From the moment we saw Grime at Guerrilla Collective at E3, it quietly entered the market and has already become a hit with gamers. Grime is a side-scrolling metroidvania that also draws inspiration from Dark Souls.
You control a humanoid statue with a black hole instead of a head (several characters call you “chiseled”, which made me laugh), and only this should already show you in what style the game Grime is made. The action takes place in a surreal world where a guy with a black hole for a head is one of the most ordinary characters you can encounter.
Now you might think that there are too many dark souls-like metroidvanias. But if you still like this concept, then we can already say that Grime is a win-win option. But his world is only part of what makes Grime special. The story is rather vague, and it takes time for everything to become clear, if at all. But, while the game has no plot, like many other metroidvanias, you get the opportunity to piece together the history of its locations.
The world itself seems to be composed mainly of various caves. As with Hollow Knight, it’s amazing how much visual variety and secrets can be placed in caves. The game looks very, very good, and, besides, it has an amazing soundtrack. And Grime does have secret passages and .. caves in caves. You jump between platforms, go down stairs, jump into ravines, the bottom of which is visible – in general, everything is pretty standard.
But compared to Dark Souls, Grime is more attracted to the systems than the general atmosphere. You have an RPG-style system that lets you spend points on skills. You can change your stone appendages and weapons, and weapons can also be upgraded. There is also a scale of endurance – endurance here is called breathing, because even statues with black holes instead of a head must obviously breathe.
But if there is nothing particularly new about all this, then Grime has an interesting absorption skill. Timely used absorption helps you catch enemy weapons and knock them back, and when the enemy loses enough health, you can absorb it entirely, which, in turn, will reward you with abilities that you can use yourself.
You are absorbing skills, not attacks, probably so as not to make collecting weapons in the game meaningless. Boss design is another important metroidvania trait that Grime handles – the big bosses look cool and difficult to defeat, and there are also many mini-bosses to find and defeat.
Overall, this is not Metroidvania, which reinvented the wheel, which would be difficult given the current popularity of the genre, but it is pleasant to play and is simply good at what it does. The developers of Clover Bite look like true metroidvania fans who have figured out what makes the genre fun, and the players are catching it.
You can purchase Grime right now on Steam, Epic Games Store, or GOG.