IndieRPGs.com Checks Out Secrets of Grindea
Some of my more veteran readers may remember me posting about a very exciting-looking cooperative aRPG with some strong visual influences from The Secret of Mana. That was some three years ago, about a game is called Secrets of Grindea. Recently, SoG developers Pixel Ferrets reached out to me with a beta build of the game. After I finished shrieking in delight and frightening all animals within a three-block radius, I immediately decided that I must play it and record the results. My first impressions follow:
So! What’d I think?
My first impressions are so far almost entirely positive. The game’s world is charming and full of character, it’s visually gorgeous, and the controls feel really excellent. I am also a big fan of the sound and visual effects for collecting items; it makes it feel incredibly satisfying to stuff miscellaneous junk into my sentient bag of holding.
I can see how this game would be more fun with multiple players, but it works pretty darn well as a single player experience–or at least, it did right up until the Giga Slime fight. I suspect that the Giga Slime might not be balanced for a single character, as it spawns too many minions for a single character to effectively clear (or at least, it does at my current skill level).
Beyond some possible issues with balancing for a single player run, my only real criticism of the beta so far is the magic system. I enjoy the game’s fast mana regeneration and spell variety, but I often found it difficult to target spells accurately. What’s more, magic does not seem much more effective at dealing damage than physical attacks; to the contrary, it seems that magic is frequently much less effective at damage dealing. I suppose that’s meant to keep players from just endlessly dodging around and flinging spells behind them, but hey: when you’re going toe-to-toe with a mob of 20 slimes, there’s only so much melee fighting you can really do without being beaten to a pulp.
Secrets of Grindea isn’t out yet, but you can pre-order and get into the beta yourself over at the Pixel Ferrets website. Pre-orders start at $15 a pop, with a 25% discount if you order 4 copies.