Grindstone, Vermin-proof Puzzle


Capybara Games has a high title, with a sublime puzzle design and very addictive mechanics. Original Apple Arcade, now on Nintendo Switch.

When we think of the most recommended video games from Apple Arcade, the North American company’s subscription service, Grindstone certainly comes to mind. It premiered, built a reputation for quality, and identified itself as the ideal solution for Candy Crush formula lovers looking to break away from micropayments, waiting times, and normal retail practices. free to play. That is, in short, Grindstone; with luck standing out, above all, for its undoubted quality and design that is capable of capturing you for hours, days and weeks. The arrival of the Nintendo Switch is good news.

Let’s start at the beginning What is Grindstone? A puzzle title, RPG mechanics, strategy and gameplay based on little by little progress through dozens of levels connecting enemies of the same type or color; so the grind. If we reach the door, we will move on. And so on, with more and more weapons, equipment, challenge and enemies that will make things more complicated for us.


A formula that does not fail: simplicity, addiction, depth

It is the last work of Capybara Games, known by titles such as Below, Superbrothers: Sword and Sorcery or Super Time Force. A studio that understands the language of mobile apps and knows how to make good use of the reduced screen space on smartphones to develop experiences that leave nothing to be desired. The current main character is also a clever approach to breathing, although there is a difference: the Nintendo Switch version is not played vertically, but horizontally. This isn’t a banal topic, so it’s clear from the start that while we recommend this edition for the hybrid – especially in Nintendo Switch Lite because of its size – we also have to say it’s not the perfect way to to play it, it’s a great way to do it on a console to use hardware. The port is impeccable.

Grindstone was born as a mobile video game for a reason. The adaptation pleasantly surprised us, however, making it clear that it is possible to shift the mobile game formula if effort and dedication are made in the effort. Here’s a rare warning: there are no micropayments, no bars indicating the time we have left to retrieve life, and no notifications between screen and screen. To make matters worse, if you like the typical RPG progression mechanics that invite you to be consistent and return often to improve your stats, add a little touch roguelike, everything invites you to think that you will like Grindstone; and you might really like it, because it asks very little of you and gives you all the good you can expect match the Panorama is best known.


So let’s move on to explain how Grindstone is played and the reasons why it can take ten or fifteen minutes a day. We have different levels with many different creatures (vermin), each with a different color or type. Our goal is to clear the area by removing all monsters that can be eliminated through a chain line. We can draw the route vertically, horizontally or diagonally; the more combos, the more we advance and the closer we are to the exit to the next level. Occasionally, there will come grindstones, which are a kind of wild card: they count as the species you are chaining. You decide whether to go back, draw a diagonal, take a risk or take the fast route. The exit leads to every road, the magic is on how to reach it. Simple, regardless of age. It just works.

His grace is all-knowing and intuitive. You seem to have been playing your whole life, and with every addition, With each new danger or item you can use in combat, the gameplay becomes more complex … but not more confusing, but deeper. Capy Games has been catching the eye in the way of interface design, with a highly effective on-screen arrangement of elements. All the extra information is left on the side, without overlapping popup on the dashboard, so it doesn’t overwhelm the eye or pile on vermin.

How to Play Grindstone and Why It’s So Fun

Exciting as it may seem, Grindstone is full of secrets and likes to introduce a structure based on limiting access to certain steps depending on our ability. This applies to belts and gear unlocking. Even bosses end a belt. Subsequently, if the arrangement of the enemies on the panel yields to a random distribution, the usability. Not exactly a roguelike nor does he choose a procedural design, but yes each meeting makes a unique case.


Fortunately, the difficulty curve is well designed; And while it doesn’t reach infernal heights, there are many complex steps that make us try our luck over and over again to solve them. The way Capybara tries is particularly famous keep beat with the player and invite them to take a risk. There will be times when we will be close to the exit, near the next screen, and the dilemma of trying a bigger combo will be solved at the risk of losing everything … or just going away. What’s even more, a bird in hand or a hundred flying? So always. A coin thrown in the air where it may emerge or may have tails, but where your skill can make the edge tilt more on one side or the other. That feeling is great.

We cannot blame any technical level. This version of Nintendo Switch looks great on screen and in portable mode, with very vivid and well-defined colors, seasoned with a competent soundtrack (signed by Sam Webster) and a Spanish translation with a print that reads great. The ideal is to play it in portable mode, which is the best way for us to track – literally – every movement with our fingers. By holding the console with one hand and drawing with the other hand, it is best played on Nintendo Switch Lite. In any case, the adaptation of orders to traditional control is as significant as it can be. We cannot think of any other way, with all the sacrifices associated with this.


In the end, the important thing is that Grindstone is not splashed by the aforementioned monetization practices and asks to think about paying even more € 16.79 and forget about inconveniences, or agree to the game that is going to ask you for coins. , certain limits and sacrifices. Fortunately, Grindstone is no longer tied to a subscription service and can be purchased on a portable console that responds perfectly to touch control. Justice for this wonderful work.

Good taste, good feeling


Grindstone is a great composition of all the elements that should turn a mobile puzzle game into a great video game, in general, capable of capturing audiences of all kinds. First, because of how it emerges from the sharpest and most uncomfortable practices with the player; secondly, because its translation to consoles has evolved satisfactorily. Whether with touch control or through the buttons, Capybara Games rewards, challenges as we progress and gives personality to every situation, every enemy and every boss. It is deep, careful, detailed and clever. Grindstone is the perfect example of what we usually call a “gamefeel”. The control is done to you as much as you do the mechanics. Essential for every lover of the genre.

THE BEST _____

  • The gameplay and mechanics mix; everything fits perfectly.
  • How easy it is to start playing and how satisfying it is to improve.
  • Gorgeous audio-visual on-screen.
  • Great visual and mechanical conversion.


  • Waste multiplayer options.


Very good

A game with a great finish that we will enjoy and remember. A good purchase, highly recommended for lovers of the genre. He is well cared for at every level.

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