Grim Fandango Remastered

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
Grim Fandango Remastered Game Poster Image
Stellar adventure game revisits the Land of the Dead.

Parents say

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Kids say

age 2+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Helping others, doing your job is a good thing.

Positive Role Models & Representations

You play travel agent/Grim Reaper Manuel "Manny" Calavera, finding transportation for souls on their way to the afterlife. He's a nice man who doesn't love his job and is in search of a soul mate (pardon the pun).

Ease of Play

Fairly easy to control, but third-person "camera" can block view at times.

Violence

Minor animated violence such as shooting a gun at a raven and firing "Sproutella" -- a chemical substance -- which can damage skeletons in the Land of the Dead.

Sex

Some flirting, very slight sexual innuendo in some dialogue, such as between Manny and Carla.

Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Many scenes of characters smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol. Some dialogue refers to varying levels of drinking excess.

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.

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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?

Game details

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