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ZOOM Grim Fandango
Sold Out (Win95/98/Me) (US Retail Box) (GRIMFANDPR)

LucasArts Entertainment

Game

Ratings:

The FamilyPC 100 (June/July 1999)

9 from PC Accelerator

         

Something's Rotten in the Land of the Dead...

...and you're being played for a sucker. Meet Manny Calavera, travel agent at the Department of Death. He sells luxury packages to souls on their four-year journey to eternal rest. But there's trouble in paradise. Help Manny untangle himself from a conspiracy that threatens his very salvation.

A four-year journey through over 100 exotic locales

An extraordinary experience within 3D Art Deco and Aztec-inspired environments

A web of intrigue 50 characters deep

A shocking portrait drawn with 7,000 lines of revealing dialogue

Hundreds of challenging puzzles for all adventurers

A smooth, seamless interface puts you smack in Manny's world

A lush original score featuring Swing-era bebop and jazz

An amazing 3D adventure by Tim Schafer, creator of Full Throttle and Day of the Tentacle.

Manny Calavera

You play Manny throughout Grim Fandango. He’s a regular guy serving his time in the Land of the Dead by working for the Department of Death. Manny is a kind of travel agent who can arrange deluxe transportation to the ninth underworld for those who have lived virtuous lives. Unfortunately, all his clients lately seem to be losers, which means no commissions for Manny and no job security. He is starting to suspect that there is dirty work afoot in the Department of Death. Who has it in for Manny? Why can’t he get any good clients?



Mercedes Colomar
a.k.a. "Meche"

The mystery woman who blows into Manny’s office like a breath of spring, but gives him the cold shoulder. What happened to Meche’s eternal reward? Where does she disappear? Does Manny stand a ghost of a chance with her?



Glottis

Manny's driver and companion, Glottis is an enormous, grotesque monster of the underworld with nothing in his heart but love. Love for driving. Love for cars. Love for anything with an engine that moves fast. He is an elemental spirit of the Land of the Dead, summoned from the soil and given one purpose —to drive. Or, to change oil and adjust timing belts if no driving jobs are open. Warning: Never allow Glottis to enter an institution of gambling, or you may never get him out.

Requirements:

100% Windows 95/98/Me DirectX compatible computer, Pentium 133 or faster, 4 speed CD-ROM drive or higher, 2MB PCI graphics card, 32MB RAM, 100% Windows 95/98 compatible 16-bit sound card, 100% Windows 95/98 compatible keyboard. Supported: 4MB PCI or AGP accelerator, joysticks and gamepads. Microsoft DirectX 6.0 is available on the CD and must be installed to play the game.

May work on Windows XP. Sound drivers will probably need to be updated to the latest versions.

Reviews:

PC Accelerator, January 1999

"Back in the '40s, a cinema directorial form arose that was called 'film noir' (the French term for 'black cinema') because of its dark, gritty look at society and human nature. Hard-boiled detectives, femmes fatales, double crosses, and morally ambiguous heroes were its trademarks, and in games it's almost never done right anymore (did anyone play Black Dahlia?). So things looked promising when LucasArts announced that Tim Schafer, designer of Full Throttle and Day of the Tentacle, was taking a humorous stab at the darker side of games.

"The result, Grim Fandango, is an instant classic. Mixing Mexico's Day of the Dead lore with Mayan and Aztec mythos, then wrapping it all around a darkly comedic noir storyline, Grim is truly original. Sure, it's still a graphic puzzle game - the plot moves along as you progress through item-manipulation-based obstacles - but no one is going to mistake it for a Myst-style game, thank god. There aren't stoic, lifeless environments in this underworld, and while all the characters may be dead, they make the landscape seem alive."

"Moving from one distinctive, incredible-looking 3D landscape to the next, Grim Fandango weaves its macabre tale through mind-bending puzzles, fantastic cinematic sequences, and a plethora of wonderful characters. Another marvel of the game is the mouseless interface. You use a gamepad or the keyboard to control Manny, and though it's odd at first, it's soon second nature - Manny's head turns to look at anything interactive or interesting, and you just press a button to act on his glance.

"The music is also great - a mix of stylish '40s jazz and bebop, all evocative and perfect for the setting. The voice acting is just as good, and superb sound effects round things out. There are only a few negatives here. Some graphic stuttering occurs, shadows are blocky, and control isn't as sensitive as it could be. Also, like most LucasArts adventures, many of the puzzle solutions are hard to fathom, although Grim has a stronger sense of logic in it than does the last Monkey Island.

"Seldom do style and substance come together at all in this industry, much less with so much success. Grim Fandango is a milestone for the graphic adventure, pushing the genre as far as possible without reinventing it. The game never parodies its subject matter, but instead pays intelligent and humorous homage to both South American imagery and film noir. It's one of the coolest experiences to cross the PC in a long time."

Pluses:
Superb landscapes and characters
Actually funny when it tries to be
Great control system and puzzles

Minuses:
Some puzzle solutions are vague
Little replay value after you win
Some graphic and control stuttering

Just Adventure, Nov 1998 by Jenny Guenther

"This is far and away the most stylish and entertaining game I've ever played. You've got to play it! No self-respecting adventure gamer should be without it. This is what other adventure games only aspire to be. It is extremely well-written, well-executed, and above all, fun to play. Are you on your way to the store yet? You'd better get a move on! A better game I've yet to play ... I've got to update my favorites list on another part of this site to put Grim Fandango in the number one spot. I give it a resounding, wholehearted A+, two thumbs up (and they're both mine!). The main drawback of this game is the ending--I wish there wasn't one."



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