kalmis's Gish (Steam) (PC) review

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  • kalmis has written a total of 101 reviews. The last one was for Lume

Edmund likes to make difficult games

Before Super Meat Boy fame Edmund McMillen used to work for Chronic Logic. where he made this game with couple of other chaps.
 
Gish is a award winning indie platform game from 2004. Six year later it appeared on Indie Humble Bundle and same time was made open source. The bundle being reason why this found it's way to my harddisk for the very first time just recently.

This is no traditional platform game. Gish, the object controlled is a 12-pound tar ball. Tar ball as you can imagine is not exactly a firm object. Meaning the gameplay at times, actually majority of time, turns into a physics based platform game. Gish has four different abilities which are used to tackle the environment. Abilities comes in the different forms Gish can take. It can make itself solid, sticky or gooey. Gish has also a ability to jump, which I'll get back to later on. The sticky ability is no doubt the most useful one since it can be used for climbing almost any wall/ceiling. This adds a completely unique aspect to the action and makes the game feel quite innovative.

Graphics are presented in a simple 2D form. Judging Gish by its appearance one could say that is a remote cousin to GB's logo. Black blob with a face. The face changes depending on the form taken. Such as the grin when taking the solid form. Worlds are plain two dimensional cave&building structures with usual pits and platforms. Enemies are odd set of head creatures done in the same simplistic 2D manner. Music is interesting selection of different themed rock/metal tracks. These tend to sound bit too much like plain midi music though.

Player has only five lives, but can continue the action when lives are lost. Point count get's reset, but the action continues. Game is divided into 5 worlds each having 5 stages and a boss levels. Difficulty level on the game can be categorized as challenging. Not really certain if this was fully intentional though. World is filled with pits, monsters and spikes that the tar ball is not too fond of. Biggest challenge (and the unintentional part?) comes in form of jumping. This done by using the space button and arrow up and down to build the air time by bouncing. This sounds simple enough but when you take in consideration the uneven ground and the ever moving blob. Meaning too much time is used on correcting the movement instead of building bouncing efforts.  
 
2D platform games can be a timeless and Gish is good example of that. With a original gameplay and short and mostly well designed levels it has hard not to like this. Game being maybe more difficult than the standard fare of platform games. This is assuming the jumping mechanism is intentional. Still this is a good game, but might not be for everyone. I would recommend checking out the demo before splashing out the $10.    
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Other reviews for Gish (Steam) (PC)

    Slow-paced platforming and sluggish controls, could be better 0

    Not everything's perfect in the indie world, sometimes you make a gem sometimes you don't. That's as natural as the mainstream. Gish was one of the first games that caught my attention because it was simple 2 dimensional platforming and looked pretty old school, it took me quite a while to get the game to play through because it didn't feel right. As of now I still think this game isn't all that great.The fact you control a blop around trying to solve puzzles in a 2D environment might hand out ...

    1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

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