Developer: ROBOX Studios
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★★
Game Controls Rating: ★★★½☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Platformers on the iPhone are usually either extremely cartoony or extremely serious, but very few fill that gray area as well as Grimm. Set in victorian England, Grimm is the story of a baby carriage trying to get its passenger, the baby, back to its mom that accidentally let them at a train station. You are being followed by a Jack the Ripper shadowy person though that is intent on seeing you die a tragic death.

You start each stage with a haunting poem which leads you into the gritty world the game is set it. The graphics are wonderfully hand drawn, with black and white being accented by small object colors throughout. The animations are all wonderful, and the increasingly haunted locals really set the scene well. If the game doesn’t suck you in with its gorgeous graphics though, you’re in trouble.

The game itself isn’t bad, but its not great either. The levels are long, the action is scarce, and the controls are, at times, more maddening than the Tim Burton-esque backgrounds. The typical level in Grimm has a few platforms to jump on, a few things to push, a few bad guys to jump on, and a few levers that need to be hit with the baby. Launching a baby with a stroller sure does sound fun, but the unresponsive carriage just made me want to poke a hole in my iPhone’s screen.

To launch the baby, and this is a common action in the game, you’re supposed to just drag your finger on top of it and then an aimer pops up. I won’t even talk about the fidgety aimer (be sure to take your time with aiming); getting the thing to work was maddening enough. I tried to press down on it from every angle with all sorts of sensitivities until it finally went for whatever reason. Each time I use the launcher it’s a different experience; sometimes it works perfectly and other times it won’t work at all.

The real hole in the game is its lack of exciting moments. Flying off large cliffs and the high speed obstacle courses are by far the most entertaining actions in the game, but they are few and far between. The majority of the time you are just mindlessly jumping on barrels and rolling over hills, or jumping on the heads of the bad guys who want you dead for some unknown reason.

Grimm reminds me of going to the movie theater years ago to watch Beowulf in 3D. I didn’t leave the movie theater upset that day, but I also didn’t take much away from the experience. It was visually stunning and the epic basis felt like it should be important, but the substance just wasn’t really there. I want more action out of Grimm. It’s too pretty to be average.


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