Essential (Indie) Game Highlight: ‘GRIS’

Ade M. Campbell
3 min readJul 31, 2020

This post is really just to bring your attention to possibly one of the most beautiful games ever…

It’s an indie game, of course, and it’s called ‘Gris’. It almost plays itself were it not for some light puzzles and exploration. Of course, it still needs a player to make it unfold.

So just play it, and let yourself go with the atmosphere and ride it will take you on. To talk too much about it all here, might be to detract from the experience.

It’s nice to keep a focus on more emotional games which don’t involve endless shooting or updates to big-budget franchises. Besides, we all need a break from wooden cut-scenes, endless side-quests, fiddly crafting, gathering or short scenarios filled with button-pumping combat.

Indie games slot right into that happy area sometimes where kids (of all ages) can play, watch and share, without placing huge demands on the player. Journey has perhaps become one of the ultimate examples of great success in this groove.

You know those super-satisfying, hyper-relaxing platform games with sumptuous music and where you can just relax as you weave your way through environments, admiring the scenery and navigating some light, intuitive puzzles? ‘Gris’ is certainly one of those where ‘Planet Alpha’ is another.

The abstract nature of the game means you don’t get clues or signs (or any HUD at all) but must simply work your way through, picking up the themes and metaphors that relate to the character’s story and emotional state. It’s all about the tale it will reveal to you. It’s all about the scary, vivid world generated for the courageous girl you get to play, which only through this journey may she overcome.

With such a focus on the experience or journey, the actual need for challenge, or the worry about dying, feels more removed, and your thoughts get time to linger and immerse in the visuals of the game, the smooth and clever design and attention to detail. They way it all flows. Is this what happens when games get…

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Ade M. Campbell

Writer, artist, permaculture explorer of new tech, generative AI, VR, web3, NFTs: Ade’s Press: adespress.blog