The idea of mechanics in Gish are innovative and creative, but the controls and implementation are absolutely horrible. The music gets repetitive, as it remains the same for several levels without changing. Then, there is the awful pseudo metal music with wailing that is completely unbearable. The game does not fit the entire screen even if you selected full screen in the settings. There are additional bonus levels as well as fan made levels that can be downloaded, but there aren't any reasons to bother. Plus, there are the local Versus multiplayer and Collection modes, with multiplayer possibly being where Gish may shine, as two people suffering through the horrible controls, physics, concept, and design might actually be funny. Each level is short but of adequate length because of the horrible controls, mechanics, and the time it actually takes to complete many of them. The story is nearly nonexistent, and the few parts where you are given a bit of background information on the character, it cuts off prematurely, without giving you a real chance of reading it. The level design is not well done, nor is it clever. They rely on the repetition of them for longevity and game play. The more difficult levels will force you to repeat them an extreme amount of times until you are able to get the horrible controls tamed. Once you are able to pass these levels, there is no feeling of accomplishment, and you are not rewarded for any of your success. The artwork is plain and unmemorable, going along with the game's general lack of charm. There is simply nothing interesting to look at while playing. Gish is not a platformer. It is an exercise in frustration and patience. The controls, mechanics, and physics are the worst I've ever experienced in a game. Accomplishing a simple, single jump, is something synonymous with a miracle, or some kind of supernatural phenomenon, if you believe in these sorts of things. The platforming (if you can call it that) is so disastrous, it is comparable to bouncing jello/jelly off of pieces of Legos, and hoping for the best. The controls are outrageous. I have never attempted a game with controls this unreasonable. It's like playing with a severe physical handicap. Gish is nearly unplayable. In the later levels, the only reason why they are able to be completed is almost by pure luck. The skills garnered by playing this game are so unprecise, that they can not be considered actual skills at all. It is a matter of chance that the physics of this train wreck behaved a certain way in order for you to proceed through the levels. I am a veteran of old school platformers, and never have I been so frustrated at the shortcomings of games of the genre before Gish came along. It is an example of game development malpractice and poor implementation of all aspects involved. Gish is quite possibly the worst game I have ever played. There is no excuse for a game of such rotten design to come out in 2004, let alone charge people to play it. Gish is a perfect example of how not to make a game.
Gish is awful.