GRIS (Switch, PC)

You know, I’m not sure I’ll be able to describe the story of GRIS very well.  Heck, I don’t even know why it has that title.  GRIS is a very artistic game and probably has lots of deeper meanings, but I guess I don’t catch onto those very well.  I mean, when I played Journey, I just thought it was a game about a ketchup bottle walking in the desert.  GRIS is a bit like Journey except that it’s a LOT better, as it has more actual gameplay behind it.  Anyway, in the game you are a young woman who wakes up on a broken statue of a hand, and apparently you have lost your voice.  So now you must explore beautiful hand drawn ruins, deep forests, and underwater caves because…well it beats just standing there.  GRIS is a 2-D platformer with light puzzle elements and is available to download on Switch and PC, but reviewed on Switch here.

When you start out, the world looks pretty drab.  But as you play, you’ll unlock colors that add to the landscape, so you’ll see red sand, green trees, blue ice caves, and more as you play and unlock different colors.  Sometimes you must collect stars that can be made into bridge constellations for you to pass.  Every so often, you’ll learn a new skill to help you solve puzzles and bypass obstacles.  You’ll learn to turn into a rock, great for breaking cracked floors and giving yourself some weight against winds.  You’ll also learn how to double jump and glide, swim, and much more.  You’ll use these skills to solve clever puzzles that never become too hard, nor too easy either.  You can also collect other little circle things for an added challenge.

The game looks great.  It kind of reminds me of what you might see at an artsy animation festival.  The only problems I had with this game are pretty minor.  It’s a bit short, but that also means that it doesn’t overstay its welcome and it kept my interest all the way through to the end, which is something many games don’t do for me anymore.  And sometimes when the camera zoomed out, it was hard to see my character as well.  And I do wish they would let you pause during the cutscenes.  Normally that wouldn’t be a problem, but just as I beat the game, the doorbell rang and I had to answer it, so I had to play that last bit of the game again to see the ending.  So game developers, let us pause during those cutscenes, OK?  Anyway, if you like artsy fartsy puzzle platformer games, GRIS is a really, really good one to get.

Kid Factor:

Nothing violent or objectionable here.  Although a few of the creatures, like a giant bird and eel, might be a little scary to young kids.  Reading skill is helpful for some of the text, but not necessary just to play. While the game is pretty easy, kids would need to have good 2-D platforming skills to get through this game without any help.  GRIS is rated E for Everyone.

2 Responses to “GRIS (Switch, PC)”

  1. I had the same Journey comparison thought as well. I’m hoping my review of this will go up soon.

    I agree about non-skippable/pausable cutscenes.

    I’m pretty sure this game is called Gris because that’s the Spanish word for grey and your objective is to add color back into a “grey” world.

  2. Heard this is pretty good, but I’ll probably skip it.

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