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American McGee's Grimm: The Girl Without Hands

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

Graphics & Sound:

American McGee's Grimm: The Girl Without Hands takes our little gruff character and puts him in the story of an innocent girl who is sold to the devil by her father, only to have her hands cut off by the same parent in order to keep her from being taken by Lucifer, but more on this unusual fairytale later.

As expected, The Girl Without Hands's presentation doesn't differ much from the previous episode, Puss in Boots. Both the blocky models and almost marionette-like animations that give this series its unique look return.

Much like the visuals, the game's audio hasn't changed all that much between episodes. Both Grimm's voice and the mood set by the background music stay intact. In fact, the background music's subtle shift between the happy-go-lucky feel when you first go into a level to the more oppressive version you hear when leaving it, is one of the game's lesser sung heroes.


American McGee's Grimm: The Girl Without Hands follows a fairytale that I hadn't really heard before. In this one, a wheat farmer is approached by the Devil to give him a prosperous life, and all it will cost him is his daughter (though the farmer doesn't realize that is the cost of this fortune). When he does learn of the trick though, he chops off the girl's hands in order to make her undesirable to the Devil (because apparently he doesn't want her if she is crying... oddly enough).

Freed from the deal, the girl is sent into the world to make a living for herself. She stumbles into the royal gardens and while trying to pick off an apple is caught by the king. But, instead of beheading her (as he would normally do), he falls in love with her and marries her. As a wedding gift, she is given new hands (made of steel), but it isn't long before the king goes off to war.

In order to get his revenge on having his prize taken, the Devil intercepts the king's messages to his wife and leads her to believe that he wants her to be executed (for some unknown reason). She flees the kingdom and ends up running into her father again. When the king, her father and the girl all meet up, violence ensues. Well, actually it doesn't, the story just fizzles out, and that's where Grimm steps in because he finds the ending very unsatisfactory.

As Grimm goes through the fairytale, he will start on the farmer's land, go to the garden, into the castle, onto the war field and back to the fields.


American McGee's Grimm: The Girl Without Hands is not as hard to run through as a couple of the other episodes that have been released. While there were a couple of jumps that caused me a little trouble, they were always unnecessary ones, and I only attempted them to get at a secret collectible or in an attempt to turn everything in the level dark. Most of these little bumps in the road could be avoided if you aren't trying to get a gold star or unlock the gallery (which you might try on your second time though, but it definitely isn't required on your first pass).

Game Mechanics:

American McGee's Grimm: The Girl Without Hands's controls are just as easy to pick up and play as all of the previous episodes. Since all you do is walk around, and the only kind of complex maneuver you will have to do is a jump attack, pretty much anyone will be able to run through the fairytale. Anyone who has been following the series should definitely look into this one as well. Though I found the fairytale it was based on to be rather odd, but then again, I guess that's why it isn't one of the more well-known stories.

Oh and don't forget that the each Grimm game is free if you get it within the first 24 hours of its launch at www.gametap.com/grimm.

-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

Nintendo Wii King of Clubs Nintendo DS New International Track and Field

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated