Gish isn't your average hero. In fact, he's not your average see, Gish is a ball of tar. A Sunday stroll with his lady friend, Brea, goes awry when a shadowy figure emerges from an open manhole and pulls Brea below ground.
User reviews:
Mixed (205 reviews) - 63% of the 205 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: May 4, 2004

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The 2005 Independent Games Festival Grand Prize winner.

"One of the most original games ever made" - 10/10

"A Little Getaway: Small, Simple, Fast and Fun... (GISH) proves that a simple idea can be elaborated upon with terrific results." - New York Times

"The freshest platformer I've played this year"- PCGamer UK: 85%

About This Game

Gish isn't your average hero. In fact, he's not your average see, Gish is a ball of tar. A Sunday stroll with his lady friend, Brea, goes awry when a shadowy figure emerges from an open manhole and pulls Brea below ground. Following Brea's calls for help, Gish suddenly finds himself in the subterranean sewers of Dross, a long forgotten city filled with twisting corridors, evil traps, and some of the most demented creatures imaginable.

With his gelatinous structure as his only means of defense, Gish must follow the echoing cries of his damsel in distress deep within the earth below. What freakish creatures dwell in this subterranean land? Who is Brea's captor? And just how far down does the rabbit hole go?

Life isn't easy when you're a 12 pound ball of tar...

  • Dynamic physics and lighting
  • Destructible environments
  • 34+ story levels
  • 20+ collection levels
  • 80+ player-made levels available for download
  • Six unique VS. modes
  • Unlockable game modes
  • Over 15 animated enemies
  • Six deranged bosses
  • Five "super secret" levels
  • Level editor

System Requirements

Mac OS X

    Minimum: Windows 2000/XP/Vista, AMD, Intel or G3 1000+ Mhz processor; OpenGL Compatible 3D Graphics adaptor (ATI, NVIDIA, Intel, etc.) with 32 mb of video memory; 256MB of memory

    Recommended: AMD, Intel, or G4 1500+ Mhz processor; OpenGL Compatible 3D Graphics adaptor (ATI, NVIDIA, Intel, etc.) with 64 mb of video memory, 256MB of memory

    • OS: OS X version Leopard 10.5.8, Snow Leopard 10.6.3, or later.
    • Processor: Intel Core Duo 1.66GHz+
    • Memory: 1GB of RAM
    • Graphics: 64MB of video memory
    • Hard Drive: 200+MB of free hard drive space
    • Sound: Standard audio
Customer reviews
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Mixed (205 reviews)
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
75 of 95 people (79%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
34.6 hrs on record
Posted: April 17, 2015

This is legitimately one of my favorite platforming games, and it's very fun and entertaining. Edmund wasn't ~amazing~ at making games yet, and it shows, but there's a lot of value here. The level design is cool (most of the time) and the music and stuff is all nice. Controlling Gish was quite fun and once you got the hang of it you could get him to do really neat things. You could throw enemies across the screen, do really cool parkour-esque platforming and tricks and stuff to get through levels quickly.

You've got to look past a few flaws, though. The unique platforming mechanics are hard to get used to it's turned many people away from the game, keeping them from giving this more than an hour or two of attention. I understand this. It's not a game for everybody. It's not rewarding enough for most people to warrant all of the trial and error, I think. Despite this, It's one of my favorite platformers and I love it.

At least, I used to love it.

Gish was recently updated. The achievements are now working, which is cool, but the game itself has gone completely to hell. You can now instantly kill yourself by moving the wrong way, or by squishing yourself against the ground or a rock, or by moving too quickly through a tight space. I've recently been playing the game for like an hour and a half and I killed myself dozens of times. Right now, the game is a ♥♥♥♥ing mess and it's almost unplayable. I don't know if Crypric Sea are planning on fixing this or not, but as of right now, this game is terrible. It's a shame, because I really loved it a lot. If they fix the engine to where you aren't commiting suicide every 15 seconds, I'll change my review and I'll most likely play the game again and enjoy it thoroughly. Until then, forget about it.
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34 of 40 people (85%) found this review helpful
14.9 hrs on record
Posted: June 22, 2013
Most reviews have been voted down to about 60% helpfulness. This is largly because of the game's unique mechanics. People who "get" them downvote negative reviews, and those who "don't get it" downvote the positive reviews.

I've been playing this game with many people starting with the demo around 2004-5, specifically in sumo mode. I have not played the campaign, as I rarely play without friends. I have played 1000s of matches, and learned how to play.

Jumping is hard for some people. If you're a hater, you'll probably hate this game and give up, but if you learn how to jump, you'll admire the jump mechanic. If you play against serious players who've rocked this game 100s of times, you'll have a blast. It's a fun balance of creativity, reflexes and strategy that never gets old.

This is a great party game. Hooked up to a TV with 4 wireless xbox controllers, this game was a staple at a burger night. Everybody played, and even new players had a blast. The quick game resets and no load times make restarts a snap. It's also fun to watch.

If you don't have a TV and wireless controllers, use a projector 4 keyboards, or game controllers - they're $10 on ebay, or mix and match.

It's old, but it's good. This game was created in 2004, so the textures are a bit low res. The controls may seem alien at first, but once you learn, you can use crazy combo wall jump moves and squish the competition.
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17 of 17 people (100%) found this review helpful
32.9 hrs on record
Posted: January 27, 2015
"Sluggish controls/physics. Kind of disappointment." was my initial impression a few years ago when I first got it. I gave the game another shot recently and for some reason it clicked with me more. The game is absurdly frustrating at times, but it can be pretty compelling if you keep at it. The controls take quite a lot getting used to, and you should most definitely swallow your pride and play on easy mode! (the game is still plenty hard on easy mode, especially later)

I do want to say that this is a CAUTIOUS thumbs up. The game is really a 6/10.
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11 of 12 people (92%) found this review helpful
29.2 hrs on record
Posted: January 1, 2015
I am writing this review primarily for those who have also reviewed it and have claimed that the controls are somehow bad.

The simple fact is that if you are finding the controls difficult, you are trying to play the game wrong. Trying to play this game like a normal platformer, staying on the ground, trying to time your jumps, and ignoring many of Gish's abilties will result in abysmal failure. Instead, your main focus needs to be on your momentum. Knowing the levels is key, so that you can plan out a route before hand which is fluid and smooth. Even a tiny change in your path can drastically change how you move across the terrain and can be the difference between leaping across a huge gap or flopping and losing all your speed. Jumping is everything. Setting yourself up properly for a good jump, even if that requires you to go out of your way or backtrack, can often lead to significantly improved times due to the extra speed you will carry out of it.

That being said, this isn't easy. Even beyond the ~15 hours I have clocked on Steam I had played the demo extensively many years ago. One of the great things you can do when you do get good at it is speedrunning it for fun, as I stated before the gameplay revolves around keeping your speed, and there are also a number of shortcuts, alternate routes, or even somewhat abusable physics bugs which you can use to your advantage.

As for other things, the Edmund McMillen style is nice, though the graphics and interface are clearly dated. There are a number of minor bugs in the physics which can be frustrating until you learn to work around them. Overall I think the uniquness of the gameplay outweighs the flaws.

I'll end with a couple tips for those who want to become better:
-tapping sticky while climbing allows you to climb much faster, it also helps while moving across the ground
-being at high speed and then pressing sticky will cause you to compress down, allowing you to get a good jump in
-holding slippery+heavy while in the tiny tubes will make you go faster through them, and sometimes you can launch out of the exit
-slippery+heavy is optimal for pushing blocks around without getting caught up on them
-while climbing, you can swing around 90 degree corners by tap-releasing sticky and using the arrow keys to shift your weight
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19 of 29 people (66%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 7, 2015
Old but Gold.
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8 of 9 people (89%) found this review helpful
15.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 4, 2014
This is an interesting and mostly fun physics platformer, though not without its flaws. You are Gish, a liquidy ball of tar, and you must use your shifting weight to overcome a variety of puzzles. The game isn't the most polished, and the controls can be very frustrating at times, but all in all this is a decent early indie game that takes clear influences from classic Mario games while adding in something new.
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8 of 9 people (89%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 10, 2014
Don't pay attention to where it says I only played this for one hour. Gish is one of the games I had before they started recording that information. Anyhoo, this game is a lot of fun. The mechanics of the game are really different from other games I've played, which is a good thing. I like the art style, as well as the music. I do remember the game having a few bugs, but nothing that I found to be game breaking.
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9 of 11 people (82%) found this review helpful
0.2 hrs on record
Pre-Release Review
Posted: February 23, 2011
Cute animations. Reminds me of the very awesome and surreal World of Goo. And Gish seems to do a good job of teaching you how to get around.

However, Gish plays poorly with a keyboard. It appears to have controller settings, though. Please comment back to me if you've played this with a controller.

Try the demo first. I personally lost interest after about 10 minutes. After playing Trine and Braid, it's difficult going back to older indie platformers.
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18 of 28 people (64%) found this review helpful
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: March 20, 2014
Simple and awesome! :)
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16 of 25 people (64%) found this review helpful
5.5 hrs on record
Posted: January 25, 2014
Awesome platformer, except that all the achievements are broken.
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Recently Posted
1.5 hrs
Posted: October 11
A fantastic game ruined by a terrible update.

I f**king love Gish, don't get me wrong, but there's something wrong when I'd rather play my CD copy of Gish over the Steam release.

Fix your s**t, please.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
8.3 hrs
Posted: August 20
Clumsy controls and physics takes away a lot of enjoyment from this game. It really feels like you are controlling a black turd.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
4.0 hrs
Posted: July 17
A physics based platformer about navigating a ball of sludge that can alter its physical properties through myriad tunnels and traps. This game is awkard to control but that's because you're controlling the more raw aspects of your character. There is no jump button, you have to compress yourself and then expand. There is no climb button. You have to make yourself adhesive and move up and over the leddge.
I do want to say that this game is frustrating and difficult, but the unique experience may be worth it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
King Link
1.0 hrs
Posted: July 15
A weak game from a great mind.

Yes Edmund McMillen was one of the minds behind Super Meat Boy, he was one of the minds behind the Binding of Isaac, both are some of my favorite games. So I have huge respect for the creator.

The problem is this is a 2004 physics puzzler. No one had an idea how to do these types of games at the time, and it shows. Yes it came out before Half Life 2 and was impressive for it's time.

Only thing is I'm writing this in 2016, there's been over 10 years of development in physics, and honestly if Gish came out today? It'd get horrible reviews. The controls are weak (And I know I'm supposed to use momentum, I do, and yet I can't make the motion I want to half the time, it seems luck based often. Plus you often if you lose momentum the level become painful) The levels are interesting the first time but overused. There's no level select so if you miss a secret or a achievement it seems you have to play the game again.

But let's talk about the game itself. While the levels can be interesting, the game itself is just not interesting. The story is typical (Someone stole you're girl) but the levels aren't really related to that and aren't that unique.

I feel like this is an unpolished game, maybe it was rushed, maybe the team didn't know how to "finish" a game, and released it too early, maybe it just has too many issues under the hood but it just doesn't feel "finished" it doesn't have a nice polish that it needs, and that hurts a lot.

My advice, pay the extra money, go get Binding of Isaac and Super Meat Boy. Leave Gish in the past where it belongs, because it was a novel concept now, but Edmund's become a far better designer since these days, and that's a good thing.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
0.1 hrs
Posted: June 6
Do not waste your time on this. Play something better like Dustforce or "Tales From Space: Mutant Blobs Attack".

+ Clearly explains difference between the difficulty levels

- I hate the controls. Mainly I hate how jumping works. A jump hardly gets you off the ground. You have to jump and land multiple times to get any decent air.
- The game seems unfinished and unpolished:
-- Completely unclear where the end of a level is. You'll just suddenly see text appear on the screen saying you finished it. Honestly, compare this with Mario on the NES, released decades ago. The end is clearly marked. You also get a short but satisfying animation to celebrate your beating the level.
-- All of the menus and icons look awful
-- The intro cut scene looks awful
Helpful? Yes No Funny
0.2 hrs
Posted: May 17
+ Simple and funy gameplay
+ Level editor
+ Awesome local multiplayer, pretty funny
- No online multiplayer
- No controller support
Helpful? Yes No Funny
7.6 hrs
Posted: April 5
Gish by Chronic Logic, despite the fact that some people think it’s an old Smashing Pumpkins album, is actually a platformer video game. Pretty standard fare. The twist is, you have no legs. Or arms. Or… anything except eyes, a mouth, and a body. You’re a 12lb ball of tar.

Gish’s lady friend Brea has been kidnapped and taken into the sewers, and it’s up to you to save her. Fight your way through five worlds and reclaim your love. Now, to be honest, this title has not aged well aesthetically. The graphics are mediocre at best, and the audio is not very memorable. The five worlds are made distinct by little more than sprite-swapped square bricks with new lighting colors. There is a charming bit when you open the game where the loading screen shows a poster of a pop culture icon with the main star replaced by Gish. The Gishorcist, Gishheart, Gish Fiction. But the real draw here is the unique and simple-but-deep gameplay, which still shines through today, making this a game worth a look.

Gish can jump, but it’s a pretty ineffectual maneuver. To reach a ledge, you’ll need to gain momentum by jumping, compressing him down, and then releasing all that energy into a jump again. Gish can also modify his body in a few important ways. You can slide through narrow passages, increase your weight in order to crush enemies or obstacles, or make yourself sticky to cling to objects or surfaces (even ceilings). The whole game is based around learning these different modifiers and applying them through each (relatively short) level. This is a deep physics-based platformer, and you’ll develop a working understanding of momentum, trajectory, and crushing things with a tar ball. Pushing a box onto a pressure switch is a much different experience when you can’t pick it up with hands. You’ll need to stick yourself to it and propel it, or make yourself rigid and heavy to push it along.

Some of the levels can get extremely frustrating, and a single mistake can cost you quite a bit of time spent retreading platforming sections. Some jumps have very little margin for error, and the unique controls take a while to get used to. This leads to situations where you know exactly what you need to do, but getting Gish to actually accomplish that in the physics engine can be difficult. Especially frustrating is when objects like catapults or swings, which you need to use to progress, end up killing you randomly and draining you of precious lives. A few bugs like this are irritating, but not game-breaking.

Besides the main quest, there’s also a “Collection” mode and a Versus mode. Collection mode tasks you with collecting all the amber pieces on a level within a certain time limit, and can be a fun challenge, and a great way to learn the systems at play before diving into the main story. Versus mode is exactly what it sounds like. You and up to 3 other friends compete to kill each other using different tar balls. A fun little diversion, but not much else. For as long as the game has been out, it seems the Steam achievements haven’t worked, but it appears that recently they have been fixed! Finally, validation from Steam of my success in this game! They’re still really difficult to get, however.

While the game shows its age, and there are a few irritating bugs present in the systems, this is a title worth checking out for the sheer novelty of its control scheme. Manipulating Gish’s body to take advantage of the physics at play is hugely rewarding when you finally master it, and Gish’s descent down to Hell and back is quite a fun ride.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
0.8 hrs
Posted: March 27
worth it just for the amazing soundtrack.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
2.7 hrs
Posted: March 7
World 3/5 - Level 1 (Each world has 5-7 levels)

A game that sometimes makes surgeon simulator look like it has good controls.

- Good concept
- Level design

- The controls are total ♥♥♥♥. It expects you to perform percise movements and doesnt give you the tools to do so.
- If you beat a world (6 levels+bonus) the game will start there (X-1) no matter how many times you die. However, you have 5 lives to beat those 7 levels - total. Fail and play all 7 again.
- There is a level reset button that works when you are not death imment and want to retry. However, there is no full reset option (level 1), so I would keep purposefully killing myself to reset it, which took too much time and seems really dumb.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
1.9 hrs
Posted: February 17
The prodigal son of Alex Austin & Edmund McMillen.

10 out of 10 anytime.

People complaint about the just need to learn them and understand the physics of Gish.

Just get it cheap somewhere else.
Helpful? Yes No Funny