‘Grym’ is a surreal adventure game based in the middle of the ocean on an island called “Boardwalk island”. The story is told in the perspective of small creatures called ‘Gryms’, the people depicted in the game are purposely monstrous to give the player a feel for what smaller beings could see in humans. The plot of ‘Grym’ is less of a straightforward narrative that instead of revolving around the main characters, tells small individual stories of the world and the people who live there. The Gryms are a race of rodent that live alone for the majority of their existence, living within walls and under the Boardwalk. As they are seen as a delicacy by the people of Boardwalk Island, the majority of them are dead or hiding. The player character is a Grym who is in search of an escape from this island, after seeing a picture of what seems to be a long expanse of grass and trees. Along the way the player can unveil mysteries and stories of the residence of Boardwalk Island, revealing them as more human as each story is understood. The player will start to understand more from what the people are saying as they become more human, thus giving more information and equipment to escape.
The only friendly characters within this game are the Gryms, as everyone else sees you as a rare delicacy that should be captured. The Gryms are rather shy and nervous looking creatures, their arms are often held close to their chest. Their appearance is frail and weak looking, they have no feet or hands and their heads are skulls that resemble that of a bird. The various people around Boardwalk Island are seen by the player as grotesque monstrosities, one of the first the player encounters called ‘The Cook’, is shown a fat, eyeless man with a large tongue emerging from his stomach. As his story is unveiled it is shown that he is a rather jolly man with a large belt wrapped around his waist. This situation repeats with the other characters as well, however, they do not necessarily turn non-hostile. The characters will follow a rather 1930s seaside town dress code, to fit with the setting. Their jobs will also have a slightly comedic aspect that fits with the times, for example, one of the shops will hold a Barber-Surgeon, in which the monster encountered will chase the player with his large bone saw scissors.
The Island itself is made completely out of boardwalks, and the player will have a few opportunities to view the entire area. The island will have several layers of building quality depending on how close the player is to the centre, with the outer layers being covered in rich, clean, tall houses and the core being stuffed with shacks and dark alleyways. The centre of the island is where the player will begin their journey, the houses there are tightly packed together and run down, with various gang flags raised up high. The sewer grates are blocked and overflowing, with small animals bathing in the puddles. This environment will get less and less deprived as the player gets more towards the outer town, with tall, colourful buildings hanging over the edge. The streets will become more frequently cobbled and the quality of life will be noticeably better. The entire island will feel rather unstable throughout the game, with loose boards and rocking houses littering the environment, these will serve as puzzles and obstacles to the player. The entire exterior of the island will be covered in water, with a few ships being shown to be sinking from either storm or sea monster, this will push the idea that there is no real escape to the player.
They key objective of the game is to escape the island, the player will achieve this by making his or her way through the labyrinth of houses and obstacles. The player will need to acquire keys in order to progress through the layers of town, as they progress the town will become richer and cleaner. The player will participate in side quests in order to help them progress through the map, these aren’t essential but it will help the player find items that are hidden. The side quests will also reveal several stories about the monsters, which will also reveal information on what the player character really is, as it is hidden from them in the beginning. grym-synopsis