Legend of Grimrock is a homage to 80s and early 90s first person dungeon crawlers and it shows how fun and rewarding those games were to people ( like myself ) who were not present in those times.
LoG's story, like most of the dungeon crawlers of any kind, is just a filler to give purpose to the whole thing. Mount Grimrock is a place where they send criminal convicts to and the 4 characters who are controlled by the player are among these criminals. The dungeon in the mountain is filled with traps and riddles and our heroes find out that if they can go deep down enough, they might have a chance to escape the whole thing. So their adventure in the dark dungeons of Grimrock begins...
There are 3 cIasses. Mage, Fighter and rogue. Choosing classes for your 4 characters is a very important part because it determines your combat strategy for the rest of the game. Playing the game with different combination of cIasses can be a really different experience and it's one of the parts that adds a lot of depth to the game. Also each cIass has 6 different skills and you can master only one of the skills in one play-through which makes the possibilities for character creation even more varied.
LoG's combat is enjoyable, yet it can be mastered by a very simple formula and that might make it a bit repetitive sometimes. You simply need to hit, go left or right, wait till enemy comes face to face with you again, hit it again and so on. The only thing you need to do is to make sure you face a single enemy at a time. If you manage to do that ( which isn't hard to do most of the time thanks to the luring technique ), no matter how hard the enemy, you'll defeat it in no time. Although there are some occasions ( like fighting in a room with lots of pits or narrow corridors ) when you don't have much room for
gliding and your enemies are fast or armed with ranged attacks. These are the golden moments of LoG combat because you feel challenged and overcoming battles in these situations is a pure joy.
Other part of your dungeon exploration is dedicated to solving puzzles. LoG puzzles are simply great. Especially at first when they are sweetly balanced and respect creative and smart way of thinking and sharp eyes for small details . There are subtle, but effective hints for every puzzle in the game and you're going to have a really good time if you're patient and try to solve them all ( or at least, most ) by yourself without using a walk-through. Although most of the puzzles belong to optional secret places for getting extra supplies ( like foods and herbs ), so you're free to give up on one if you are stuck.
LoG visuals are really good, especially light reflection. Textures are high quality ( albeit without much variety ) and there are some well done animations for monsters. ( like spiders or ogres ). But using the same environment over and over again is a major disappointment. There are 13 levels and only 3 different lay-outs. This game could really use more different dungeon structures.
In terms of audio, Grimrock truly lacks. There is no voice acting ( since there's dialogue for only one character which you can't even see, it would have better if it was voiced to give some sort of feeling to it. ) , very little music and sound effects have very little variety. Some monster voices are suitable, but that's the only good thing I can say about audio section for LoG. A shame though, Grimrock could be lot more atmospheric if the right music and sound effects were used for it.
One of the things that I really appreciated about LoG is the lack of annoying elements which many other indie games suffer from due to the lack of experience of their developers. For example, you are free to save whenever you like. Rest wherever you like. Backtrack to the point you started the game in case you have missed something. Point any mark on the map in order not to lose something you've got rid of earlier and found out that it's useful. There is nothing that bothers and annoys you in the game and in other words, the game never tries to challenge you by implementing annoying or confusing elements in the game-play. Many inexperienced developers should take note.
Overall, LoG is an entertaining and pleasant game which everyone who's interested enough in the genre can enjoy and although suffers from lack of variety in most of its aspects and it shows that it's a title made with a small budget, but still, it can provide 15 hours of RPG goodness unlike any of the recent titles.