Living watercolor illustration coupled with the themes of loss and grief accentuated by the orchestral score, Gris is a visual and audial masterpiece. It was developed by Nomada Studio, a Spanish indie game studio. Its symmetry and simple, clean design showcase a complete mastery over 2D animation, such that you would stop just to look at the art that surrounds you. However, minor frustrations and basic moves negatively affect the quality of the game, leaving a little room for improvement.
Story: The story follows a heartbroken woman, Gris, who wakes up in the palm of a crumbling statue of a woman. She tries to sing but quickly gets choked up. The statue’s hands crumble, dropping her to the colorless Earth below. The game’s story is told through symbolism rather than dialogue, and just like a piece of art in a gallery, remains open to interpretation. After landing, the girl continues walking and comes across strange structures that are powered by mysterious points of light resembling stars.
Play Style: The levels may seem daunting at first but follow the one simple layout. There’s a linear road that eventually leads to a number of branched paths. Within each branched path there is a key collectible. This key collectible either unlocks an ability or allows the player to move forward into the game, depending on the circumstance. Each subsequent world integrates the ability picked up in the last one well, making the understanding of the game’s features a smooth learning task. One issue in the game was the lack of distinction between the foreground, mid-ground, and background. This was a minor issue at the start, but continues to add up and become frustrating later on.
Audience: This is one of the best 2D animations we have seen in a game, so gamers you appreciate the artistic elements in a game, with the color schemes, the soundtracks, and the level design, will absolutely love this game. However, gamers who are more action-oriented may not like this game for its simplicity and easy-to-follow gameplay.
Platforms: Gris is available on Microsoft Windows, macOS, and Nintendo Switch.
Verdict: Gris is a one-sitting 4-5 hour play that showcases immensely beautiful art, world design, and soundtrack. The score is heart-touching, which changes according to the mood of the game. However, the game is too simple, making the levels mundane and repetitive. It has an amazing story and a very unique artistic design, but if you are not in it for that then this game may seem very boring to you. We still suggest having this game in your collection for its excellence in visual and audial development.