If you weren’t around for games like Dungeon Master and Eye of the Beholder you might find combat in Legend of Grimrock to be a bit challenging. I decided to record the first difficult fight you’ll encounter in order to demonstrate the dungeon 2-step. (This is from level 2 of the dungeon and my characters are all level 2 as well.)
When you step on the central tile in this room, the door behind you shuts and 3 skeletal knights enter the room, one at a time. With 3 enemies your options are fairly limited so your first goal is to kill one of them as quickly as possible while keeping your party alive. You’ll see that I focus on one then switch targets. I did that because my rogue in the second rank was taking heavy damage. By turning 90 degrees I took her out of danger (but put the even squishier mage in harm’s way).
Once you’re down to 2 enemies you can start moving around the room. This was basically the original form of kiting a mob. Our gaming roots on display!! With 2 baddies (as long as nothing goes badly wrong) the fight becomes fairly easy.
Casting a spell is a bit cumbersome and you’ll see me fizzle once because I chose both the rune for the fire spell and the rune for poison cloud. The devs have said they made casting spells deliberately more difficult than other forms of combat as a kind of balancing technique. They WANT you to get frantic and mis-cast, like I did here. Evil devs!
Also note [spoiler] that each alcove that a skeleton comes out of houses a lever. When you pull all 3 of those levers the doorway to the room opens. You could quickly do that and escape into the hallway if you’re nimble enough, and from there you can kill the skellies one at a time.