Written by Pat Kerley
Get ready to bring life back to a husk of a town through the power of a magical paintbrush and make friends with said paintings! Today we are going to take a look at the charming Concrete Genie, and see if it is worth buying!
The story of Concrete Genie starts off with the main protagonist Ash, getting bullied by the local kids of Denska, ripping up his sketchbook and shipping him off to the haunted lighthouse. It’s there you discover that your sketches come to life as genies with a magical paintbrush you find.
Your first genie, Luna, shows you the darkness that is creeping into Denska and it’s up to you to bring the town and its areas back to life through your paintings while collecting your sketches.
The story is very simplistic in many ways; however, I feel that it makes its message all the more effective. It covers hard topics such as bullying and presents the idea that these bullies aren’t two dimensional and there is a reason behind why they lash out at others. The idea behind bringing a town back to life through painting is also executed excellently and I can relate to it.
Going around my local town and seeing some incredible artwork is breathtaking and makes the town feel more energized and full of life. It becomes the talking point that people can discuss and be proud off, you’d be surprised how much of a focal point it becomes during a conversation.
The gameplay is quite refreshing to have a go at, the idea of painting the town of Denska to bring it back to life is a rather relaxing experience, the game has motion controls which you use to paint with your magical paintbrush, its more engaging than what I was expecting and I found myself painting in areas for lengthy periods of time!
I was honestly worried about the motion controls, I’m glad how well they turned out and that they didn’t feel tacked on.
I can still remember the Sixaxis segments for a handful of games on PlayStation 3 and how utterly painful they could be to do. It was awkward, to begin with, but after a short period of time it is something that becomes second nature pretty quickly, it really helped immerse me in the game. With how fascinating the painting is you’ll find yourself looking for all the sketches throughout the world in order to have as many options available to you when creating your works of art!
The Genies are interesting creatures, the interactivity that you can achieve with the paintings that come to life is wholeheartedly charming, as you can paint an apple and they will eat it, make a balloon and watch it make them fly! It’s amazing to see the reactions of the genies to these paintings and exploring your options pays off as you see just how many ways you can play with your artwork.
Ash himself has fantastic movement, everything feels super smooth, from climbing around the town and leaping about with some enjoyable platforming sections and holy moly is it fun to paint skate with your magical paintbrush!
There’s just something incredibly satisfying about the skating, its slick yet refined and I spent so much time just skating around for no reason, frankly, it just kept me captivated.
Its platforming took me by surprise, with just how much you can explore, it has wonderful areas through the game that exemplify just how entertaining it can be. The game has mild puzzle elements with the colour of your genie deciding what they can do, for example, a yellow genie can create electricity to start electrical objects. They aren’t mindboggling hard and are rather simple, yet it just mixes the game up enough to keep the game fresh throughout its short campaign.
Graphically this game is just a wonder to behold, the paintings you can create is absolutely breathtaking to witness, the luminous light it gives of is just so inviting to the eyes. Apart from the artwork you create, the game looks fantastic, there seems to be a stop motion like effect on facial features which I found rather intriguing but the game has a style that belongs to itself, there’s something about its visuals that create a unique sense of atmosphere that I just can’t put my fingers on, though it is tantalizing.
I was simply drawn in immediately to the game through its visual aesthetic.
The music is another feature that is a standout for Concrete Genie, just pure brilliant! Sam Marshall, the composer did a stellar job, the music adds to the world and the immersion, it’s just so good. It adds to the experience tenfold, truly wonderful music that is even worth a listen to outside the game itself.
Overall, Concrete Genie is a phenomenal game, its simplistic story works wonders and conveys its messages excellently. The gameplay is engaging and is super addictive to jump into and explore through its painting with your magical paintbrush, but the movement of Ash for platforming is just as good. The game has inviting visuals and the music is utterly incredible.
The game is easily one of the best to come out and I would recommend anyone to play! While it is short, if you click with this game, you’ll be sticking around to paint to your heart’s content! Pixelopus have created a blinder of a game, and I’m ever so excited to see what they’re beautiful minds come up with next!
Concrete Genie, gets a recommendation of Must-Buy!