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Gris et Jaune

by Jason Devlin


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Number of Ratings: 23
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- C. N. Witte, February 18, 2018

- E. W. B., March 19, 2016

Excellent after-death story with strong opening and some obscure puzzles, February 3, 2016

FIrst and foremost, this story is (in my opinion) in the top tier of all interaction fiction stories. The author has done an excellent job of painting a world, people, and a mystical system that draws you in.

Some of the fun in the game is figuring out what is going on, so I won't go into too many details. Suffice it to say that this game uses a setting that is rare in interactive fiction, and seems to be based off of extensive research.

I played without a walkthrough through the opening section, which most reviewers agree is an incredible part of any game. Then the game opens up and dumps you in the middle of nowhere. I had fun exploring for a while, and picked up a few tricks. I tried over the course of a couple days to see how far I could get, then turned to the walkthrough.

I'm glad I tried on my own first. The walkthrough works, but is confusing if you haven't tried the game on your own first (some actions get hinted later on).

The NPCs are amazing. Those taken from the author's research are vibrant and rich, with striking imagery. I will probably play this game again just for fun. Recommended, with a walkthrough, after an attempt.

- Thrax, March 11, 2015

- kala (Finland), May 25, 2013

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Loved this, but it was impossible without the walkthrough..., April 14, 2013
I was very deeply conflicted, on a few levels, as to how to rate this game.

On one level, this game has a beauty, an allure... a sensuality running through it. A spell. I felt like I couldn't stop with it, and this is the first comp game in a long time where I remember going far in excess of the two hour mark. I wanted to find the end. I cared.

That said—and there's unintentional metaphor here—the critical ingredient of the spell that binds you tightly and draws you through the game? The bit that makes it possible to find its ultimate conclusion? The walkthrough. I honestly don't see how you could get through this game without it.

At first blush the game is silly and on rails, but then suddenly it grows sinister and seductive and opens up in such a vast way that the interactor has no clue where to go, what to do. I tried an attempt without the walkthrough—and got far!—but could never have found the end alone. I'm not sure how this could have been mitigated, either. On the one hand, I enjoyed the agency it gave me, but it gave too much, too quickly. I drowned.

I said I was deeply conflicted on a few levels, and I've only touched on a couple. I should move on with that.

There are other things this piece does really, really well. For example, it does a great job of show—don't tell—with accents. By the time I was half-way through, I was reading dialog in my head that dripped of humid Southern nights laced with cicadas. This was done exceptionally well, without misspelling everything to hit you over the head with it. Maybe I only picked up on this due to having spent a lot of my time in the South, though. I'd be interested to hear others' views on this point.

To continue with respect to the writing: it is this lovely mix of succinct matter-of-factness, evocative descriptions, and eloquent dialogue. This is what hooked me fairly early on, kept me going through my initial dismay, and teased me far enough along that I couldn't let go.

Also, we begin with this sense of being a slave, of being directed, and gaining volition... earning it. That was well done, though (as mentioned above) I think the author loosened the reins just a touch too quickly.

(Spoiler - click to show)I've been asked what I thought of the Voodoo. It is, at its core, the sensationalist sort of voodoo you get in horror novels and Hollywood. But that's what this is meant to be, despite the author's research. It's obvious he knows a bit about Voodoo, though if this is because he's spent time in New Orleans or just read a lot of articles on Wikipedia, I'm not sure. I'm completely unfamiliar with Louisiana Voodoo.

But I know enough of Voodoo from a trip I made to Haiti and books I've read since that trip and research into some of the artifacts I brought back with me that I understood a lot of the terminology used in this piece of fiction. It was interesting to compare and contrast what I knew of Voodoo to this. I'm not sure if the areas where things diverge are on account of Louisiana culture, or just the sensationalism.

It's a work of fiction. It's probably pretty offensive to some. But I took it as a work of fiction, and I enjoyed it.

I didn't realize (for some reason(!)) until after I'd completed the game, that there was a hint menu. Maybe that would have been enough. Maybe I could have gotten through without the walkthrough. Maybe I could have found my way without feeling led. That's really all that held me back on scoring this very, very well. But I rather doubt that to be the case. Some of the things in the walkthrough felt so. poorly. cued. I stand by my original statement: I don't see how you could have gotten through this game without the walkthrough. If you did, please leave a comment. I'd love to know.

I wanted this to be more. Really wanted it to be more.

I should probably give this a 3, but I enjoyed it too much, and thus gave this a 4. That is, admittedly, a bit of a gift.

- Catalina, August 12, 2012

- Andrew Schultz (Chicago), May 14, 2012

- Wade Clarke (Sydney, Australia), November 24, 2011

- Hannes, November 12, 2011

- Sam Kabo Ashwell (Seattle), July 24, 2011

4 of 8 people found the following review helpful:
A Grip of Iron That Slowly Rusts and Then Shatters, May 29, 2011
by AmberShards (The Gothic South)
Metal fatigue often results in catastrophic failure. Bridges that seemed strong instantly give way. Structures collapse without warning. So it is with Gris et Jaune, one of many victims of the IF analog -- contest deadline.

I'm especially biased about this game, because I helped playtest it, and that makes my disappointment that it wasn't ever fixed more intense than usual. As others have noted, the first few moves are spellbinding. In fact, all of the scenes that occur until you leave the house are gripping and memorable. I haven't played this game in several months, and yet upon first firing it up, the images and the suffocating emotions claw their way up from the bottom of my chest. Playing again, I am reminded of the stark, beautiful, and bizarre imagery. Simply, the atmosphere and the descriptions here are par excellance.

The problem is that the game starts to falter about halfway through and it collapses once you leave the house. It becomes painfully obvious in the latter scenes that the same level of polish wasn't applied. The descriptions become cardboard generic; you can do things without penalty that really should end the game, and the endings are lackluster. (The game devolves into crude language at this point, as well, which in addition to being lame by itself, just doesn't flow with the dialog and style previously established.) Finally, the plot just unwinds and meanders, leaving you stranded and confused about what to do next.

There are many games that deserve to be polished and/or completed, but few of them literally beg to be. Gris et Jaune is one of those few.

- Ben Cressey (Seattle, WA), April 16, 2011

- JohnW (Brno, Czech Republic), March 16, 2011

- Nusco (Bologna, Italy), February 18, 2011

- ifwizz (Berlin, Germany), January 2, 2011

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful:
Play this for the beginning, November 27, 2010
by Kevin Jackson-Mead (Boston)
Related reviews: IF Comp 2010
I was definitely intrigued by the beginning of this game, and up through about half an hour in I was totally into it. I loved the setting and the story, and even though it was fairly linear, I was enjoying the interactivity. If the beginning of this game had been submitted to IntroComp, it totally would have won. However, after the first act, the game opens up completely, and I was lost. I quickly learned what I shouldn’t do, but I had no idea what I should do. I did a few things. I resorted to the hints. I still couldn’t figure it out. I didn’t have the energy (or the time) to start over and use the hints from the beginning.

I totally recommend that you play the beginning of this game. It is very much worth it. And then just decide to end the game when you’ve escaped the house. Pretend that that’s the end of the game and call yourself a winner. It’s OK; you have my permission. (Of course, this is subject to change if/when a post-Comp version is released.)

- Celestianpower (Gloucestershire, UK), November 17, 2010

- Mr. Patient (Saint Paul, Minn.), November 16, 2010

- perching path (near Philadelphia, PA, US), November 13, 2010

- Rhian Moss (UK), November 7, 2010

- Karl Ove Hufthammer (Bergen, Norway), November 2, 2010

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
Mysterious, Ambitious, Compelling, October 21, 2010
by Danielle (The Wild West)
Related reviews: ifcomp 2010
Gris et Jaune was the first IFComp 2010 game I played, due to the writeup over at JayisGames.com. In effect, they said: "We'd hate to spoil even the beginning for you. Just play."

So I did. And I think you'll enjoy it best that way, too, so I'll keep my comments brief.


The beginning grabbed me in a way that I haven't experienced since parts of ANCHORHEAD.

I've never seen this setting before in IF. It begs the question: why hasn't someone set a piece here before?

There's a lot going on emotionally. More than you'd expect from a work featuring (Spoiler - click to show)a zombie.

That said, I'm not sure how much of that emotion was conveyed clearly. I had a lot of questions about a certain character (Spoiler - click to show)--Mama John-- and how things fit together between some characters. (After emailing the author--whom I found very congenial--about it, it sounds like we may see some changes in the post-comp edition; hopefully the emotional links will become more clear.)


Gris et Jaune isn't perfect. But there is something very special about it. Play it. You'll feel the heart that went into it.

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