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American McGee's Grimm: Puss in Boots

Score: 80%
ESRB: Mature
Publisher: GameTap
Developer: Spicy Horse
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: Platformer/ Puzzle

Graphics & Sound:

American McGee's Grimm: Puss in Boots continues the little grimy creature's rampage through our favorite fairytales. This time, Grimm tramples upon a cat's attempt to better his master's life.

The six scenes present in this episode do a pretty good job of showing the main points of the fairytale, and Grimm's blocky, puppet-like feel continues to give the game series an odd mixed feeling of carefree fun and just general creepiness. And as always, the game turns significantly darker as Grimm walks around. The drastic differences between the happy, light feelings that you get when the level starts and the darker, oppressed version that is visible when you end the level are just one of the things that make this series stand out.

Audio is about par for the course. Besides a few extra voices, you will pretty much be listening to Grimm throughout the game. While I doubt the character has a much wider vocabulary in Puss in Boots than he did in The Fisherman and His Wife, you won't notice it nearly as much since you shouldn't be falling into deadly water quite as frequently.


American McGee's Grimm: Puss in Boots follows the story of a young boy whose father has died, and the only thing he is left with is the family cat. The cat realizes a way to make his new master happy and promises it will only cost him a pair of boots. Upon receiving the new footwear, Puss takes to a local field where he catches a few bunnies and presents them to the King as a gift from his master, whom he claims is The Marques de Carabas.

Later, Puss has the peasant boy strip down to his bare skin as the King's carriage approaches and the two weave a tale claiming that some villains have stolen his clothes. The King (and his daughter) give him new clothes and the trio start to head towards a nearby castle (which our feline hero claims belongs to the Marques). In reality, the castle is owned by a shape-changing ogre, but Puss' quick wit dispatches the beast and upon seeing the Marques' home, the King grants his daughter's hand in marriage.

As followers of the series might expect, this happily ever after ending just doesn't sit well with Grimm, so his goal is to show just how mischievous and devious Puss really is. The game's six scenes will take you to the boy's homeland (and father's grave), the field where Puss nabs the bunnies, the King's castle, the road where the boy is naked, the castle's front grounds where peasants have to be convinced that they are working for the Marques, and finally the ogre's castle. Along the way, you will turn everything from the ogre himself, to a giant Easter Bunny and a whole slew of random peasants, guards and knights.


Like the past Grimm games, American McGee's Grimm: Puss in Boots isn't all that difficult. If you want to rush through the levels and get through the story as quickly as possible, it shouldn't take you more than 45 minutes. If, on the other hand, you want to spend the time looking for the one or two collectibles in each level, and try to earn a gold star (which is done by turning everything in the level dark), then it might take you a little longer, but less than an hour and a half's time.

Controls become a bit of an issue in this episode, but not nearly as bad as they were in The Fisherman and His Wife. The most complex jumps you will have to make involve a few platforms that take you up to the ogre's castle, and failing these jumps won't throw you into a watery grave where you will be forced to hear one of a very few water-death related statements (again, an improvement over the previous episode).

Game Mechanics:

American McGee's Grimm: Puss in Boots follows the same gameplay mechanics of the rest of the series. The object of the game is to turn as many objects dark as possible. The more things you turn dark, the more things you can turn dark. Each level has several goals. These are objects that can only be turned dark by Butt Stomping next to them, once you've reached a certain level on your Dark-O-Meter.

A nice trend in this series is the fact that the game is slowly letting you get higher and higher in the Dark-O-Meter with each episode. While the first one barely made it to the halfway mark by the last scene, here you will find yourself only a couple of levels away from the final "Vile" rating.

If you've been following the series so far, then you don't want to miss this next one, since Puss in Boots does a pretty good job of turning the classic story into a dark comedy full of very fake-looking bloody explosions.

As always, downloading this game during its first 24 hours is free, so if you made it in time, head on over to www.gametap.com/grimm and give it a try.

-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

Minimum System Requirements:

2.4 GHz Single Core Pentium Processor, 512 MB of System RAM, Nvidia 6200+ or equivalent video card with 128MB Video RAM, 500 MB of Free Hard Drive Space

Test System:

Alienware Aurora m9700 Laptop, Windows XP Professional, AMD Turion 64 Mobile 2.41 GHz, 2 GB Ram, Dual NVIDIA GeForce Go 7900 GS 256MB Video Cards, DirectX 9.0c

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Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated