Grimm Episode 4 – “Puss in Boots”

Cat Giant

Puss No Boots

Another week, another episode of Grimm! This time around Grimm visits the well-known tale of “Puss in Boots” – to ridicule the idea that an intelligent, talking cat would be selfless servant to a bumbling imbecile.

Check out the trailer on YouTube. Then head over to GameTap to check out the latest episode for FREE (during the first 24 hours after launch). (Why do I sometimes feel like a car salesman? Sigh.)

During the week since we released Episode 3, Grimm garnered further praise from reviewers and players alike. Maximum PC gave a 7 score on a combined review of the first two episodes, saying:

To begin each episode, Grimm narrates a puppet show version of a fairy tale as it has traditionally been told. The snarky commentary grants these sequences undeniable charm, which is further enhanced by the simple character models and animation. The pastel colors and blocky figures make the game look like a storybook illustration come to life.

Great review! Although they incorrectly state the game is rated “M” and warn against exposing kids to it. Actually, it’s a Teen rating, so a little exposure might not completely warp your children.

The “target audience” question is one I’ve seen a few times now. I guess the fact the question exists says something about our product positioning (or lack thereof). And I’ll be the first to admit the “aim” is quite wide. I think that’s partly a result of the core mechanic: We’re working with “children’s tales”, but striving to make them darker. Things start off looking “Disney” and end up looking Manson Family. So the target audience depends entirely on which side of the tale you’re looking at.

Another way of stating it: Each episode starts as “E” but the game goal is to convert everything to “M”.

Makes me wonder if Grimm could be used as an instructional video for ESRB reviewers. “See this flower? This is E. Now see how the flower converts into a child’s skull with blood shooting from th eye sockets? That’s M.”

Ultimately, the narrative goal of all this “transforming things to dark” is to resuscitate fairy tales once breaming with bloody, nasty, scary, LIFE. Somewhere during the Disney-facation of children’s entertainment society decided that “protected children” grew up to be to better, healthier adults. Perhaps. Perhaps not.

Personally, I’m inclined to believe our mental “defenses” work best when inoculated through exposure and adaption. Same way our immune system functions. Children exposed to the dirty, gritty, caterpillar eating, dog poo playing, window licking reality of the world develop better and stronger immune systems compared to tykes raised “in a bubble”. We don’t live in a bubble – so we have a hard time living in the real world when raised in one – works whether we’re talking about mental, physical, or “other” aspects of our being.

I say, “Let your children eat caterpillars! And let them play Grimm!”

Just don’t blame me if they take to running around peeing on everything.

3 responses to “Grimm Episode 4 – “Puss in Boots””

  1. Gametap says it requires me to have a Gold Account to download this one, even today while it’s free. This wasn’t the case with the first two (accidentally skipped fishwife, I’ll correct that soon).

    What gives? I’m looking forward to playing this one.

  2. You DO NOT need a Gold Account to play the FREE episodes during the first 24 hours. BUT I’ve seen GameTap people mention that this message will appear if you go to visit the episode page while they are uploading all the final content and making the episode “live” – I think they do this around 11am. Just navigate away, wait a few minutes, then return. Things should be fine.

    Also, I’ve asked GameTap if there’s a way to prevent this message from scaring people away – seems a lot of people are experiencing the same situation as you, and they aren’t liking it.

    Thanks for the note.

  3. I played Puss last night and I loved it. It’s been my favorite so far, I think. The environments were excellent. The rabbit burrow, for instance, was a different type of environment. Before it, I can’t remember anything with a ceiling…well, maybe inside the wolf’s stomach…but I loved the close quarters. I liked the rolling hills in a few of the levels. It was also a little more challenging in a good way.

    And I saw one of the load screens that said Grimm is voiced by the same guy who did the Cheshire Cat. I thought it was him. “Here’s a riddle: When is a croquet mallet like a billy club?” He has an excellent voice for that type of character.

    Oh, and I liked how Puss would shout words and they would hang in the air. That was cool. This game seemed bigger/longer. The file size was a good 100 MB bigger.

    I still wish the unlockable for finding all the coins was a little more than the gallery. Maybe something more is in the works. All in all, I loved Puss, it was great fun! Thanks!

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