Don't let the unusually steep learning curve fool you. This is just short of a platforming gem.

User Rating: 7.8 | Gish PC
Gish is probably the second best indie game of the year after Alien Hominid, and for creativity and game engine, it's probably the best. Alien Hominid gave us a 3 hour blast-fest reminiscent of Metal Slug, but Gish gives us a physics based puzzle solving platformer. The use of physics is phenomenal, and from this point on I expect all platformers to incorporate realistic physics. Don't let the demo/steep learning curve fool you. The demo gives you four levels, and should be downloaded just to learn how to play the game, and it will take you a while. I spent about 3 hours learning how to jump high. It's not easy until you get the hang of it. Also, the demo gives you four levels that are alright, but not as impressive as the rest of the game. In Gish, you play a ball of tar. He's a unique fellow who has the power to make his body sticky, slimy, and/or heavier. He can jump, but only if he is compacted or squished. Half of the learning curve is finding out the best way to squish him on the ground for a higher jump. Since the game is physics based, there are many things you can do. You can throw blocks up in the air, you can stomp on enemies or blocks, you can press switches, ride a mine-cart, ride a slingshot, travel via wrecking ball, manipulate moving walls, ramps, etc. Physics junkies will notice in the later levels that you can even ride a chaos movement machine (which is completely and totally unpredictable for the short time you ride it). The game reminds me of a physics based program we used in our physics classes at college. Except fun. The combat in Gish is unique, but a little bizarre. Gish is not equipped with a standard punch, kick, or attack button. Usually, Gish can stomp on his enemies, but when the enemies have a height advantage, they gain the upper hand rather quickly. Gish can throw those enemies into a wall or out of the area, but it takes practice. Gish's shortcomings are easy to overlook considering the game had a very small budget and is indie. However, certain things keep this from having the quality of an AAA title (but it is only $20). First of all, the artwork is great, but the animation is lacking. I know that the artist could have at least animated some cutscenes or incorporated a death sequence for the little tarball. The game does have great music, but it stops after a level with no transitions and begins again on the next. It sounds very amateurish. Finally, just because Gish is like nothing you've played before doesn't mean that it's the greatest game. It's original but very slow paced, and takes patience. There is a danger in making this game play as fast as Sonic the Hedgehog, but the blocks honestly float in the air before falling. It is fun in its own right, and certainly much more fun than i would have thought. There is a two player mode that theoretically looks like a lot of fun. However, good luck finding someone else who plays this game well, let alone even knows about the game. Gish is a great game in its own right, but it's still not likely to be a mainstream hit.