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GRIS Review – A Living Watercolor Painting You Can Play

Gris from Nomada Studios features a Journey-like experience that gamers who favor narrative over challenging gameplay will undoubtedly praise. I personally found it to be one of my most memorable gaming experiences of 2018, and while it is quite short, it’s still a game I would proudly recommend to anyone looking for a very artistic, yet highly satisfying narrative platformer.

My full review can be found below via the embedded video, or you can read the script embedded after it. This is definitely a game you should at least be informed on if anything else, so please check out the video review for Gris below.

Hey now gamers looking for visually evocative gaming experiences that remind you of the  power a video game can have over your emotions, Matt Heywood here to review Gris from Nomada Studio.

Gris is now available for the PC and Nintendo Switch, and if you own the latter device, I highly recommend picking it up because it’s a fantastic gaming-on-the-go experience. Hell, even if you just have a PC to game on, I still recommend experiencing this insanely beautiful to look at and play puzzle platformer. Oh, and it’s soundtrack is to die for too.

Like Journey before it, Gris is just one of those gaming experiences that completely enthralls your senses as you explore its UI free, waypoint free, artistic looking world. Never once are  you told what to do, or where to go, but thanks to the expertly crafted level design and gameplay, your soul just knows what to do.

I absolutely love games that don’t require me to keep double checking menus and maps to make sure I wasn’t missing something to allow me to progress. It just makes a game like Gris feel even more special and artistic than it already is, while keeping you immersed in the lead character’s journey.

Gris to me is a hybrid of Journey and a Metroidvania-style game like Ori and the Blind forest. While there’s no map to follow, it’s still a 2D platformer that requires you to gain new abilities — such as turning Gris’ dress into a heavy weight, or allowing her to swim underwater —  which in turn allow you to progress to areas that were previously unreachable.

The magic in Gris’ take on this gameplay formula though, is that you don’t have a map to follow, yet the game somehow naturally funnels you to where you need to go to keep progressing. This just goes to show how well the game was designed, which as I’ve gushed previously, just makes Gris a very serene and satisfying gaming experience.

I have to also mention that Gris is a very competent platformer and puzzle game too, so while the main focus of the game is on Gris’ journey and discovering more about herself in an intoxicating looking, hand drawn, watercolored world, you are also challenged with some well implemented classic 2D side scrolling gaming tropes.

Gris truly touched me, and instantly rocketed itself up my list of beautiful artistic gaming experiences that all gamers need to get acquainted with. The story is a bit hard to follow because it’s all told through symbolism, but you won’t find yourself worrying too much about it. This is a game that takes a hold of your senses right from the moment it begins, and it will not let them go until you complete its adventure, which clocks in around 2.5 – 3.5 hours depending on skill, and your desire to go after collectibles. I would have liked a bit more replayability, but like other artistic games, I’m more than satisfied with my time with it and would buy it again if it meant I could relive my first experiences with it.

Gris earns a 9.5 out of 10 review score from Team EB. If you’ve been looking for a Journey-like game that blends in the beauty and Metroidvania-style gameplay of Ori and the Blind Forest, then you can’t go wrong with Nomada Studio’s Gris, which is published by Indie master Devolver Digital, so you know it has to have a high pedigree.

Thanks for watching, Matt Heywood signing off for entertainmentbuddha.com, where we make you a better geek, one post at a time.

 

Review Summary

Story - 8.5
Gameplay - 9.5
Graphics - 10
Sound - 10
Entertainment Value - 9.5

9.5

PLAY

Gris, in my opinion, is a Journey-level game in terms of how it completely sucks you into its artistic experience and doesn't let your senses go until its credit roll.

 

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Tags : GRIS
Matt Heywood

The author Matt Heywood

Matt Heywood is the founder and EIC of EntertainmentBuddha.com where he strives to make you a better geek, one post at a time! When he’s not scouring the Internet for interesting nuggets of awesomeness he can be found in his secret lair enjoying the latest and greatest video games, taking pictures of toys, or talking Star Wars on EB’s Star Wars Time podcast show.