Have you ever lamented the lack of carrying space you had in an RPG? Been forced to drop things you genuinely wanted to keep in order to stuff your latest loot into your sack? Well, be sad no more, dear fellow adventurer, for this is the game for you!
In Secrets of Grindea, you take on the role of a Collector. And if you’re wondering, yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like. But woe is you, how does that solve your over encumbered body? However will you carry enough things to truly feel as if you are a Collector? Well, a sentient bag, of course! And not just any sentient bag, but one that can hold absolutely anything and weigh nothing at all. Cheating you say? Nonsense! It’s a game mechanic, and the most awesome one ever. Unfortunately, the game doesn’t allow you to stuff your enemies (or friends?) inside (but it’s still in development, so we can still hope).
The game world is charming with graphics that have a very nostalgic 16-bit look. The music is fantastic, fitting right in with the look and feel of the world around you. There are plenty of jokes and nods to be found throughout the world, from old school RPGs to a popular YouTuber. And don’t worry if you don’t get it, it’s not in your face, it’s only there as a nod.
While you can play Secrets of Grindea on your own, where it really shines is in its co-op. You and up to three of your friends can delve into the world of Grindea together. Uniting with your friends online is easy, as the game smartly utilizes Steam for this feature. You’ll have no issues connecting with your friends and beginning your adventure together.
Everything about Secrets of Grindea so far is utterly wonderful, which is hard to say about most games still in their development. It’s clear the developers put their heart and soul into this game, tweaking everything to as close to perfection as possible. The controls are fluid and easily learned. The menus are easy to navigate and all with just a controller. Using the bumpers, you can have a plethora of abilities and spells quickly at your fingertips. You can also easily portal to an area you’ve been in from your map screen so you’re not stuck trudging back and forth to turn in quests.
Quests are easily kept track of at the push of a button, bringing up a box with a handy list of all the things you need to collect/do and a check-mark next to them when you’ve completed each component. You’ll find yourself delivering messages, accumulating items, solving puzzles, fishing and speaking with denizens of the world in order to progress. You’ll even be able to tame some pets along the way!
There are no classes in Secrets of Grindea; you are what you make of yourself. Everything is open to you, to build your own special set of skills. And if you make a mistake, you’re free to re-spec for just some gold. Every build is unique and will give the game tremendous replay value in the future.
Despite having the word ‘Grind’ in it’s title, it isn’t at all. You won’t find yourself stuck in an area, killing baddies for hours on end in order to level up a bit to advance. Each area has a unique look, enemies and accompanying musical score. Even fishing will yield new varieties.
Unfortunately, the game is still early on in its development, with only a couple hours of story game play to offer. What’s available is masterfully crafted, but many paths lead to areas that only give you a text box letting you know it’s not yet implemented.
There’s currently no set release date for Secrets of Grindea, but when it is done, it’s almost sure to be magnificent.