Gish, a 2D PC platform game created by Edmund McMillen and Alex Austin (Chronic Logic), was distributed by Stardock in 2004 and is currently available on Steam. On May 29, 2010 - following the game's first appearance in the Humble Bundle - the game was made open source.
Gish and his lady-friend, Brea, a human, are taking a stroll one day in the park. Suddenly a mysterious figure appears from an open man-hole and kidnaps Brea. The mysterious figure takes her with him underground into the sewers of Dross. The protagonist, Gish, a ball of tar, dives straight in after her. Now he has to battle his way through the sewers to save his lady-friend.
Gish is a ball of tar with yellow, glowing eyes and fanged teeth. His gelatinous nature lets him stick to most surfaces, slip through small spaces, and become solid, which also increases Gish's mass. These three abilities let Gish do different things.
The ability to become sticky lets Gish climb walls, move across ceilings, and grab on to enemies and loose objects.
The ability to become slippery allows Gish to fit into smaller-spaces, move faster downhill, and prevent getting squashed.
The ability to become solid and heavy allows Gish to break through certain platforms, crush foes, fling objects off from on top of him, sink in water, and fall faster.
Gish, despite being a ball of tar, has the ability to jump. A first attempt of jumping will only result in a small amount of lift, the player is required to bounce him higher and higher to get the desired momentum to reach the necessary height. To bounce higher, the player must hold the down button on landing and pressing jump at the lowest point of Gish's compression. Because Gish is physically simulated, it is also possible to compress him by bouncing on sharp corners, Gish will bounce even further while doing this.
The platforming aspect of Gish is pretty straight forward and traditional; the player needs to get from point A-to-B without dying. There are many pitfalls which may cause death, lava and also monsters. The player will have to employ Gish's abilities to navigate through the levels, and sometimes have a puzzle to bypass. The environment has a few interactive elements, Gish can swing pendulums, flip levers (including seesaw-like platforms), move rocks and an assortment of other things. Physics are fundamental to how Gish plays out.
There are almost always a few secrets per level to be found on Gish, some of which are homages to its roots: platform games from days gone by.
There are a few useful items to be found in Gish.
- Small Amber - gives 50 points each.
- Medium Amber - gives 100 points each.
- Large Amber - gives 1000 points each; very rare.
- Tarballs - restores 10 health.
- Extra Lives - a rare item that gives players an extra life.
In the single player players can play the story and help Gish through 34-level as he travels through the earth searching for his kidnapped girl friend, or play in collection mode where players race against time to collect all the amber on 24-levels unique to this mode of play.
In the 2-player multiplayer there are 5 different games, each consisting of three maps. There's a Football, Sumo, Greed, Pit fight, and Dragster game; In football the player will attempt to take the ball across their opponents goal line for seven points, or get it through the uprights for three; in sumo the goal is for the players to do anything they can to get their opponent into the water; in greed players race to collect pieces of amber, who ends with the most amber at the end wins; in pit fight players attempt to smash the opponent into the spikes to defeat them; finally, in dragster, players have a simple race to a finish line.
- 2005 IGF Grand Prize (Seamus McNally Award)
- 2005 IGF Innovation in Game Design
- Game Tunnel's Game of the Year
- Game Tunnel's Adventure Game of the Year
- Home of the Underdogs Top Dog
- 2004 IGF Finalist
Cameos in Other Games
- Operating Systems: Windows 98/ME/2000/XP, Linux 2.4 , Mac OS X 10.1
- Processor: AMD, Intel or G3 1000 MHz processor
- Video: Video card supporting OpenGL with 32 MB of memory
- Memory: 256 MB RAM
- Processor: AMD, Intel, or G4 1500 MHz processor
- Video: Video card supporting OpenGL with 64 MB of memory
- Memory: 256 MB RAM