Review: Grim Legends: The Forsaken Bride
Every time I play a hidden object game, I realize something new about the genre. Today’s revelation is that the majority of these things are about a parent saving a child or a child saving their parent. That’s all well and good, except they tend to get into the dumbest situations just so that someone will have to assemble crests and shoot crossbows and mix potions to get them out. Grim Legends starts with a pretty thin premise but makes the absolute most of it, turning the story into a pretzel salted with some quality clicking and puzzling.
You’re on your way to your twin sister’s wedding at the local quaint village with your father, taking care not to trip and fall into the BOTTOMLESS HELL ABYSS the town was built right on the edge of. A bear of all things crashes the wedding and leads you on a wild chase into the woods, through a spooky castle, and yes, right back to the BOTTOMLESS HELL ABYSS for the grand finale. And grand it is, the whole way through even, because the revelations and secret identities will come thick and fast.
I’m talking this up a bit, it’s still a hidden object game so the twists are going to be obvious but that doesn’t make them any less entertaining. The Forsaken Bride does a few things that help keep it memorable, even if it does start out a little weak. They’ll take you to some truly awesome locations, too, which is one of the big strengths this title has over its peers. Scenes in Grim Legends are colorful, vibrant, and have a lot going on just beyond the puzzles and object scenes. There are little fairies and ghosts to collect if you can spot them, along with some background elements you can poke just for fun.
It’s not just the locales that hit all the right notes, either. There’s a refreshing variety of activities to partake in as you progress through the story, not just hunting objects. Every location has sub-scenes where you can find or use items, or launch into one of the game’s many puzzles. While there are a few standards like tracing wires or swapping tiles you’ll be treated to a few I haven’t seen before, such as a rolling ball maze and (no lie) applying make-up. And the hidden object scenes themselves are clear and crisp, with twelve items to find apiece. As with all quality games in the genre you may need to do some assembling or hunting for secondary items to access a few, and there are also special scenes where you find pieces of a specific item you need to make.
Topping all this off are a few particularly involved puzzles where you mix potions or forge metal keys, which always come as a welcome break from scrambling around to use this item on that thing to get another item. Oh, and then there’s your kitty. You get a kitten early on which can be used to grab items just out of reach or scare off small critters your character is too dainty to face herself. It’s a solid, varied adventure from start to finish that even gets a bonus chapter afterwards that features some extra sinister and trippy locations.
Fans of the hidden object genre often have to lower expectations to appreciate the average title, but Grim Legends stands tall among such middling offerings. A great deal of care and artistry has been applied in the making of this game, effort that should be commended by players and emulated by developers. Honestly I have yet to play a bad Artifex Mundi game, and while there are a few little trips on item names and the writing on the whole this is by far one of the best hidden object games I’ve played. It’s the perfect title for newcomers to experience the genre with, or hidden object fans to treat themselves with.