Concrete Genie is one of those titles that transmits its deep focus on art and the world around us. The title is an adventure game developed by Pixelopus and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment. Concrete Genie is a PS4 exclusive and due to that moniker, a certain level of quality and uniqueness is expected. I am glad to say that the standard is superbly met. The premise of the game and everything you could appreciate in its trailers is well-delivered.
Denska, Oh the beautiful Denska!
Even if there’s not much dialogue, just as its art style, Concrete Genie speaks loud and clear about its central plot. The game takes place in a coastal town named Denska. Back in its glory days, this town was as alive and colorful as the genies that inhabited it. Sadly, due to the lack of human mindfulness and empathy, the town is a mere shadow of its former self. The protagonist of this fabulous tale is Ash. Ash is a kind-hearted boy that gets bullied by the local kids that still run around the old town’s ruins. One of the bullies tears apart his sketchbook. As a consequence, all the pages scatter around Denska, and so, his adventure begins.
In pursuit of his lost pages, Ash soon meets Luna, one of his art creations that came to life in an abandoned lighthouse. Luna tasks him with the honor of bringing back Denska from its shroud of negativity. In order to complete this task, she equips him with a magic brush that helps him bring his sketch creations to life in the many walls of the town.
The marvelous and lovable Genies
The mechanics of the game are pretty simple, yet entertaining. Every area of the game has several spots with lightbulbs. To clear each area and bring it back to life from the darkness covering it, you will need to paint the walls under these lightbulbs. To paint in Concrete Genie, you will use the Dualshock 4 motion sensor to control the brush. However, some areas are inaccessible. That’s where Genies come into play.
There are several spots around town in which you can summon Genies. These are drawings that come to life as soon as you finish creating them. You can call Genies to your aid by waving your brush in the air and they can clear obstacles along the way or refill your brush with Super Paint. This paint allows you to paint on the walls covered in darkness.
One of these Genies is not like the other!
As you continue clearing the city in Concrete Genie, you find many pages flying around with Genie and sketch designs. Each area has special Genies with unique abilities to clear specific puzzles. The Genie mechanic makes the game remarkably fun to play. Even if you’re not into the painting mechanic, the puzzles are clever and fun to solve. What’s more, the Genies are guaranteed to warm your heart with their antics. Concrete Genie is a very charming and relaxing title. There is no real threat in the game, even when the bullies are running around, they are easy to avoid and confuse.
Concrete Genie is easygoing and more focused on you pouring all your creativity into Denska. After completing each area, you get to draw a masterpiece — a stunning piece of art that clears out all the darkness from the area. The game is rather short, and you can easily clear it in 5 to 6 hours. Although, it is not a full-price title, and for the price, it’s an experience you don’t want to miss.
The heart of an artist
Concrete Genie is about the condition of a society, human actions, and expression through art. The game is inspiring and touches on subjects you will not expect. It gives you glimpses of what went down on Denska and how it lost the light that it once cast upon all its citizens. It goes deep into Ash’s perspective on the darkness and the bullies around him.
Concrete Genie is an enchanting ride through many social issues and feelings that are somewhat hard to deal with. It uses art to express and overcome these inner flaws. The final product is a wonderful trip full of incredible moments that are moving and insightful. Concrete Genie is an experience that successfully paints positivity and forgiveness to overcome the hopelessness of a society that lost itself long ago.
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