All Features


  PlayStation 3
  PlayStation 4
  Wii U
  Xbox 360
  Xbox One


American McGee's Grimm: The Devil and His Three Golden Hairs

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

Graphics & Sound:

Grimm's next episode covers yet another obscure fairytale, The Devil and His Three Golden Hairs. But, while the story might be different, the presentation follows the rest of the American McGee's Grimm episodes to a tee.

Everything from the blocky, marionette-like models to the pastel color scheme that shifts to very dark textures are apparent in this tale of families giving up babies, and kings trying to kill little boys. Like the rest of the series, the levels' shift from happy-go-lucky to dark and dreary works really well and occurs slowly enough so that the user doesn't realize how dramatic the changes are. This feat really is one of the more interesting aspects of the series, especially when talking about the graphics.

Not much is different in the audio department either. Most of the sound involves Grimm either explaining the scene or fairytale, or us hearing one of his one-off comments. It seems like the other characters that show up in the tale (i.e. the King, the boy, his adopted father, the devil, etc.) are the same voices we heard in previous episodes as well.


I don't believe I had heard of this particular fairytale before this episode, which is odd, because I was pretty sure I had read all of the Grimm stories a long time ago. Even some of the more obscure ones, like The Girl Without Hands sparked recognition after Grimm went over the story in the Light Theater, but even after playing through this particular tale, I find that I don't recall it. That being said, I'm not doubting the story's origin by any means, especially since it has a very unique Brothers Grimm feel to it.

You see, in The Devil and His Three Golden Hairs, a boy is born in a peculiar manner (the exact details are something I will not go into on this family-friendly website), the midwife prophesizes that this is an omen and the boy will grow up to marry the King's daughter. When the King hears of this, he buys the boy for one gold coin, and sets him on the river to die.

But, of course, the tale doesn't end here; a miller finds the baby and raises him as his own. When the King comes upon the kid, he recognizes him (exactly how, I can't say because pretty much everyone looks the same as a newborn), and asks the miller if the boy is his natural son. When the man says that he found him on the river, and that the boy has extreme luck, the King knows it is the person he tried to get rid of all those years ago.

Not wanting his daughter wed, he sends the boy to deliver a letter to the Queen; what the boy doesn't realize is that the letter orders his beheading. Well, like I said, this kid's luck is extraordinary, because he gets lost and decides to sleep in a camp owned by thieves, but instead of killing him on sight, they decide to read the letter and, in an effort to defy the King, change it to have the King give the boy to the princess.

To make the story more convoluted (as these tend to be), when the King arrives at the castle to find that the boy is going to become his son-in-law, he tells him that he won't be able to unless he retrieves the three golden hairs that are on The Devil's head. So the boy makes his way to the underworld, and upon arriving at Lucifer's abode, he runs into the horned-one's grandmother (don't ask, just accept it), and she decides to help the boy. She turns him into an ant, and slips him into her clothes while she talks to The Devil and gets him to take a nap. While resting, she plucks the three hairs and sends the boy on his way.

When looking at this story, it's easy to see why this isn't one of the ones that made it into a Disney movie, and Grimm also sees the many flaws in the tale. That's why he wants to show the boy why you shouldn't go through life relying on the kindness of strangers and haphazard luck.


At this point in the American McGee's Grimm games, you should have a full understanding of the mechanics and difficulty of the series, and well, The Devil and His Three Golden Hairs doesn't fall that far from the tree. The eight scenes in this particular tale can be beaten in about an hour and a half, and adding in the time to view the two theaters (light and dark), you should be able to run through this episode's content in a couple of hours, and that's with going back to make sure you get all gold medals and the hidden secrets. If you are jumping into the series with this episode first, you might find a little bit of a learning curve, but not too much since the controls are very simple to just pick up and play.

Game Mechanics:

American McGee's Grimm: The Devil and His Three Golden Hairs might have an unusual story, but controlling Grimm on his rampant tour of the King's domain isn't hard at all. Basic WASD and mouse controls are used to move the dirty gnome around the world, while the only other thing you can do is jump and stomp (double jump).

Walking around the world turns objects close to you dark and fills up your Dark-O-Meter. Once you have enough darkness stored up, you can turn your goal dark (how dark you need to be is noted on the Dark-O-Meter). The design of the game is simple, and it's that simplicity that makes this series really enjoyable.

With just one more episode left, Beauty and the Beast, American McGee's Grimm has shown itself to be a truly fun and demented series. I can't wait to see how this first volume wraps up.

-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

Windows Insecticide: Part 1 Macintosh Bob the Builder: Can-Do Zoo

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated