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Rating: 4.5/5 (21 votes)
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DoraMyformerselves' indie RPG adventure game Gingiva is... uh... it's somethin'. In a surreal world, you, Gingiva, a turnkey-headed factory automaton girl like any other, find yourself sentenced to confinement and the lash when your work begins to slip. You could languish in your cell with nothing but serpentine feline ghosts for company, daydreaming or bemoaning... or you could escape. And what's outside those walls is unlike anything you've ever imagined. But everything comes with a price, especially in this strange world, and you're not going to be let go easily.

GingivaUse the [arrow] keys to move, the [spacebar] to interact, and [ESC] or [X] to open the menu when available. You can save whenever you like. Because this world is... different... you'll want to explore and examine everything you can, and talk to every... thing. If you see any floating pieces of paper, make sure to nab them up, since those are items you can use. Battles, when they occur, play out like classic turn-based RPGs, albeit with Gingiva's own unique flavour. "Strike" is your basic attack, "Savvy" are your special abilities, "Fend" is to block, and "Finds" allows you to use any items you discover. Vim and Verve take the place of hitpoints and magic points. Win, and you'll gain experience and level up. Holding [Z] outside of battle will cause Gingiva to wind her head, gradually restoring a bit of her Vim and Verve.

GingivaAnalysis: Gingiva is one of those games really best left to experience before explanation, and I'm not just saying that because typing up a description of everything you'll see and encounter in the game would leave my family in fear for my mental health. Its striking otherworldly design and oddly lyrical writing are best suited for the sort of player who doesn't mind a deliberately disorienting setting and premise, and a whole lot of words on my part would ruin that. As confusing as it all may seem at first, however, Gingiva actually tells a fascinating dystopian tale you'll be driven to know more about even if it feels like some of the commentary and symbolism is beating you around the head. It's a bit of a shame, then, that it feels like the combat distracts from the rest of it. It's not bad by any means, it's just exceedingly standard, and in a game that's anything but, it's normalcy that sticks out like a sore thumb and begins to drag. It's a little like OFF in that way... hard not to feel mildly resentful about all the fisticuffs when all you want to do is learn more about the story and setting and all this back-and-forth pummeling is just getting in your way.

Gingiva offers multiple endings (some decidedly more compelling than others) depending on the paths you take and your decisions, and if Gingiva's unique style and setting is your bag, you'll be hooked from the get-go. From a mechanical standpoint, however, the game isn't without its hiccups. Movement feels clunky and slow, and exists from areas aren't always indicated visually, leaving you to wander around some large areas bumping against the edges of the screen like the world's saddest Roomba. Some of the area backgrounds are also so busy visually that the pale, thin text can be hard to read. It's weird. It's gorgeous. It's freaky and disorienting. Whether too much so is something best left to personal choice, but with a gorgeous and unique style and atmosphere, Gingivia is unlike any RPG you've ever seen.

Get the free full version

Mac OS XMac OS X:
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Try Boot Camp or Parallels or CrossOver Games.


Doesn't seem to want to work for me. :(
Took over an hour to download, then gives me an error that a certain file is not accessible, and shuts down.


Hi Moshioshi! Please try manually installing the font file in the extracted game folder. Right click batang.ttf in "fonts" and select install. :)

LightWarriorK September 24, 2013 8:24 AM

It looks like.....Beetlejuice meets Monty Python.


Isn't this by the same fella who made Middens? It looks like that would be a good try for anyone who enjoys this.


Yeah. This *was* made by the Middens guy. Apparently he was working on a spiritual successor called 'Moments of Silence'. He must have changed the name or cancelled it in favor of this game. If there's a guy called (potential spoiler)

Mr. Freedom

then this is probably the same game.


There is, so I believe you are correct.


Just finished my first play through of the game. Had a lot of fun.

The game as a whole struck me as a sequel to Middens as it had many recurring characters and themes from Middens. In the ending I got, I went down at the first junction and got Vermicillis Maximus, slain the First Person Shooter, killed the Magistrate, killed the slave trader, and sided with the mouth and killed Genie(yep, he AND Nomad showed up in the ending I got. And from the looks of it, Gingiva, who I assume is the girl, seemed to have a crush on him). That said, this probably isn't that game 'Moments of Silence'. While Mr. Freedom does appear in the game as a boss, and the Reptile Twins also appeared in the trailer in a similar cutscene, I saw no mention of a city-carrying turtle with throat cancer. Maybe in one of the other endings.

All in all, a fun game.


Help plz?
I'm at the

slave driver part, and I always get beaten when he uses 'sloth'. I have no fleas. Can anybody help me beat him? And what happens if I sign for him instead of battling him?

jrodriguez.msae June 8, 2014 6:57 PM

So, pressing [X] doesn't open the menu. Nor does pressing [Esc]. I've tried all of the keyboard keys and nothing has worked. Is there something I'm missing? Do I have to download something before it'll let me open the menu...? Please help--this looks like a great game and I really want to play it.


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