Grim Fandango Remastered is a Playstation 4, PS Vita and PC remake of the 1998 point and click adventure game of the same name. Set in the underworld, you play as the quick talking travel agent Manny Calavera, whose job it is to flog travel packages to the recently deceased, with those who've been good in life having more "karma" to spend on a more luxurious ride for their four year journey to the afterlife. Unfortunately, Manny's been having a bit of bad luck lately with his clients, with few having much in the way of spending money - until a certain Mercedes Colomar arrives, a dead cert for the top notch package if ever there was one. Having been all but a saint in life, she must have racked up all sorts of rewards - but, weirdly, she shows up as having nothing to spend. With Mercedes left with a long and arduous slog through the underworld, and Manny losing his job, he sets off after her, determined to get to the bottom of the weird goings on, uncovering a whole web of lies and corruption along the way.
An old-style adventure game, set in a world filled with crazy characters - and often crazier puzzles - Grim Fandango can be a bit of a culture shock to those used to today's games. Slow-paced and story-driven, with a ton of humour and well-written characters, it's the sort of game for people who prefer to sit back and figure things out for themselves. Most of your time will be spent exploring the game's many areas, talking to everyone in sight, and picking up anything that isn't nailed down. Every now and then, you'll come across a roadblock of some sort, where you'll have to have to figure out what you need to use where in order to get past - a process that requires either a very specific type of logic, or the willingness to try every object with every other object until something works.
For example - in the world of Grim Fandango, the only logical way to intercept one of your rival, Domino's, messages is to send balloons filled with foam packing materials down the message delivery tubes and gunk it up. Only then can you head down to the server room and use a playing card with a hold punched in it to stop a message canister long enough for you to read the details. It can be a bit crazy when you're first getting your head around things - but there's a very specific way of thinking you'll soon ease into.
However, in Grim Fandango, it's not always obvious that what you need to do, where you need to go or why, and the game drops you into things with no explanations whatsoever. While those that have played similar games, such as Monkey Island, Sam & Max or the Discworld games should be well away, those that haven't may find it a bit confusing, illogical and overwhelming. Camera angles also have a tendency to obscure key items, or new areas, which can add to the confusion. On the plus side though, the game is fully voiced and you could probably get through it without reading too much - but given the level of warped logic involved, Grim Fandango is likely the territory of older children only.
Generally speaking, Grim Fandango is a fairly clean game, with no violence, sex scenes or gore whatsoever. Younger children could potentially find the world inhabited by skeletons a bit on the creepy side however, even if the game isn't scary in itself. Throughout the game, characters can be shot with guns and 'sprouted' - effectively killing the already dead by making flowers grow inside them. There's also infrequent bad language and occasional suggestive dialogue, mostly between the main character and a female police officer who's particularly keen on the idea of strip searching Manny, with innuendos, references and such throughout.
Format Reviewed: PC