When I think of video games, I usually thing of action-driven games, often rooted in violence or at least intense competition. They seem more stress-inducing than relaxing or entertaining. Enter GRIS. GRIS is a video game designed by Barcelona-based Nomada Studio that sends players through a peaceful watercolor landscape of mountains, trees and ruins. Game play doesn’t involve death or danger or competition. Instead, the player is given an opportunity for a meditative exploration of the game’s pastel-hued worlds while progressing to new levels and uncovering new abilities. Even the game’s music score is soft and contemplative.
“GRIS follows a young woman through her journey in dealing with trauma… At the beginning of the story, [the main character] loses her voice and ability to hold together a large but fragile statue that almost definitely represents her resilience. From there, she must traverse the world to find her voice and rebuild what has crumbled.”– About GRIS
GRIS’s visual style was designed by artist Conrad Roset, who acted as the game’s creative director. Roset says the five worlds in the game are based upon the stages of grief, and are meant to help the player find peace. The game is about bringing color and song to the world, and about loss, pain, and endurance. Game reviewers confessed to lingering in parts of the game to take time to examine and appreciate many of GRIS’s visual elements.