A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Grim Fandango Remastered is a downloadable adventure title. The game takes place in the afterlife, and you see skeletons, coffins, and other darker-themed characters, though these are not presented in a manner to scare or shock players. There's a heavy focus on drinking and tobacco use, with characters talking about or showing excessive smoking and drinking in many game scenes. There's some animated violence, such as firing a gun at ravens or spraying chemicals that can damage skeletons. There's also slightly suggestive dialogue between male and female characters. Although fairly easy to play, some camera angles can cause frustration by obscuring key items or paths needed to progress through tricky segments of the game.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
GRIM FANDANGO REMASTERED is an updated version of a classic late-'90s point-and-click adventure game from the mind of Tim Schafer and published by LucasArts. It retains the original story, characters, and puzzles that made it so beloved, blending elements of Mexican folklore, Aztec art, film noir, and art deco. This new version also features improved graphics (new character textures and dynamic lighting, shadows, and so on), new orchestral recordings of the soundtrack, and developer commentary, if desired. The player assumes the role of Manny Calavera, a "travel agent" in the afterlife who picks up souls from the Land of the Living and sends them on their journey to their final resting place. It’s not long before Manny realizes something is seriously amiss with this process and must unravel the layers of a tangled conspiracy -- even if it means sacrificing his own personal salvation. Who said purgatory was a piece of cake, anyway?
Is it any good?
Grim Fandango Remastered is proof that a great game is timeless. By refreshing the visuals and sound for today's age -- yet retaining the story, characters, and puzzles -- the developers have proven that anyone who enjoys a slower-paced adventure will no doubt fall in love with this charming remix. Even those who played the original should get a kick of this new version, as it's been a while since the original was released for PCs. Unlike some other adventure games that have obscure puzzles, Grim Fandango's puzzles are directly tied to the task at hand. Game designer Tim Schafer's writing also is a treat, punctuated with excellent voice acting.
Even with the refreshed production values, the game has some graphical issues, such as character models you can see through or not being able to see where to click because the camera obscures your view of the scene. But it's certainly better than the original game. Whether you have a nostalgic leaning toward the original game or are brand-new to it, Grim Fandango Remastered is well worth the $15 download.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the impact of violence in media. Is there anything to be concerned about with the mild cartoonish nature of violence in Grim Fandango Remastered? Does the film-noir nature of the story excuse the moments of violence, or does it seem out of place with the adventure nature of the game?
Talk about slower-paced puzzle-filled adventures. Are they due for a comeback? Do today's players have the patience to unravel a story, walk around and talk with players, and try to solve puzzles using items in one's inventory? Are "twitch"-oriented shooters and third-person action-adventure games the future of gaming?
- Platforms: Linux, Mac, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Windows
- Price: $14.99
- Pricing structure: Free
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: LucasArts
- Release date: January 28, 2015
- Genre: Adventure
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Misfits and Underdogs, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- ESRB rating: T for Violence, Blood, Sexual Themes, Mild Language, Crude Humor, Use of Alcohol and Tobacco
- Last updated: June 19, 2019
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.