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Demo points the way to It's Grim Up North

Demo points the way to It's Grim Up North
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British point-and-click sci-fi comedy series with turn-based combat to debut on PC later this year

If a tagline like "Hot Fuzz meets The Thing" grabs your attention (and really, how could it not?), you'll want to take a closer look at Bad Reaction Games' upcoming episodic adventure, It's Grim Up North

Terry is the oldest – or rather, most senior, as he's quick to remind people – detective in the quaint county of Yorkshire. Terry's still on the job, but nothing ever happens here besides saving the odd kitten and other equally dire crises. At least, until a spaceship crash lands nearby and the locals start having their identities stolen by shapeshifting aliens. Now it's going to take all of the protagonist's "quick wit, skills and a bunch of sarcasm" to determine who is human and who is an imposter by trying to outsmart them with his knowledge of local matters. The "best way of doing that is by completing a bunch of fun and ridiculous puzzles," like milking cows and participating in a dance off, but you'd best be prepared for a little combat when brute force is called for as well. 

It's Grim Up North is a charming-looking, jaunty-sounding pixel art adventure that sees players exploring the steets, shops and of course pubs throughout its fictional setting, using bus stops to navigate between major locations within town limits and the surrounding countryside. Unvoiced dialogue with the cast of "unusual and eccentric characters" will immediately confirm the promise of "absurd British sense of humour" that may just need a Cockney-to-English translator at times. Interaction is performed via the familiar Sierra-style cycling of cursors using the right-mouse button to walk, use, talk to and pick up items, which can then be selected and even combined in inventory. What really sets this game apart from most adventures, however, is the inclusion of turn-based combat that allows you to choose between attack modes, healing and application of buffs, with some Quick Time Event-style manipulations in order to maximize damage. 

The developers plan to release new installments of It's Grim Up North episodically beginning later this year, each of which will be "mostly self-contained" but with an over-arching narrative similar to the early Telltale Sam & Max games. There's no firm release date just yet for the series debut, but a playable demo is now available on Steam, offering a sneak peek into this delightfully quirky world. 


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