All Features


  PlayStation 3
  PlayStation 4
  Wii U
  Xbox 360
  Xbox One


American McGee's Grimm: The Singing Bone

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

Graphics & Sound:

American McGee's Grimm: The Singing Bone breaks yet another classic fairytale up into half a dozen scenes, and like the other episodes, the game seems to do a pretty good job of pointing out where the tale used to be one of caution and the bright cheery thing we grew up on.

The game's levels and characters continue the series' unique look. Everything in Grimm takes on a style where facial features are over-exaggerated, while the overall feel is more simplified as if the characters are some strange child's dolls that sort of hang in place a couple of inches above the ground when playing out a scene.

The Singing Bone not only has the series' normal voice of Grimm, but this particular tale features a brief little lyric that the skull from the story sings to explain his story of betrayal. So, during the Light and Dark Theaters at least, you will get a bit more than the standard retelling of the story.


American McGee's Grimm: The Singing Bone's tale features a boar that is terrorizing a village, and whenever the king finally gets frustrated with the creature, he offers his daughter's hand in marriage(which they seem to be prone to do), to whomever can solve the pig problem.

While several people try, it isn't until a young man steps up that things start to get shaken up. The man is accompanied by his younger brother and they decide to split up at the forest's edge and hunt for the boar independently. The younger brother stumbles upon a spear from a forest elf that is sure to kill the beast. Sure enough, when he sees the boar and uses the spear, he kills it easily. He hauls the boar back to the edge of the forest where he finds his brother has spent the whole time in the pub.

Realizing that his brother will take prizes for the deed, he kills the younger one, pushes his body off a bridge and buries his body in a shallow grave where he hit the ground. The older brother then becomes the princess' husband and for many years, his claim to the prize goes unchallenged, that is, until a shepherd stumbles upon the bones of the younger sibling. When he gets to the skull, it starts singing about how he was betrayed by his brother, the man now married to the king's daughter. Needless to say, the older brother's life doesn't become quite so happily ever after when the shepherd shows the bones to the king. While there is at least some death in this version, it isn't quite enough for Grimm's taste, so your work will be to make the story oh so much darker and more vengeful.


American McGee's Grimm: The Singing Bone is as straightforward and quick as always. While the game takes about an hour to go through, there is always the added challenge of beating it in quicker times, with higher scores, or earning higher medals. Of course, there's also the search for the secret pickups that will eventually unlock the tale's gallery where you get to see all of the items used in the game switch between their light and dark sides.

Taking about an hour to get through the game's six scenes means the game isn't all that difficult, and the game's simplified control scheme really helps to make the game able to be picked up and played, so this, like the previous episodes are easy to play through.

Game Mechanics:

American McGee's Grimm: The Singing Bone's controls, much like the rest of the series, are very easy to master. All you have to do is run around the world turning everything in your area dark and, when necessary, a butt stomp leads to a wider area of effect and the changing of objectives into their darker versions. I have always admired the series' simplified controls and the ability to allow you to do what could be a seriously complex mechanic into something that feels really natural.

If you've been following the series already, then downloading this episode should be a no brainier since this one is a natural follow-up. While the tale being played through isn't quite as well known as many from the first volume, its still one of the stranger fairytales to experience, so even those that are only occasionally enjoying the series should check out this particular episode. 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

Windows X3: Terran Conflict Nintendo DS MySims Kingdom

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated