All Features


  PlayStation 3
  PlayStation 4
  Wii U
  Xbox 360
  Xbox One


Grim Fandango Remastered

Score: 80%
ESRB: Not Rated
Publisher: Double Fine Studios
Developer: Double Fine Studios
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: Classic/Retro/ Adventure

Graphics & Sound:

Grim Fandango Remastered is the latest in the growing line of classic LucasArts adventure games that are being re-released and rejuvenated. Interestingly enough, given the original game's use of pre-rendered CG locations, the biggest visual change is the characters themselves.

From the Art Deco look of the Department of Death to the disjointed Land of the Living, the unique look and feel of Grim Fandango is well preserved. Where other LucasArts remastered titles have completely replaced the visuals of the game, this one keeps the backdrops, which look good, if a little blurred, and takes care of the fact that the characters never really looked like a part of the world. This was primarily due to the inability of machines to produce the same level of detail on the fly as the pre-rendered images had, and because the game didn't support the dynamic lighting that makes the shadows look right. In the old version, Manny just popped way too much and his pixelated shadow only appeared on the floor. Now, Manny still has the hard-edge look of his low polygon count (though it was high at the time), but the textures are cleaner and blend in with the world much better.

The game's audio has also been remastered. The original soundtrack has been redone with a full orchestra. The jazzy tone of the game's music, something I remember many people loving back in the day, is richer and clearer than ever before.


Grim Fandango Remastered is the same game, puzzles and plot as the original release. Manny is a travel agent for the recently deceased. His job is to collect the souls and try to sell them up to faster modes of transportation to their final journey. While Manny was a top-notch salesman early in his career, he finds it hard to get clients that can afford the accommodations that will help speed him along his own journey through the afterlife.

The story actually spans four years, each segment starting on the Day of the Dead. When we first meet Manny, his career is in a downward spiral, but before the first act is done, he will find himself in deeper water and looking for a new job.

Manny's main drive is to find and help the wronged Meche, Manny's last client who should have been sent on an express trip to the Ninth Underworld, but was instead cheated and was sent on the four-year long journey without help. As Manny continues to follow and help Meche, he will uncover a deeper and more sinister plot than he did when he had to leave the Department of Death, and he will have to work hard to not only help Meche get where she deserves, but also help save a friend's life.

For the most part, the game's story is linear, but there are times when you can choose which order you want to solve certain puzzles. For instance, you are given a series of tasks by a local underground movement. While you can't progress in the overall story until all tasks are finished, you can tackle those tasks in any way you wish. Grim Fandango was by no means the first game to do this, heck Secrets of Monkey Island let you choose the order to some degree, but I remember feeling like Grim Fandango had a lot more opportunities to choose these paths than many other adventure games before it.

The Remastered version also adds Developer Commentary. If you have this feature turned on, then there are times during gameplay that an icon will appear at the top. When activated, you will hear Project Leader Tim Schafer, Lead Artist Peter Tsaykel, Lead Programmer Bret Mogilefsky, the man behind the music Peter McConnell and the rest of the development team, talking about the scene in front of the player. While you can adjust the audio of the commentary track, you won't really be able to make out both the commentary and the game, so as you might expect, it's best to save this feature for your second playthrough. The special features for this game also include concept art galleries and the ability to watch all of the cutscenes and read through the transcripts of the dialogue (as you unlock them by playing through the game).


Grim Fandango Remastered has a few quirky puzzles that took some time to get through. While I typically remember the proper way to get past an adventure game I've played before, I had forgotten that there were more than a couple of obstacles that simply didn't make sense.

One thing I found during this playthrough was that I hadn't realized just how many events were triggered by going through all of the dialogue options. Early in the game, you talk to Manny's boss' secretary. I remembered doing this, and thought I remembered the key dialogue branches that got me to the answers I needed, but there were areas that I simply couldn't go to unless I talked to the secretary about the related topics. This felt really odd since the place I should have been able to go to should have been available regardless of the conversation. I didn't remember having this problem in past replays, but then again, I was always a stickler for talking to everybody about everything when playing those old adventure games, because if you were stuck, that's how you progressed.

Well, the same advice applies here. Grim Fandango isn't hard for anyone with some adventure gaming experience, but remember, this is an older game for this genre, so talk to everyone and, if all else fails, try everything in your inventory.

Game Mechanics:

Grim Fandango Remastered changes very little of the game's original setup. Besides letting the player switch between the original and updated graphics on the fly (well, except for during cutscenes), the Remastered edition also brings mouse and gamepad support to what was previously an all-keyboard game.

I was never sure why the original release didn't support point-and-click input, but I can only imagine that it was either to help differentiate itself from previous adventure games or it was hard to implement since the game went away from the SCRUMM engine to a new 3D engine that was based off of Star Wars Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II's Sith engine. Either way, the addition of point-and-click inputs makes the game feel a bit smoother to play than I remembered the first time around.

I enjoyed Grim Fandango when it first came out. It was one of the last adventure games put out by LucasArts and it really was the product of lessons learned from the past games. While I can't say that the Remastered version doesn't still feel a little dated, I think it will do a great job of introducing a solid story and great collection of puzzles to a newer audience. Adventure fans, both new and old, should seriously consider picking up this revamped game.

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

Minimum System Requirements:

Windows Vista or Later, Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz, AMD Athlon X2 2.8 GHz, or higher, 4 GB RAM, ATI Radeon HD 4650 / NVIDIA GeForce GT 220 / Intel HD 4000 Graphics, or equivalent, 6000 MB available hard drive space, Windows compatible sound card, GPU that supports OpenGL 3.3 or higher

Test System:

Windows 8.1 64-bit, Intel i7-4770K 3.5GHz, 8 GB RAM, Radeon HD 5870 Graphics Card, DirectX 11

Related Links:

Nintendo 3DS Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate Sony PlayStation Vita htoL#NiQ: The Firefly Diary

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated