Backlog Attack! – 2019 Challenge – February

Hello friends and welcome to the second of Khinjarsi’s Backlog Attack entries, as chosen by Thero. If you want to see what last month’s game was like, please have a read here for Khinjarsi’s, and here for Thero’s.

Play time: 11 hours
Achievements: Yes – 24/24
Steam Trading Cards: Yes
Enjoyed: To a point
Would recommend?: If you like these kind of games, then it’s more of the same.

February went by super quick, huh? I thought I had a bit longer to think and write about my Feb Backlog attack game, Grim Legends: The Forsaken Bride.
Grim Legends is one of many point-and-click, hidden object games produced by Artifex Mundi. There are a million (not literally) different games that all fall into the Hidden Object genre. I’ve played a few in the past after Ellie introduced me to them when she was struggling with an obtuse puzzle.
Let’s just say Artifex stick to what they do best. I will note that my play time is nearly triple how long a story playthrough on hard took me, because Artifex games are easy to 100% achievement complete if you’re willing to throw some time in and replay the story a couple of times – I ended up restarting in order to get one set of achievements first time round.

From the Steam Store page:
“Enter an enchanting world of legends and magic, filled with gloomy forests, forbidden temples, and abandoned castles; a realm of dark secrets, where your destiny was written long before your birth…
Within the shadow of an ancient forest, on the bottom of a foggy valley, stands the lonely village of Ravenbrook. The folk there are cheerful and diligent, yet warily superstitious. They surround the village with countless charms to keep the evil spirits at bay, for on the other side of the forest, there lies a seemingly bottomless pit, known as the Abyss. It is the place the villagers of Ravenbrook fear most…
On this night, a young woman is returning home for her twin sister’s wedding. The sisters haven’t seen each other in years. Yet the invitation was strange, almost as if someone else wrote it, other than her twin. But still she comes, ignorant of the danger that awaits…
For just before the wedding, amidst the happiness and reverie, a stranger arrived in Ravenbrook…”

I just want to pick this description apart a little. Whilst I agree there are legends and magic, I wouldn’t say the world was filled with gloomy forests (they’re actually fairly colourful) and there is one each of a temple (not that it seems forbidden) and a castle (not that it’s abandoned). The villagers aren’t massively cheerful and are actually kind of creepy (all 3 of them), and I don’t recall seeing any charms in the village.
So I actually can’t really discuss the story without spoilers, but dotted throughout are a small variety of hidden object games, mini games and “puzzles” relating to the story. I didn’t find any of them especially challenging, even on hard mode, and in order to get some of the achievements I couldn’t skip them. There is a couple of alternatives to the hidden object games if you do find yourself struggling. Firstly, as with almost all hidden object games there are hints avaliable to point you in the right direction, although these are timer limited; you can’t keep clicking the hint request to find everything for you. The second option if you can’t deal with the hidden objects is to play dominoes. Yes, dominoes. It isn’t explained in the game, how you play isn’t explained and how it links to the story isn’t really explained; there just happens to be images of bears (there is a bear in the story).
It’s not a bad alternative to sitting 2 inches from the screen trying to figure out if you are looking at a rock or an object you need, but I wish it was better linked to the whole plot and explained. As with many Atrifex games, there are also collectibles – in Grim Legends theses are presented as Faeries and “Elusive Objects”, images that appear and disappear through the game (a face in the moon for example). No real reason for them, I can’t see an achievement related reason and they don’t really add anything to the Extras part of the menu.

Final Thoughts:
Unfortunately, there’s not a lot I have to say about Grim Legends – obviously evil guy is obviously evil, unnecessary post-credit “sequel” is unnecessary, and it’s another Artifex Mundi game. Grim Legends has another 2 games in it’s series, which are both in my library, but I don’t see Artifecx Mundi games as challenging or interesting, just another source of achievements and trading cards.

That’s not to say it’s a bad game; if you like this type of game, you’ll like Grim Legends and most of the Artifex Mundi catalogue.

Next month in Khin’s Backlog Attack is the original Fallout. although I think I need to read the manual first.

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