Generally favorable reviews - based on 39 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 39
  2. Negative: 0 out of 39
Buy On
  1. 60
    While a simplistic RTS is a nice departure from NIS' regular library, GrimGrimoire feels too watered-down and too repetitive to take a place beside some of the other, critically acclaimed titles from this niche publisher.
  2. AceGamez
    If you can make it through GrimGrimoire's twenty to thirty hour story and twenty-five bonus levels - a task that may prove far too daunting for some players, even on easy - you can sit back and relish in the fact that you have braved one brilliant game and seen it through to the end.
  3. A two-player, online component would have really rounded out this title. It's lengthy enough as it is, considering that it can take you months to play, but there is a redundancy to the theme even as you add more spells and soldiers to your arsenal.
  4. 90
    It's truly an amazing experience for hardcore RTS fans and novices alike and you'll be doing yourself a great disservice by passing this one up - it's a true gem and sparkles brightly.
  5. Edge Magazine
    A few interface niggles and the eventual feeling of repetition don’t hold back a creative reimagining of a game type that, thanks to the execution, is as important as it is enjoyable. [Nov 2007, p.96]
  6. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    GrimGrimoire is fun at first, but not in the same league as developer Vanillaware's "Odin Sphere". [July 2007, p.92]
  7. Difficulty is introduced by sheer numbers and, for players who aren't grabbed by the core mechanics, the game will soon become tiresome. But the combination of sumptuous 2D art style, interesting structure, enjoyable storyline and ever more unmanageable fights to tackle, for those who are, GrimGrimoire will be one of the most interesting games to come out of Japan in some time.
  8. 80
    Characters, levels and even the game's menus are beautifully and tastefully designed. Grim Grimoire is a complete package, offering layered strategy play with an eye-popping art style and a cleverly told story.
  9. Somewhat shallow combat and clumsy controls keep GrimGrimoire’s gameplay from shining. Its novelty value and clever plot are worth checking out, though, if you’re willing to forgive some mediocre battles.
  10. What the game does, and the sheer amount of what it does, is done with solid mechanics and considerable style. Also, the ability to review previous game/story progress (to keep track of what’s gone on before) is handled well.
  11. It's a console RTS that controls well, looks great, sounds great, and is fun from start to finish. [JPN Import]
  12. 60
    It could have innovated, or at the very least, reinvigorated the console RTS genre, but instead, it only achieves a certain level of mediocrity.
  13. It may be average when it comes to combat mechanics, but it gets a high score in the story and character department. If you want a game with a plot that makes sense and a memorable cast, this is for you.
  14. Games Master UK
    Another cracker from a developer well-versed in the art of 2D strategy. [Nov 2007, p.85]
  15. games(TM)
    Like titles such as Yakuza and Forbidden Siren 2, it’s a late-era PlayStation 2 game that will likely be ignored by the masses and cherished by a bedazzled minority. [Sept 2007, p.116]
  16. GrimGrimoire brings real-time strategy, magic and anime together to create an interesting and cool game experience worth checking out. The game is obviously not for everyone, but those that can "get" what the game is trying to accomplish certainly will enjoy it.
  17. GrimGrimoire is a creative, one-of-a-kind game that's a lot of fun to play.
  18. It's fun from the very beginning and remains so 20 hours later, enough to put it in the same league as the all-time greats of the PS2 era.
  19. If you have migrated onto the newer consoles in the market, then this is a great reason to head back to the PlayStation 2 one last time.
  20. A superb blend of battles that differ from the genre’s norms. It is a grim (and grand) blend of glorious missions that are fought and won in a 2D, side-scrolling environment. The controls are top-notch.
  21. A great game. Anyone who is a fan of RTS games should pick this up or at least give it a try. Hours will be spent on playing through the story and bonus missions and almost every detail is carefully considered, from the graphics and sounds to the balancing of the different enemy forces.
  22. This is going to be another one of those sleeper hits that squeak out just before a consoles life comes to an end. A true gem that should be picked up before it becomes one of those sought after titles long past its short shelf life.
  23. Hardcore Gamer
    Grim Grimoire is an aesthetic masterpiece, and a good reminder of the storytelling potential inherent in video games. [July 2007, p.58]
  24. 84
    Simply put, I loved this game. By no means is it a title for everyone, but if you're in the mood for a clever strategy game that is fun, features beautiful fight scenes and gives you more than 15 crazy characters to command (Who wins in a dragon/chimera fight? The viewer!), Grim is a must play.
  25. Maxi Consolas (Portugal)
    Don’t be fooled by it’s cute 2D visuals and the sidescrolling format that reminds us of the old 16 bit platformers, because this is a great strategy game. It can be chaotic at times, and there aren’t many different levels. But everything else makes up for it. [Dec 2007]
  26. Official Playstation 2 Magazine UK
    Stunning to look at and seriously addictive all the same. [Oct 2007, p.94]
  27. 70
    GrimGrimoire is a game that could have been great had it had a little bit more variety and a few minor tweaks. That said its gameplay is definitely one of the best implementations of the RTS genre currently available on consoles.
  28. Pelit (Finland)
    Don't let the cartoony 2D-graphics fool you. Under the cute surface lies a surprisingly deep and engaging real-time strategy-game. Great fun. [Dec 2007]
  29. Play Magazine
    Grim Grimoire doesn't have quite the depth or complexity of a western RTS like "Command & Conquer 3, but it does have an elegance that such games lack. [June 2007, p.72]
  30. Play UK
    Refreshing and addictive. [Issue#158, p.90]
  31. 77
    GrimGrimoire deserves to be noticed and played if for no other reason than it dares to do something different and very nearly carries it off, a quality often in short supply in a world where reliable safe bets, win out over genuine innovation a lot of the time.
  32. PSM Magazine
    Fun, fresh, and fantastic. [Aug 2007, p.85]
  33. PSM3 Magazine UK
    The mechanics of the combat system are fine, but it doesn't have the scale of "Disgaea" and you'll long for more depth with every click. [Nov 2007, p.83]
  34. We were a touch disappointed the sound didn't impress as much as the graphics, and the solid strategy formula tends to flounder in identical environments, but that can't stop it from being extremely entertaining.
  35. 82
    Grim Grimoire is not a deep RTS, but it is a fun one.
  36. GrimGrimoire’s colorful design, engaging gameplay and intriguing story make it consistently entertaining.
  37. GrimGrimoire is a brilliant, gorgeous, enthralling game that works just as well as a living art piece as it does as an RTS. The gameplay is fantastic, the storyline has hooks and the game is just flat-out gorgeous. But it. Buy it now.
  38. Its story and characters contain charm, its premise is tolerable and fun, it looks good, and it's a neat twist on an established genre, even if there hang-ups due to said twist. For what it's worth, I actually enjoyed this game far more than "Odin Sphere."
  39. 80
    With long drawn-out battles and a steep learning curve there is a lot to swallow here. However if you take the time to learn the subtle nuances of the combat system and you enjoy the RTS genre in the least bit I can’t recommend this title enough.

Awards & Rankings

#41 Most Discussed PS2 Game of 2007
#9 Most Shared PS2 Game of 2007
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 17 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 17
  2. Negative: 2 out of 17
  1. Mar 9, 2014
    You have probably never thought about it, but if given the opportunity to create and command your own army of elfves, fairys, imps demons,You have probably never thought about it, but if given the opportunity to create and command your own army of elfves, fairys, imps demons, dragon, cats, ghosts, blobs and chimeras and plenty more then this game is perfect for your.

    A hugely enjoyable strategy game with an excellent original story. Quality unique games should be tried by everyone or they will die out. this is well worth picking up
    Full Review »
  2. JenC
    Apr 8, 2009
    A great game and change for fans of RTS, and a great beginner RTS for those just getting into the genre. The story is original and the A great game and change for fans of RTS, and a great beginner RTS for those just getting into the genre. The story is original and the characters all have their individual charms. The "Harry Potter rip-off" comments all seem to be from people who forget there are thousands of books, tv shows, etc about kids going off to magic school, and the philosopher's stone wasn't invented by J.K. So if you're worried Grim Grimoire is just like Harry Potter, don't be. Grim Grimoire's story is a lot more mature and in-depth. This game used to be everywhere for pretty cheap, but is not starting to fade away. Grab a copy before it disappears. Full Review »
  3. TomH.
    Jul 28, 2007
    I truly enjoyed this title. The plot, while certainly influenced by Harry Potter, was original in its execution and twists. I loved the dark I truly enjoyed this title. The plot, while certainly influenced by Harry Potter, was original in its execution and twists. I loved the dark tones to the characters, and the story was a "page turner" until the very end. As a 2-D RTS, you won't find another game quite like this. The difficulty isn't high, but there will be some stages that will require you to try a different strategy. Overall I'm glad to see this breath of fresh air from Vanillaware (along with Odin Sphere), and am eagerly awaiting their next game (though I'd love to see the original Princess Crown). Full Review »