Gris, a platform-adventure from Nomada Studios, is one of those games that really grabs hold of you. Playing as a young woman named Gris, you’re tasked with bringing color and life back into a bleak and inhospitable world. You do this by solving puzzles and unlocking new abilities with starlight. There’s no health meter or spoken dialogue. Far from a conventional gaming experience, it’s comparable to games like Journey or Abzu, as it evokes the same kind of wonder and whimsy. It’s the type of game that makes you think and feel. So, without further ado, here are a few reasons why we adore the indie game Gris.
She’s an unlikely heroine
Gris isn’t your classic heroine and that’s what I love most about her. She’s not some rugged, gun-toting person out for revenge. She’s small, affectionate, and lovely in every single way. Straying from the traditional hero, she’s about as unlikely as they come. With her stick-like limbs and tiny stature, at first glance, she seems more cloak than person. Rather than resorting to violence, she uses her wits to bring color back into a bleak world.
The art is drop-dead gorgeous
The art design is truly out of this world. Whenever you unlock a new color in the game, it bleeds into the crevices of the world like watercolor paint and it’s absolutely stunning. In addition to the vibrant colors, there’s a ton of empowering female imagery as well. Whether it’s colossal statues of voluptuous women or the moon hanging full and heavy in the background, the art presents itself as a celebration of womanhood.
It’s never about the destination
With most games, there’s a sense of urgency. Running down the corridor blasting away your enemies is a common scenario in games. Gris is different because the pacing is a lot slower. However, I wouldn’t say it’s boringly slow (quite the opposite in fact). This game does something unusual in that it lets me take my time with each and every puzzle. You can either stop and sniff the pixelated roses or move onto the next challenge.
It’s about finding your voice
The most important thing in this game is its visual narrative. When the world literally crumbles at Gris’ pointed feet in the opening sequence, not only does she lose her voice, she’s hardly able to hold herself up and take a few steps without stumbling. Later in the game, she finds her voice again and, with it, her inner strength. It’s a powerful moment that resonates with me personally, as I struggle with depression and often have to dig deep to find my strength.
It’s a genuine work of art
Ah, yes. Once again we’ve arrived at the age-old argument on whether or not video games are considered art. Whatever your opinion may be, it’s hard to deny how emotionally arresting Gris is. Between the rich colors and the moving narrative, it’s a game that makes you think and feel. There’s also a great deal of truth in art and Gris has a lot of truth in it, especially in the way it handles grief and fear.
What did you like about Gris? Tell us in the comments below!
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Image Credits: Nomada Studio / Gris