Gris caught our attention a few months back for its evocative and exquisite beauty, and publisher Devolver digital has now stamped a firm release date on the serene puzzle platformer. Developer Nomada Studio confirmed the game launches for PC, Mac, and Switch on December 13 via an equally dazzling new trailer.
The game follows the path of a young girl, Gris, as she becomes entangled in a labyrinthine world of her own making – a world created to manage the nascent emotions of a traumatic experience and her inability to speak. Her long, flowing dress is an allegory for her distress as well as the key to her in-game abilities which allow her to comprehend the constructed world through exploration, puzzle solving, scrolling platforming, and skill-based challenges. Progressively her skills develop as she learns to face her trauma.
Gris cannot die, and there are no errant enemies intent on obstructing her emotional journey. Instead, the game crutches on the gorgeous hand-drawn visuals that ebb and flow in time with Gris’ state of mind. Gris is brimming with subtle, layered animations, a perfectly understated soundtrack, and an indescribable appeal for a soothing whole that feels balmy and comforting.
Beyond unique visual flair and ephemeral worlds, Gris stands out for the fluidity of the eponymous main character’s graceful movements. Very much in keeping with the tone of the entire experience, solving puzzles and gliding effortlessly across mesmerizing levels appears to garner the same sense of weightless sentimentality and uninterrupted flow.
Nomada has remained guarded against revealing too much or fleshing out the pre-release marketing scramble with too many details. In rather poetic fashion, Gris remains an unknown quantity, albeit a tantalizing one, and a strew of metaphors meshed together in a manner we don’t quite yet understand. We’re charmed by what we’ve seen so far of Gris, and December 13th can’t come soon enough.