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Retro goodness!

Welcome to the world of Grayscale!
King of Greyscale is a simple but interesting Jrpg made by Illy (but with bosses by Ocean) that aims to recreate the old classic jrpg games: we have old style black and white graphics, a classical plot and an overall style that reminded to me the first final fantasy games.
But the whole game, despite the use of these "low resources" (I mean lack of colours, simple little sprites, old style music, and so on) the final result is a really well done game with many details and hidden features. But let's begin with...

A realm in danger
Greyscale is in danger: the protagonist, the prince Ashe, is forced to flee after his father, the king of Greyscale, is deposed and his evil brother Lucian takes the throne with brute force. Our valiant warrior vows to rescue his father and punish the usurper, but to do this he will need the help of a group of quirky characters and the townspeople of his country. Unfortunately soon it will be clear that his brother is assisted by some dark supernatural creatures.

King of Greyscale is a classical old style rpg. Graphics are black and white and sprites are taken directly from some old games. The final result is a pleasant retro-appearance (even if I find difficult playing for long monocromatic games, but ok, it's a personal problem!) that will surely appeal nostalgic players.
Mapping is simple as expected, bit professional and well executed, monster sprites are especially cured and very Final-Fantasy looking). I liked a lot the portraits, very different and full of character despite the use of few tones.
Also music is very old style and we've a nice selection, I especially liked combat music, in particular during the last parts of the game.

Hey, that's rather harsh! But this guy is great, even if a bit strange...

Meet a merry band of heroes
Of course our friend Ashe, loyal and benevolent prince, is soon able to find supporters, starting with his friends, the gnome Finn (well I think he is a gnome!). The party has a limit of four members (and we cannot drop the hero) but we have many adventurers available, some will join automatically, others will require some particular actions to be unlocked. So Ashe is a warrior, Finn a gnome, then we have some classical adventures like a mage, a monk and a cleric, but also some unusual folks like an undead and an angel.
We have many different characters but the nice feature is that each one can be improved (besides upgrading gear) in a different way: the cleric need to visit temples, the wizard has to read books, the gnome needs to find other gnome, and so on... it's a good choice because this encourages exploration and makes also each character different, giving a touch of personality.

Fighting the (grey) world
Clearly different characters possess different abilities, some are unique and others are not, so that you can for example choose your favourite healer. And trust me, you will need a healer, but is also necessary to have a spellcaster because you will soon discover that some opponents are weaker to physical attacks and others instead take more damage from magical attacks (finding the opponent's weakness is the key to victory), so do not expect to use just the strongest attack (but is clearly simple than the usually system with opposing elemental attacks and defences).
Opponents sometimes can poison, stun or weaken our heroes, but when the abilities are not enough you can always use consumables to recover, but don't expect to have a lot of money to spend. The difficulty is in my opinion well balance, never topo high or low, I never felt sure to win. Because you cannot flee and you can save only on the main map, so be careful! (At least you can rest in the inns for free!).

Level cap is 20, but even if monsters do not respawn, it's easy to max the entire party. No need to grind at all, but if you want you can fight as much as you want at the various and optional battlegrounds on the map.

Kitties! A horde of kitties! This was a surprise encounter near the castle. A bad surprise, these cats are strong!

Warriors and wanderers
Combat is not the only activity: you will travel and complete quest and subquests, and I like the fact that you can bypass areas that were secured with the elimination of hostiles (yes opponents are always visible and avoidable and that's a good thing), or explore every place and talk with every character to learn hints and discover some well golden secrets, but I will not say more about the things tou can find, discover and unlock!

A little big adventure
King of Greyscale is a wonderful little gem. The game is simple and not particularly original, bit the aim was to recreate a classical jrpg of the golden era. In this the game is more than successful because besides the nostalgic graphics and music, the well balanced difficulty and well written dialogues, it introduces many little details that makes every location different: the mines with skeletons, some dead and some undead (surprise!) or the swamp with the sudden attacks of the crocodiles, the trial oc the duels jn the tower and so on. This game has a certain variety!

Flaws? Only a couple: I did not like that there is no bar that indicates which character will act next in combat, also sometimes it was a bit difficult to understand which character was poisoned since they are all very close. The optional bosses and rewards are a bit too difficult to find since the lack of hints (I got just a couple of them).

King of Greyscale is a complete and linear but enjoyable adventure. Difficulty and dialogues are extremely well made and contribuite to involve the player. No bugs, no boring sections and no frustrating parts, this is a short game with an adequate content, a rather large cast for a short game, and an interesting story with some twist.

King of Greyscale is Good: 4/5!
Ps: the "silent" ending is great, Play this game to see that and discover how you do not need great graphics to make a great game.


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Woohoo! Thanks for the review, I'm glad you enjoyed the game!
Woohoo! Thanks for the review, I'm glad you enjoyed the game!

A lot! Difficulty was extremely well balanced and that was not easy task! I am sure that KoG2 will be even better.
I am only sorry because I wasn't able to find all the secret final weapons but only two of them! ^^'
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