GDC 2022 Impressions: Grimoire Groves

Thursday, March 31st, 2022

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Grimoire Groves | Logo

Developer: Stardust LLC
Platform(s): PC, Nintendo Switch
Early Access: Q1 2023

Grimoire Groves is a rougelite dungeon crawler that takes a different approach to the genre than virtually everything else: instead of slaying monsters, you are gardening monsters instead. You have access to four different elements (fire, wind, water, and earth) and three different spells in your grimoire- which functions like your spell bank. Each monster likes a different element to grow, and you have to use the matching element in conjunction with their movement on the field in order to make them happy. If you use the wrong element or you don’t manage to make them happy by using the relevant element often/quickly enough, then you will lose health. If you lose all of your health, then you are kicked out of the dungeon and you have to try again. Of course, the whole plot of the game is a mystery wrapped around a pair of rainbow socks.

Grimoire Groves | Dungeon encounters.

The dungeons in Grimoire Groves are procedurally generated and contain a variety of monsters. (Images courtesy of Stardust LLC).

Grimoire Groves’ demo was, to be completely honest, extremely charming and harder that you would think. The graphics are beautiful- as you can see in the images in this impressions piece- and I loved how cool and unique the colors and enemies were. The spells utilized by each element are distinct as well. After I died the first time and returned to the hub, I picked out different spells from the grimoire to use. While you have to have three different spells for each of the four elements in your spell bank, each one does different things in that element on the game field. This I can easily see being perfect for the full Grimoire Groves experience, as some skills turned out to be better for growing particular monsters that I was encountering while other spells would undoubtedly be better for other enemies.

 

Grimoire Groves | Combat

Even though you have a variety of spells to use in Grimoire Groves, you have to make sure that you use the right ones for the right monsters in order to be effective. (Images courtesy of Stardust LLC).

This brings me to the combat: Grimoire Groves is not an easy game. You have to figure out which element a monster you encounter is, and that is told to you (at least in my demo) through the monster’s color. Then you have to utilize the correct element, and these monsters are running around the field in different ways instead of staying put in one place. What this means is that if your grimoire spells aren’t well-suited to coincide with the enemies or you can’t discover their pattern of movement and be able to counter it as necessary…you’re going to lose all of your health. Which I did. Repeatedly. Don’t let the graphics or the lack of extreme violence fool you: if the full version of Grimoire Groves is anything like this demo, then Grimoire Groves will hold a well-respected place within the roguelite genre, and you should definitely try the available game demo.

You can play the demo and wishlist Grimoire Groves on Steam now.



Are you excited for Grimoire Groves? What do you think of the non-violent gameplay?

Let us know in the comments below!

About Quentin H.

I have been a journalist for oprainfall since 2015, and I have loved every moment of it. Do you want to do an interview? You can reach me at interviews@oprainfall.com