Grim Fandango is back after 17 years and better than ever

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Manny Calavera is a travel agent ... of all kinds. He works for the Department of Death, selling packages souls recently departed from the city of El Marrow, the Land of the Dead. This is the scene of one of the most original adventure games that have been created, a title originally developed for Windows and published by LucasArts back in 1998. Now has returned to the Mac, PC and Linux (with iOS still in the works), and it's all so strange and wonderful as it was 17 years ago - only better.

Grim Fandango is undoubtedly the pinnacle of point and click adventure game from LucasArts that was once renowned for. The game did not particularly well when it was first released, but over time has grown to almost legendary status, is often placed at the top games of its era critics lists.

Most of us thought we'd seen the last of Grim Fandango years ago, and when Disney bought LucasArts and made clear that there were no plans to resurrect the company's classic point and click adventure games, their fate seemed bleak. But that's where new game developer, Double Fine Productions, comes into play: the pedigree of Double Fine descends directly from LucasArts. The company is managed by Tim Schaefer, who worked as a designer in Grim Fandango Original, along with Full Throttle and The Secret of Monkey Island. Double Fine has produced a number of excellent original titles in his tenure as a study of games, like last year Broken Age (which iMore recognized as Mac puzzle game of the year).

The story

Grim Fandango is a strange mixture of Aztec folklore and black film, which owes much to classic films of Humphrey Bogart as The Maltese Falcon and Casablanca. The story takes a folded capers nourish, with Manny as the anti-hero Adorable - A looser travel agent trying to work a debt to go to the Ninth Underworld, fate of the soul after it leaves the ground living. He tried, however, Manny can never get ahead.

Finally, thinks he has found his big break when you finagles a dream client - only to have it snatched away. Manny discovers that something strange is going on, and he's drawn into a plot involves a revolutionary group seeking to overturn a conspiracy within the Department of Death. This is where the game gets really interesting.

Grim Fandango is divided into four distinct acts, each taking place on November 2 for several consecutive years. November 2, for those who do not know, is the Day of the Dead - a holiday marketplace focused in memory of friends and relatives who have died - and as such, it is not surprising that the game is rich with cultural artifacts of this holiday. Manny and his fellow characters are based on figures Calaca of Day of the Dead artwork and crafts; setting also owes much to the black film of 1930 the era of Art Deco architecture and design.

I will not spoil much, as I do not want to take much of the joy of Grim Fandango: discover how the story unfolds. It's just a fairy tale; it takes several hours to play through and a lot of fun.


In Grim Fandango Remastered Double Fine, you control Manny and interact with their environment by pointing and clicking; seeing how their tracks head will give an idea of the specific hot spots that you must click or characters that you should interact. An emerging interface allows you to either manipulate an object, pick it up and add it to your inventory (Manny suit pocket can contain an infinite number of elements), or - in the case of other characters - talk to them. The dialogue between characters involves branching options.

Grim Fandango Remastered is an old game, yes, but not easy. In fact, it is much more difficult than many recent adventure games I've played. But that does not mean it is impossible, or that it is too frustrating, either. There is no way to "die" in this game, so no tearing his fists on the table in some effort endlessly contraction, either. The only time the game starts to fray is during the cut scenes that look very grainy and dated compared to what we've come to expect from games today.

The remastering process

The game has not been redesigned from scratch: It's still instantly recognizable as Grim Fandango, with the same story, the same puzzles and same jokes that made the game so eminently playable again in the late 1990s has just been updated and adjusted to take modern processing capabilities, repainted textures with higher resolution characters, new dynamic lighting effects, re-recorded score for a live orchestra, and some worthy of a Blu-ray disc or DVD release special extras.

Additional content of Grim Fandango Remastered includes more than two hours of directors and conceptual art speech browser; is a fun addition that offers greater game fans get even more experience.

end result

The lack of handholding can frustrate new players in the genre of adventure, but the good news is that, like a game of 17, there are plenty of tutorials and guides suggestion can be found with a quick search on Google . But honestly, solve puzzles himself is much more fun because it forces you to pay special attention to the history and the environment. And Grim Fandango is worth your attention.

Grim Fandango Remastered is available for download via Steam.

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