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 (opens in new tab), 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 (opens in new tab).
(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.)