Grindstone Game Review

The entertaining puzzle game Grindstone, previously released on Apple Arcade and on the Nintendo Switch, has finally made its way to Windows PC.

In Grindstone, you play as Georges, a barbarian who fights all sorts of reptiles using his sword and a furious roar. Traveling through the levels, he destroys dozens of monsters – in fact, killing a certain number of enemies is a necessary condition for completing the stage.

The gameplay is a puzzle game where the player connects creatures of the same color into chains. New ones come to the place of the destroyed ones, and stronger opponents may appear among them – these can be killed only if you first create a chain of a given number of mobs.

In addition, ordinary mobs gradually become enraged and can injure Georges if he stops near them at the end of the turn. Further – more: wizards enter the battlefield, striking from afar, bats, clearing a whole row vertically or horizontally, and so on.

Devices forged by a local blacksmith will help protect the hero from dangers. A shield will allow you to survive an enemy attack, an arrow can strike someone from a distance, a sword will provide a circular blow. The list of blueprints is gradually growing, new crafting devices appear – and not only consumables, but also armor elements.

But to create items, resources are required, and they cannot be collected in sufficient quantities if you rush to the finish line at each level. Grindstone makes it possible to extend the battle for as long as the player needs.

you can leave the level at any time by making your way to the door. At the same time, opponents are becoming more and more aggressive, and suddenly you can find yourself surrounded by furious monsters, driven into a trap from which there is no way out. In a word, the game encourages risk, but punishes carelessness.

The gameplay is uncomplicated at first glance, but it turns out to be deep enough so that the player does not get bored. Creating long chains brings genuine pleasure. Many opponents need to be approached, and boss battles force you to reinvent your strategy. Finally, the game has simply amazing visual design and animation – in fact, initially the project attracted me precisely with its picture.

On the other hand, the path to the top of the mountain, where Georges is striving, will be very long, and the lack of resources forces you to grind (and there is no donate here). Mouse control is definitely less convenient than touch input, and the god of randomness that places opponents in the arena tends to throw up very unpleasant surprises.

Grindstone can’t be drunk, but it doesn’t need to be: given the project’s mobile roots, it’s designed for short sessions where you can spend as much time as you want. If you are looking for a bright, funny and high-quality puzzle game where you can spend a few minutes waiting for an update for your favorite online shooter to download, then this is it.

The Appstore published an interview with Copybara Games, in which the developers talked about what awaits the players – a lot of content and no vacation for the barbarian Georges!

Dan Vader and Kenneth Yong shared their views on how they see mountain battles and how to make them even better:

Grindstone looks quite unique, what inspired you to create Georges?

Vader: We came up with the world and story about ten years ago. We had an idea to create an aggressive berserker in sandals.  And the winter setting…we live in Canada, where most of the year looks gray, that’s the direction we were moving.

All you need to do in the game is to collect chains of “reptiles” of the same color. Sharpening stones can change the color of the chain.
How was the idea to mix different genres and get such a combat system born?

Yong: From the very beginning, we had the idea of ​​creating paths through colors, but everything that happened next, chains passing through enemies, is the result of different tests. The mechanics of whetstones, which change the color of the chain, appeared much later.

Yong: This is one of the first ideas we came up with while finishing the game. Daily challenges are unique, the player has three lives and random equipment. The points system rewards players who kill a lot and take as little damage as possible. At the end, you can see the leaderboard and compare yourself with the rest.

The rules are quite simple. Four levels to complete by collecting as many grindstones as possible and killing as many “reptiles” as possible.

Vader: Gold has been added to the game, which can be mined from rocks, and as you might expect, there are special, super useful gold items waiting for you.

We also added 50 new levels, but instead of just adding them to the end, we scattered them all over the mountain. Players at different stages will see new caves and be able to explore them.