In case you haven’t been keeping up with your spooky holiday calendar, it’s November 1st – meaning that we’re happily sandwiched between Hallowe’en and Mexico’s Day of the Dead. In other words, it’s the perfect time to surprise-release LucasArts’ classic (and extremely skeleton-heavy) adventure Grim Fandango on Switch. And, look, here it is now!
LucasArts’ Grim Fandango originally released on October 30th, 1998 (so, yes, the recent 20th anniversary is another excellent excuse for a surprise Switch release), and was immediately hailed as a classic of the point-and-click genre. Created by Tim Schafer – now of Double Fine fame – it told the noir-inspired tale of Manuel “Manny” Calavera, a travel agent in the Land of the Dead, tasked with selling trips to departed souls on their four-year journey toward eternal rest.
It’s brilliant stuff, rightly celebrated for its fantastic writing, wonderful characters and setting, and its striking art-deco-meets-Aztec art style. Its puzzle design is rather more variable in quality, admittedly, ranging from stellar to very-much-of-its-time-and-not-in-a-good-way – but then things pick up again with Peter McConnell’s sumptuous score.
Grim Fandango arrives on Switch (for £11.49/$14.99) in the form of its 2015 remastered edition. As such, it features improved character models, a remastered soundtrack (which will soon be available on vinyl as part of the game’s 20th anniversary celebrations), a concept art gallery and excellent developer commentary, plus a whole range of other nips and tweaks.
“The puzzles and its relatively early peak can’t and shouldn’t be ignored,” said Eurogamer when it revisited Grim Fandango via its remaster in 2015, “Nor though can everything that it does right, from its sheer heart and creative polish, to the genius of its ideas and characters. Even when it stumbles, it stands as a fine reminder of why LucasArts at its prime was seen as the industry at its best, and few other adventures have deservedly gathered so much affection.”