Written by  :  Ashley Pomeroy (233)
Written on  :  Jul 11, 2000
Rating  :  4.75 Stars4.75 Stars4.75 Stars4.75 Stars4.75 Stars

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Excellent modern adventure

The Good

At a time when it seems as if Lucasarts-style adventures were on the way out, 'Grim Fandango' absolutely wobbles with quality. Not so much an adventure as a proper interactive movie, it combines some amusing puzzles with excellent writing and voice acting, and typically surreal Lucasarts humour. What other game allows you to deliver interactive jazz poetry? Featuring an noir-ish storyline set in the land of the dead (a kind of half-way house between the land of the living and the afterlife), you play a supernatural 'travel agent', a man who must seek out the souls of the newly-departed, and sell them travel packages to ease their passage into the next world. Borrowing liberally from 'Touch of Evil', 'Double Indeminity', 'Casablanca' and 'The Maltese Falcon', the game makes the surreal, Mexican-folklore-influenced world work and seem alive, filled with characters who also seem real. A combination of top-notch visual acting and some excellent voicing give the characters life, and even the supporting seem to have had effort put into them. It's light-years away from the awfulness of most computer game acting ('Resident Evil' springs to mind), and should make other games designers feel angry and unfulfilled. There's some great latin music, too, with more pan-pipes than you ever though you would hear in your life. The plot seems to be over all too soon. You can still buy this at full-price in some shops, and it's worth every penny.

The Bad

There isn't much to not like. The odd perspectives sometimes hinder your navigation, and it's too easy to run into walls and slide off when in fact you wanted to go through a door. Furthermore, two of the puzzles require non-obvious pixel-perfect positioning (you'll know them when you get to them). Apart from that, this game is perfect.

The Bottom Line

Excellent modern adventure with a bizarre setting, and alcoholism!