Indie Spotlight: GRIS
When you think of pretty and colorful games, what comes to mind? Journey, Ori and the Blind Forest and Okami for sure make my top five list. However, later this year we could see one of the most artistically well-done games to date. Adrian Cuevas along with his friend Roger Mendoza, both of which previously worked for Ubisoft, co-founded Nomada Studio based in Barcelona. Together, with the help of talented freelance artist Conrad Roset, they are in the process of creating a playable art piece called GRIS. This 2-D plat-former is set to release at the end of this year for Nintendo Switch and PC.
Aside from the small description on the team’s website, only speculations can be made as to what the game entails. You will experience the world just as Gris is experiencing it for the first time on her journey through pain and grief. Although, the reason for the pain is a mystery, for now. From the game-play trailer, her dress is seemingly a coping mechanism to deal with the obstacles created through her version of reality. Letting her reach new heights and breaking the environment to advance the story leans towards the idea of your dress unlocking new "powers" throughout the game.
Gris, meaning gray in Spanish, couldn't be further from the truth of how colorful this game is. Perhaps this could be referring to the emotional state of Gris herself whilst traversing the world. The watercolor palette seems to dance across the screen much like her dress. Below is one of my favorite scenes. The heavy use of red is reminiscent of Mars which is entirely possible for our young protagonist to traverse the celestial plane.
Of course, one could argue that any visual medium devoid of a soundtrack can miss the impact that is trying to be made. With help from Berlinist Band, the score tugs on our heartstrings with sounds evocative of a dreamlike sequence. It will be interesting to see how the music sets the tone in discovering all GRIS has to offer. Indie games are notorious for soundtracks that set the scene for whatever the narrative is. One example that comes to mind is Rime. When something dramatic happened such as one of the sentinels dying, the music that followed (hopefully) brought some sort of emotion out of the player.
GRIS is being published by Devolver Digital who are known for bringing indie games to fruition. Some popular indies from them are Enter the Gungeon, Hotline Miami, and Ruiner. If you enjoyed titles like those or even other indie games like those mentioned before, you might wanna check out GRIS. You may wanna grab some tissues though, something tells me we'll need them. Check out the trailer below!