For those unfamiliar with the Grimms’ fairy tales, it’s important to know that the children’s stories kids grow up loving nowadays are much different than the original tales conceived by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm in the early 1800s. Many of the fairy tales that are so embedded into our culture now were once dark, gritty, and unsettling before they slowly evolved through time into more “acceptable” literature. An indie development duo–appropriately named the Grimm Bros–want to bring back the original vision of the German brothers’ stories. The result is Dragon Fin Soup.
I sat down with one of the two developers working on this game at PAX Prime to talk about Dragon Fin Soup. The premise behind the game is that it’s a roguelike where you play as several spin-offs of popular fairy tale characters. For instance, the developer talked at length about Red Robin, a character born of influence from Little Red Riding Hood. In the gameplay trailer he showed me, Red Robin is an alcoholic that, in one section of her story, goes on a rampage, destroying everything in her tiny village with a shotgun. The developers hope each character displays a deep, personal flaw that reveals a more humanistic side of the characters modern fairy tales fail to show.
The game itself is a top-down adventure RPG featuring roguelike elements, but it’s driven by story just as much as it’s driven by exploration. For those that simply want to treat Dragon Fin Soup strictly like a roguelike, they can. There will be an option in the final game for players to simply traverse through the levels and see how far they can get while looting and killing as they go. However, for those that prefer a more narrative-focused approach, there will also be a campaign mode complete with gorgeous, comic book panel-like cutscenes. In this mode, players will take on the role of several fairy tale-inspired characters and follow their individual story threads to see where they take them.
Although no demo of the game was available, Grimms Bros has stated that Dragon Fin Soup will feature tactical, grid-based combat; side activities like crafting, cooking, and mining; pets; dual-wielding; randomly generated maps and weather; and multiplayer. A playable beta of the game should be available by PAX East 2014, so it shouldn’t be long before we’re diving in to a virtual reconstruction of the Grimms’ gritty world and characters.