shaken screen). Otherwise, a good amount of button mashing can grind out these well-hidden objects, and it sucks the fun out of the experience. Meanwhile, most of the puzzles are solved by swapping pieces until everything is in its proper place. The Forsaken Bride is certainly not for a mature gamer looking for a challenge.
Among the most amateur elements found in The Forsaken Bride is the dialogue. Credit goes to the voice actors who worked with what was given to them, but the the dialogue made me want to stick my head in a bear trap. The story suffers greatly as a result, and it’s a tragedy. The well-executed transition between cutaway story and puzzle lends the player to become excited: it’s a point-and-click that’s driven by story. Unfortunately, the cutaways are so bad that I spent most my time praying for the next predictable puzzle. This is the game in a nutshell.
The music is very well-scored, and coupled with the direction of the artwork, The Forsaken Bride tells a better story through its medium than any of its spoken parts. It has an ambiance and visual representation of a beautiful world that had been cursed in decades past. Breaking the outer layer of objects in the cursed regions always revealed brighter or fresher colors. It was as if to say the world wanted to be free of the wretchedness, and the player was always the most successful at delivering its freedom. This was a subtly laced foreshadow delivered better than any of the dry banter between archetypal characters.
Overall, Grim Legends The Forsaken Bride is a pretty memorable game if the player is younger, more impressionable, and searching for a decent point and click adventure for the first time. The poor delivery of the story, its brevity, and lack of ingenuity in its puzzles holds this back from being a grander title.
Avoid if you’re looking for an innovative point and click… play if you’d like to try a pretty point and click for the first time on the Xbox One.