Grimoire: Heralds of the Winged Exemplar is out after a 20 year development cycle. This game more than like has the longest development cycle in history. There is only one man behind this: Cleve Blakemore. He’s been toiling hard ever since 1994( or 1997) at this old school RPG. The page on Steam went up and had the message ‘Itz coming’ and then ‘This is not a drill’. But then again, they missed the release date mentioned on the banner by three days.
This isn’t the first time Blakemore has missed a promised deadline. In a failed Indiegogo campaign ( which still managed to raise over $11,000) he posted:
COMPLETION NOT SUBJECT TO FUNDING!! THIS GAME WILL SHIP IN MAY 2013 WITH OR WITHOUT ENHANCEMENT!! A PLEDGE HERE WILL BE FULFILLED. THIS CAMPAIGN IS NOT A FUNDING FOR COMPLETION, IT IS A FUNDING FOR ENHANCEMENT!!! COMPLETION IS GUARANTEED HERE!
Grimoire Doing Well in the Reviews
Critics were very quick to slam the game and point fingers at the flaws it had. But given time, the game has went from Negative to Mixed to Mostly Positive reviews on Steam. The negative reviews mostly stem from the technical faults the game has. Some people are also criticizing (arguably rightly) the old school style of this game. As one user Nyast writes quite well
Quick review after a few hours of play, from a fan of this genre of games:
– windowed mode is bugged and causes black screen, can’t close window, has to kill process
– full screen has black borders on left/right and you can’t alt-tab to other processes, like a web browser
– game crashes when clicking on portraits ( edit: already fixed, requires reinstall )
– user interface is old-school in the bad way: requires lots of extra clicks. Expect insane clicking even for basic functionality.
– to speed up combat you need to click the rounds, so for trash encounters you end up clicking like a madman ( edit: you can speed up by using enter, didn’t know that due to lack of manual. Helps quite a bit ).
– game is pretty difficult/old-school. Expect to have to remake your party due to getting blocked in game due to not having the right skills/spells to progress.
On the positive side, I’m having fun and I can see how a fan of this kind of game will enjoy it ( expect your share of treasures, secrets, loot, random combat and even talkable NPCs via a keyword system ). For others, be aware that this game is not for the weak and requires thinking…….
The review continues on but the main faults they have outlined in the bullet points.
Will Grimoire shy away new players?
Going through the reviews and playing through the game myself, I think a lot of players not familiar with this type of game, or even familiar with modern types of this game will be hard pressed to play this. The game is very heavily invested in its old school roots, and I mean very heavily. I would say it does not learn from the mistakes and the bad mechanics from the old games and keeps them in. Much like Yooka Laylee.
Grimoire will be very exciting for players who have the slightest bit of interest in RPGs. In it’s essence the game is the purest RPG I have seen in years. As the dev says themself: :” ….the greatest roleplaying game of them all is finally ready for release! Grimoire is an homage to the classic dungeon blobbers and is inspired by Wizardry, Might & Magic, Lands of Lore, Anvil of Dawn, DungeonMaster and the Eye of the Beholder games”