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Grimstorm is a brutal 2D combat platformer that you can play for free

Grimstorm

Tortuous. Harrowing. Exhausting. That's just a few of the adjectives that describe returning to work after a long bank holiday weekend. At least when it's all over, we can withdraw into games. Games like Grimstorm, a tortuous, harrowing and exhausting platformer. That sounds like just the remedy.

Grimstorm is a 2D combat-platformer about storming a castle. It's free, and you can play it right now.

There's a strong Dark Souls influence at work. Not in the combat, which is a simple—albeit absurdly difficult—block and attack affair. Rather, it's in the way death works. Each time your knight dies, they respawn outside the castle gates. The enemies respawn, too, but the world itself isn't reset. Unlock a door, and it stays open. Pick up a key, and it remains in your inventory. Slowly but surely you unlock new paths and shortcuts, allowing you to progress one health bar at a time.

It's a well executed system, thanks largely to a castle design that unfolds to create lots of short sprints to specific objectives. I've not completed it yet, but, despite many deaths, feel like I've progressed a lot in the short time I've played.

Grimstorm was created for Gamejolt's Adventure Jam.

(Also, can I just point out that it's taken the industry until 2015 for someone to use the name Grimstorm. It feels like we should have had a Grimstorm before now.)

Phil Savage

Phil has been writing for PC Gamer for nearly a decade, starting out as a freelance writer covering everything from free games to MMOs. He eventually joined full-time as a news writer, before moving to the magazine to review immersive sims, RPGs and Hitman games. Now he leads PC Gamer's UK team, but still sometimes finds the time to write about his ongoing obsessions with Destiny 2, GTA Online and Apex Legends. When he's not levelling up battle passes, he's checking out the latest tactics game or dipping back into Guild Wars 2. He's largely responsible for the whole Tub Geralt thing, but still isn't sorry.