I read your review on Death’s Gambit. First things first: You probably know already, but a new expansion is coming to the game in the next few months that will rework many of the systems and add more content.Now, about your review, there are things I agree with and others I don’t. I agree that the basic mobs are strong, and will easily make you die if you’re not careful. But! It’s not true that you can only dodge or attack. There’s parrying, and that helps a lot with damaging enemies. It’s all about precise timing that takes a bit of practice. You also have feathers that you can use to heal, and you recover them every time you go to the Death Statue. The stamina? One of the stats you can level up gives you more of it.Is it hard? Yes. Are you going to die a lot until you learn the patterns? Yes. Is it like the old Metroidvania games where you have to go back to a check point if you die? Again, yes. But the amount of satisfaction you get when you finally make it? That, has no price.


Thanks for writing in, I appreciate it.

I actually didn’t know it was getting an update! The news page says it seems to be getting more EVERYTHING and having a lot of other things tuned up under the hood, which is great. Always very cool to see a game being supported long after its release, and they say they’re taking player input into account. They sound like a legit great developer.

It was almost a year ago I played it so you’ll have to forgive how much I’ve forgotten since then. I do not remember if I ever used the Parry- genuinely have no memory of it, which means I likely didn’t. I can’t speak to how much that would have alleviated my problems with the game, but if anyone was on the fence, please remember that is an option.

I greatly disliked having to recover your feather when you die, which effectively locks you into a certain path until you clear it, limiting your exploration options. (I know they can be recovered at save points, but that’s prohibitively expensive in a game where you want to be spending your points on stats.) I mention the increase to stamina in my review, also; the rate at which it grows was crushingly slow, with a meaningful gain taking tens of levels to come about.

I think ultimately, having had a year to reflect on it, my main problem with the game was how brutally it punishes mistakes. Even something like using one too many dodge rolls, or even attacking one time too many, leaves you wide open to huge punishment, disproportionate to the transgression. I’ve never enjoyed games that require nigh-on flawless execution (same reason I don’t like time trials or ranked modes in games that have them).

But! For some, that’s the appeal- pushing your craft until you’ve honed it down to the frame, perfecting your inputs until you could do them in your sleep, and a game that requires significant dedication in order to beat it will naturally attract people who enjoy that. I’m just not one of them. The sheer catharsis of finally beating a challenge that had been troubling you is a great feeling indeed, but for me there comes a point where rather than being ecstatic, I just feel a sense of “ugh, finally”, and at that point I’m just not really having any fun at all.

Anyway, thanks again for sharing your thoughts, I always enjoy reading a second opinion. The game is unquestionably well made and, with all the new stuff coming out for it at the end of the month, I heartily recommend people who like their games to treat ‘em mean take a look.


Yep, I’m still here. I have just woken up from a 5-month Fire Emblem induced coma, having done what I said I wouldn’t and finishing all three routes (the fourth I am saving for a Girls Only stream to come in the near future). But 400 hours later I awoke to the stark realisation that other video games still exist and, somehow, my backlog has grown by about 15 titles. And so I played Gris.

I struggle with artistic media, games included. The sort of thing that is open to interpretation and has occluded or indefinite meaning, or is steeped in metaphor and tells not a narrative story, but an emotional one. There is, of course, absolute merit in such productions, I just often struggle to interface with it- I’m a very literal person and, while I’ll happily enjoy a story told to me, expecting me to infer the story via emotive gestures will often fail to find its mark.

Gris is a story about grief, and starkly so; even I can pick up on that. It feels deeply personal and tells, without words, a journey through an emotion that often defies written description.

The game is absolutely gorgeous, every frame of the animation coming as though being hand-painted directly onto the inside of my screen, and ultimately there’s the rub; I found myself wondering why I was playing video game Gris, instead of watching short animated film Gris.

The story unfolds largely through background elements that pass by as
Gris walks in one direction or the other, sometimes for minutes at a

During these passages my only purpose is to hold the direction button down and watch the world pass as Gris processes her emotions. Occasionally the path is interrupted by a gentle platforming section, and every so often there is a non-functional collectible hidden behind a small challenge. The art and story are such that these gameplay sections feel truly discordant with the narrative being told; sweeping vistas that change and break and create as Gris moves through them are a metaphor for- no, wait, sorry, I have to go back over that bit again, I just saw a sparkly thing and I need to figure out how to get it.

Fin or Bin:

Indeed, the collectibles feel like they were placed in order to justify Gris’ existence as a video game, but it doesn’t need gamifying to be a game; I feel the end product would be much stronger without the achievement-bait and with just the mild platforming elements in place to present Gris with hurdles to overcome. That said, it’s a very impactful piece of art, and regardless of its videogaminess is an experience worth Finishing.