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American McGee's Grimm: Master Thief

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

Graphics & Sound:

American McGee's Grimm returns for the second volume, and this time the grimly little gnome is taking on the classic Master Thief story.

As always, the game takes on a simplified look with very squared off characters and an animation style that gives off a distinct marionette feel. Players of the previous episodes should be very familiar with the look of the game, but if not, then you will probably find the "just off"-ness both appealing and unsettling.

Audio also continues to be on par with the previous stories. Grimm's gruff voice will not only tell you both the light and dark versions of the tale, but also let you know what is happening in each scene. Outside of that, there is a good amount of ambient sound and the game's music, which do their jobs appropriately.


American McGee's Grimm: Master Thief takes you through the story of a boy who returns to his poor family after disappearing many years before, only to reveal that he has become a master thief. While his parents respect his skills, especially since he claims to only steal from bad people, they believe that the boy's godfather, the Duke, will still see him as a criminal and have him hung. So the boy decides to tell the Duke in person and ask that he not be killed because of their relationship.

The Duke agrees to it, only if he can complete three tasks (of course). First, he must steal the Duke's horse while surrounded by a full complement of guards. Then he must steal the Duke's bed sheets and his wife's wedding ring, and finally, he must steal the parson and clerk from the church. Only then will the Duke respect his abilities and not have him killed.

Without spoiling the deviousness involved, suffice it to say the thief proves himself worthy, but is banished because he is a thief (at least he wasn't killed right?). Anyway, Grimm doesn't like this ending. He feels that no one really learns any lessons, and feels a little frightening is in order.


Like the previous volume's episodes, American McGee's Grimm: Master Thief isn't all that difficult. The game's six scenes will take you to all of the major plot locations from the story, and the overall experience will probably take about an hour to complete. Those that have a few issues with platformers might take a little longer, and it might be a bit of a challenge trying to find all the hidden collectables. But in order to get through the levels and unlock the Dark Theater version of the fairytale, about an hour should be enough.

Game Mechanics:

American McGee's Grimm: Master Thief's mechanics don't stray too far from previous episodes either. Your job is to walk around the world turning as many things dark as possible simply by walking near them. The more dark things in the world, the more your Dark-O-Meter fills up, and the easier it is to turn bigger things dark. While it is always fun to try and turn the entire level dark, your only real goal is to raise your Dark-O-Meter enough to effect whatever the objective is for that area and then move on to the next objective.

I have been enjoying the Grimm games, and its nice to see how they present the different fairytales and distort them into less lovey-dovey stories. If you also find that interesting, then give the American McGee's Grimm series a try, and since the stories aren't serial (they don't hinge on previous episodes), why not start with this release? And remember, each episode is always free to play the first 24 hours of it's release.

-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 The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon Windows X3: Terran Conflict

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated