Even though it can’t be legally purchased anywhere through digital means, be it on GOG or Steam, Grim Fandango is still one of the most beloved cult-classics in gaming history. The brainchild of Double Fine creative lead Tim Schafer has some of the best writing, characters, and voice acting any video game story could possibly hope for.
But ugh, those tank controls are so awful.
In a world that makes sense and Resident Evil never popularized them, Grim Fandango might have been a bigger success. The controls hold back what otherwise might have been a perfect experience.
Luckily, generous modder Tobias Pfaff has stepped forward to deliver a mod to replace them with a much easier and more classical point-and-click interface via the mouse, making it play much like older LucasArts games.
“I got annoyed by the Grim Fandango’s tank controls,” he explains on the mod’s official forum topic. “So I made a classical point&click interface. The game is now 100% playable with mouse only (bugs to be expected, though).”
As the game was never intended to be used with mouse control, and contains a lot of puzzles with non-standard controls, this required massive modifications of both ResidualVM and the game source. Some of the RVM edits may have unintended consequences for other games and platforms, so I think it’s better to keep the codebase separate.
So with one simple mod, a great deal of the problems which hold back Grim Fandango can be fixed. Good luck finding a copy of it to play, though. I don’t think Disney has a re-release high on its priority list at the moment.