American McGee’s Grimm is Not Your Typical Fairy Tale

The Grimm Brothers are two of the most well-known story tellers of all time. Their stories have been told to young children for years and most of us can recite the more popular ones by heart. I, myself, own their complete set of stories and read the collection multiple times as a girl. When I found out about American McGee’s Grimm, I immediately jumped on the chance to relive my childhood memories.

In this rendition of the Grimm Fairy Tales, you play a smelly and nasty little creature whose main purpose is to make the cute fairy tales into something disgusting and ugly. By running around the map, your aura increases the vileness of the story.

Split into 23 different, well-known fairy tales, American McGee’s Grimm (by Spicy Horse Games) spins the original story in a sarcastic tone, takes you through the story as it’s made dark, then recounts the story again at the end with the new changes. While it’s very creative, I felt worn down by long cut scenes and borderline-cheesy narration.

American McGee's Grimm

The game play is very simple. You play a disgusting creature and everything around you turns yucky when you get near it. To complete the story, you must dirty each part of the fairy tale and progress is tracked using a smelly meter at the top of the screen. There are animals and cleaners that may hinder your work, but they’re slow and can be stunned by butt stomping the ground. At first, you can only make the ground dirty but as the meter levels up, you can change the landscape, buildings, and even kill people.

While the game itself isn’t challenging and the stories are ones told to children, American McGee’s Grimm is not meant for young ears. I have to give a lot of credit to the writers and narrators who produced the dialogue because it’s actually quite good. They’ve taken pretty fantasies and made them over-the-top cynical and disturbing. The entire fairy tale is narrated with different voices that fit the situation and I found myself giggling at the sarcastic tone and witty humor.

Unfortunately, I feel like the developers spent too much time focusing on the story and not enough on the game. You can buy each episode separately, which can be both a positive and negative thing. Positive because if you hate it, you don’t have to buy the rest and negative because I feel like that’s a tactic used by large corporations to squeeze the most money out of gamers.  The game is very repetitive, but each scene can earn you a spot on the leaderboards if you finish fast enough.

American McGee’s Grimm is not as much of a game as it is an interactive cinematic experience. If you’re looking for adventure and a challenging experience, you probably won’t find it here. It’s an interesting take on fairy tales and because of that, it’s worth a try. You can find American McGee’s Grimm on Steam for $3.99-which also includes the entire first season.