I’m not going to lie, it isn’t hugely unexpected that my first news article of 2024 is about a game that is over a decade old. We are in the age of the remake/remaster, after all. But dungeon-crawling RPG Legend of Grimrock isn’t getting a remake. It isn’t getting a remaster. It is, however, coming to a new platform when it launches later this month for Nintendo Switch.
Legend of Grimrock was first released in April 2012. In what I believe to be Matt’s review of the PC version of the game (the review is so old there is no name attached to it), he states, “Legend of Grimrock is a great way to revisit the good old days of the dungeon delve. Some interesting level design and nice production values might just nab the genre one or two new fans, too.” A sequel, Legend of Grimrock 2 launched in 2014. It was ported to iOS in 2015; in that review, Matt concludes, “The game offers intricate maps and some classic crawler action, and it’s as good a second time through as it was the first.” And then… nothing. Developer Almost Human hasn’t launched a game since then, though it is my understanding that many of its staff was working over at Ctrl Alt Delete (Druidstone) as of early 2019.
The upcoming Nintendo Switch version of the game preserves the original adventure but also introduces an overhauled user interface. It is optimized for playing with a Joy-Con pair.
“All of us at Almost Human have had other things to do besides Legend of Grimrock in recent years so why should we do a port of a game that’s almost 11 years old already?” muses Almost Human co-founder Antti Tiihonen in a press release. He follows up with the answer: “The idea of the port arose when our programmer, Petri Häkkinen, had a Nintendo Switch developer kit and he thought it would be a fun and educational side project to get the game running on our favorite console platform. Most of our decisions aren’t driven by business development plans or market analysis and this one was no exception since we did the project simply because it was enjoyable for us.”
Legend of Grimrock is described on its Steam page as “a dungeon-crawling role playing game with an old-school heart but a modern execution.” In the game, a group of prisoners are sentenced to a certain death when exiled to secluded Mount Grimrock. They may or may not have actually committed the crimes they’ve been accused of. What their captors don’t know is that the mountain is filled with ancient tunnels, dungeons, and tombs built by past civilisations. To gain their freedom the group will have to descend through the mountain, as a team, level by level.
Players create a party of four, customising them with different races, classes, skills, and traits. Combat is highly tactical and in real time with grid-based movement, hidden switches, deadly traps, and terrible monsters. The gameplay emphasises puzzles and exploration. Wit is far more important than even the sharpest sword. For those craving a challenge, Oldschool Mode disables the automap.
Developed and published by Almost Human, Legend of Grimrock will be released digitally for Nintendo Switch on January 15.
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