ReviewsReview: Grime: Colors of Rot

Review: Grime: Colors of Rot


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The word enjoyable and Soulslike games rarely go hand-in-hand. However, the brutality and grim setting offer a macabre reward that is hard to resist. Furthermore, the melancholy settings and hateful colour palette create an oppressive world that begs to be defeated. Consequently, when Grime: Colors of Rot landed on my desk, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

Developed by Clover Bite and published by Akupara Games, this is a tough Metroidvania title. What’s more, it is distinctly Soulsborne in more ways than one. Accordingly, it’ll test your navigation skills, patience, and anger management abilities. However, its 2D platform elements are reminiscent of Hollow Knight and Limbo. As such, it captures the best elements of recent top-rated titles while delivering a whole new experience. Yet, does this hodgepodge of ideas work, or will it be an awful mess?

The hero comes face to face with a massive boss.
Hello big fella, do you wanna dance?

Grime: Colors of Rot tells a bizarre story.

Like Dark Souls, the story of Grime: Colors of Rot is shrouded in mystery. Therefore, you spend much of your time wandering the foul plains like a headless chicken. However, the bizarre story and lack of guidance matter not. Instead, you’ll enjoy the freedom of exploring the expanding map, encountering weird creatures, and absorbing countless amounts of energy. 

You control an unnamed being that has fallen into a dark and unforgiving chasm. This husk of a creature must prey on any being it encounters in order to grow. Furthermore, the beast uses living parts to evolve and overcome any problems it faces. With the help of some unusual beings, this strange creature must learn new skills and escape its dank tomb.

As you can tell, this isn’t a story-rich game. Instead, the developers are hoping you enjoy the sinister atmosphere and the unforgiving mechanics. Subsequently, if you struggle with extremely hard games, you’re going to be out of your comfort zone almost immediately. 

Exploration and familiar mechanics. 

Death is all but certain. Therefore, the familiar “bonfire” spawn points are essential. These beacons of light come to your rescue repeatedly, while allowing you to upgrade the hero. There is a simple skill tree to focus on that improves strength, health, dexterity, and so forth. On top of this, you can unlock traits, upgrade them, and tinker with the protagonist. This basic element is essential to your progress. However, unlike other Metroidvania games, there are no key perks or skills that need to be unlocked. Accordingly, it’s more flexible and user-friendly than many of its peers.

Talking of exploration, this is where the game excels. Grime: Colors of Rot funnels you to special locations, yet you are free to uncover secrets and do as you wish. Consequently, it was easy to lose your way or waste time as you decimate every rock monster in sight.

An insight into the massive labyrinthine world.
A massive world for you to explore.

Living parts, massive swords, and deadly bosses. 

Rarely does this mish-mash of genres surprise me. Yet, the idea of wearing living body parts was a bit shocking. As such, the protagonist equips strange arms, legs, and the skin of its prey. Think of Buffalo Bill, but without the lotion, well, and innocent victims. As you equip yourself with each unique piece of armour, your attributes improve. Accordingly, if you wish to survive and progress, you must find the best gear possible. 

Other than the heinous armour, you’ll discover meaty swords, swift blades, and enormous bludgeoning tools. Each of these weapons has strengths and weaknesses, and you must use the right one depending on the situation you find yourself in. Normally, you adjust your setup to overcome or attempt to overcome one of the many pain-in-the-dick bosses you face.

These larger-than-life monstrosities kick your ass over and over again. Subsequently, you must find a chink in their armour if you wish to be victorious. This element of the action was a classic Soulsborne mechanic and one that I lovingly detested. I lost count of the times that I died, and I cursed the developers more times than I care to admit. 

Grime: Colors of Rot is disgusting to look at. 

I have to be careful with my words. Why? Well, I can only describe Grime: Colors of Rot as utterly disgusting to look at. Now, this isn’t me being derogatory. I admire the oppressive atmosphere and the claustrophobic world. Moreover, the labyrinthine setting is incredible to explore. Alongside this, the roster of monsters you encounter is fascinating, horrific, and utterly captivating. This is before you consider the amazing bosses and the marginal changes to the background. As such, visually, this is a bizarre title that’ll turn your stomach while being tough to put down.

The audio follows suit with its sombre and minor tones. The eerie soundtrack is complemented beautifully by the strange sound effects and basic environmental noises. When each of these elements combines, it creates an uncomfortable and sinister experience that makes your skin crawl. 

Grime: Colors of Rot has a grim world full of weird creatures.
Smash that rock beast to hell.

Excellent controls with a superb UI.

Grime: Colors of Rot had the ability to be bloody awful to play. There are plenty of items to use, classic platforming mechanics to master, and some tricky combat elements to overcome. Thankfully though, the excellent control system and superb UI save the day. With responsive inputs and a well-considered layout, you’ll understand the fundamentals almost immediately. Yet, like most Soulsborne games, the devil is in the detail, and success is laid fully on your shoulders.

This isn’t an easy game to complete. What’s more, there are many bosses, masses of hidden chambers, and plenty of things to see and do. On top of this, there are traits to improve, skills and attributes to increase, and loads of foes to defeat. Therefore, this oozes replay value and longevity. 

Grime: Colors of Rot is a great hybrid title.

Combining two tough genres was always a tricky ask. Yet, Clover Bite has done admirably. Thanks to the dark aesthetics, brutal gameplay, and balance of exploration and combat, it isn’t too overwhelming. Instead, you lose yourself in the bizarre and uncomfortable world you find yourself trapped in. Accordingly, I loved its horrendous ways, and I recommend that you buy it here! Move, fight, absorb, and grow. No one will help you, everything wants to kill you, and failure and death are all but assured. 


Grime: Colors of Rot is an exceptional hybrid title. Consequently, it takes the best out of both the Soulsborne and Metroidvania genres. As such, you'll lose your way, be killed, and rage quit many times. However, as you cut through the challenging gameplay, you'll enjoy the grim atmosphere, exquisite visuals, and bizarre and mystical storyline.

+ Striking but sickening visuals.
+ Grim with an interesting colour palette.
+ Melancholy audio.
+ Excellent controls.
+ Plenty of replay value.
+ A well-considered hybrid of the two genres.

- It is bloody brutal.
- It may be too dark and moody for some.
- The lack of a story may be off-putting.

(Rating: PEGI 12 Moderate Violence Release date: 15/12/2022 Price: £20.99)

(Reviewed on the Xbox Series X. Also available on Xbox One, PC (Steam), Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5)

Daniel Waite
Daniel Waite
My gaming career started on an Amiga and spans many consoles! Currently, I game using an MSI laptop and Xbox Series X. A fan of every genre, I love to give anything a go. Former editor and reviewer for, I'm loving my new home here at Movies Games and Tech. I can be contacted for gaming reviews on the following email:

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<p class="has-text-align-justify" style="font-size:14px"><em>Grime: Colors of Rot</em> is an exceptional hybrid title. Consequently, it takes the best out of both the Soulsborne and Metroidvania genres. As such, you'll lose your way, be killed, and rage quit many times. However, as you cut through the challenging gameplay, you'll enjoy the grim atmosphere, exquisite visuals, and bizarre and mystical storyline.</p><br/> + Striking but sickening visuals.<br/> + Grim with an interesting colour palette.<br/> + Melancholy audio.<br/> + Excellent controls.<br/> + Plenty of replay value.<br/> + A well-considered hybrid of the two genres.<br/> <br/> - It is bloody brutal.<br/> - It may be too dark and moody for some.<br/> - The lack of a story may be off-putting.<br/> <br/> <p class="has-text-align-center" style="font-size:10px">(<b>Rating:</b> PEGI 12 Moderate Violence <b>Release date:</b> 15/12/2022 <b>Price:</b> £20.99)</p><br/> <p class="has-text-align-center" style="font-size:10px">(Reviewed on the Xbox Series X. Also available on Xbox One, PC (Steam), Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5)</p><br/>Review: Grime: Colors of Rot