One of the things I’ve noticed as I’m playing through Grim Fandango is the tendency for some paths to be really hard to find. I suspect this is a bit of a left over from early adventure games with Myst-style control systems, where all the possible paths were pretty obvious and IFs, where you pretty much know your options. Here however, the result of the 3D interface means that the next area is not always obvious and you can pass by it over and over without realizing it.
I’m afraid to admit it, but once or twice I’ve had to resort to the game guide, as I get completely lost. However, each level it gets easier and easier to figure out the puzzles. Once again, it really comes down to getting into the correct mindset. You have to suspend reality, but still keep the basic rules in mind. For instance, drinking alcohol filled with gold flakes doesn’t do a thing in real life (except make you drunk) but in the world of Grim Fandango, it sets off a metal detector. Makes sense right? It is metal. This sort of almost-real logic is something that is more learned through experience then anything else. But I am getting the hang of it.