Grindstone in the test: puzzle highlight now available for PC (update)

Grindstone in the test: puzzle highlight now available for PC (update)

Grindstone in the test

Have you never heard of Grindstone? Don't worry! The charming puzzle game was released as the launch title for Apple Arcade in September 2019, which means that it simply rushed by the majority of the gaming community. Since December 2020, Grindstone has also been available for the Switch and will hopefully get the attention it deserves. The game is not only good, it also comes from a well-known team: Capybara Games, an independent studio in Toronto that works with games such as Below, Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP, Super Time Force Ultra or Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes has proven that it knows how to do creative works with a distinctive touch.

Update: Since May 20, 2021, Grindstone has also been available for PC. All information about the PC version can be found at the end of the article.

Colorful splatter fun: When Jorj reaches out with the broadsword, the tatters fly. Source: PC Games

Blue warrior sees red

Grindstone presents itself as a tactical puzzle with pleasantly clear rules. You play Jorj, a blue-skinned warrior who is on a manageable playing field. Now blue, red, green, yellow or purple enemies appear randomly there. Round after round it is important to mark as many opponents as possible of one color. The more opponents we select one after the other, the longer chains are formed - if you are satisfied with the selection, all you have to do is press a button and Jorj begins to roar through the given path. This works just as well with the switch controller as it does with the touchscreen, so it doesn't matter whether you play on TV or on the move.

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Not without my gemstone

Of course, there are still a few things to consider that give the game its spice. Above all, the eponymous grindstones (grindstones) are decisive: If you have formed a chain of ten opponents or more, Jorj receives a splendid clunk as a reward, which then ends up randomly on the playing field.

Grindstone in the test Source: PC Games The highlight: As soon as you build this grindstone into Jorj's path, you can switch from one opponent's color to the next, which means that particularly long series of attacks can be created across the playing field. But be careful: the opponents also get ready for an attack over time. Therefore you have to make sure that Jorj's rage does not end next to an active enemy, otherwise he will lose a heart at the end of the round; after three hits the level has failed and you have to start over. Practical: Unsafe fields can be faded in with the push of a button, so it's always fair.

Sufficient variety

In each level there is a goal to fulfill before the exit opens . Most of the time you have to defeat a certain number of enemies, but sometimes there are also special tasks. Because Grindstone offers a pleasing variety: on some maps there are, for example, explosive barrels, lava pits or puddles of slime, in other levels you have to push stone blocks onto switches or kill special types of opponents. Even small boss fights loosen up the gameplay again and again.

The theme changes every ten levels, with new elements such as these explosive barrels being introduced. Source: PC Games

Collect and tinker

In each level there is also a treasure chest that can be opened with a key and a chain of ten. In addition, a king always spawns who can be defeated by a chain of five, and occasionally a jewel thief also comes along. They all have only one function, namely to discard resources and blueprints. We need both to return to the inn between the levels, where we can make new equipment for Jorj. Special clothes give the angry blue skin important resistances or other advantages, shields block enemy attacks and with magical swords and bows Jorj can make a few special attacks in case he gets stuck. But be careful: Most of the equipment has to be replaced after use, so you should use it sparingly.

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Lots of game time

With more than 200 levels, Grindstone offers tons of games for the money, 20 hours and more are easy. In addition, there are two kinds of daily changing challenges, including Online scoreboard and your own rules of the game - so you can pass the time even further after playing through.

Grindstone is available in the Nintendo eShop for around 17 euros, the texts are optionally available in German.

Update: The PC version being tested

Since May 20, 2021, Grindstone has also been available for the PC, the game is available exclusively from the Epic Games Store. The price is 20 euros. The implementation seems a bit careless , especially the mouse control feels a bit awkward - here you can unfortunately clearly see that Grindstone was originally developed for touch input. Gameplay is noticeably easier with a gamepad.

Grindstone (NSW) 8/10

Graphics - Sound - Multiplayer - Grindstone (PC ) 8/10

Graphics - Sound - Multiplayer - Pros & Cons Motivating, easily understandable concept Variety through new level modules and opponents Considerable scope (over 200 levels) Lots of unlockable equipment Sympathetic graphic style Daily challenges and leaderboards The basic game principle always remains Not a real story soon A little loveless PC implementation More pros & cons ...

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