Grim Fandango Remastered Review: Journey of a Lifetime in the Land of the Dead
Grim Fandango Remastered is an excellent choice If you want to try a good old point and click. Released in 1998 by LucasArts, the original game appeared on Microsoft Windows. 17 years later, Grim Fandango Remastered arrived on PC, Xbox One, PS4 and Nintendo Switch, published by Double Fine Productions. Back again with enhanced audio and visuals, is worth a revisit 23 years later?
“My Name is Manny Calavera, I’m your new travel agent”
Players interact with the world through Manny Calavera, a reaper of souls and travel agent. Quick-witted and charming, manny is able to navigate his way through the many challenges his journey throws at him, using anything and everything he can get his hands on. Surrounded by an interesting ensemble of characters, every interaction will leave you grinning ear to ear. Manny’s goal is the same as many other inhabitants, travel through the land of the dead and pass into the ninth underworld. Unfortunately death, much like life, isn’t so easy. Stuck in a dead-end job unable to get his hands on a good commission, Manny’s fortunes change upon meeting Mrs Mercedes Colomar, a saint strangely missing her ticket to the next life.
“Everybody here is just as dead as you! Thats why we call it the Land of the Dead.”
The game takes place in the Land of the dead, inspired by the Mexican Day of the Dead celebrations. Grim Fandango’s four chapters take place over four years, set on the day of the dead. The world is both familiar and fantastical, making each location a joy to explore. From highrise offices to deep under the ocean, Grim Fandango Remastered is brimming with unique locals brimming with mind-bending puzzles for the player to work through. Each location the player explores has its own music, beautifully creating tone and atmosphere. Ranging from joyous and upbeat tones to slow sombre laments, the soundtrack simply is a joy to experience.
“Oh you’re going to have a great trip, wish I was going”
Being a point and click, the main challenge of the game is the puzzles. Thankfully the “moon logic” common to this genre of games isn’t as prevalent in Grim Fandango Remastered. Gameplay boils down to four general aspects, exploration, interacting with NPCs, collecting items and solving puzzles. Controls for the game can either be via, mouse and keyboard, controller or tank controls. Mouse and keyboard can be used interchangeably and direct the character as would be expected in most modern games.
The tank control layout is, on the other hand, a throwback to how the original game was controlled, where the player can move forward and back but must rotate the character rather than simply move left or right. for those who want the authentic experience this is the control method for you, this, however, might take some getting used too. There are some nitpicks, of course, the camera can be annoying in regard to movement at times, especially if you use the keyboard to navigate. The game quickly snaps between perspectives, so this may cause you to lose control momentarily as you regain your bearings.
This game is considered a masterpiece by many and I am happy to say that I rank among them, there are some flaws and the genre of the game isn’t as popular as it once was, but if you would like to give a point and click ago, enjoy a good story, music and a challenge, I can wholeheartedly recommend Grim Fandango Remastered.
Review by Shaun Elders
Grim Fandango is truly a beautiful point and click, a true exemplar of the genre, recommended to anyone looking to try a point and click or see what games were like two decades ago.
Game by Double Fine Productions. The Beta Network uses affiliate partnerships, however, this does not influence reviews or any other content published. The Beta Network may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links that are on the website.