Is the paintbrush really mightier than the sword?
Concrete Genie is a PS4 exclusive title developed by Pixelopus and of course published by Sony Interactive Entertainment. The game is a 3D puzzle platformer that utilises the PS4s motion control to help main character Ash breathe life back into the deserted fishing town of Denska. The only problem? The local bullies are a little territorial.
The town of Denska is currently polluted with a strange dark substance, making it now deserted by all its previous inhabitants. Young teen Ash has tender memories of the town he spent his childhood in so often visits the evacuated town to sketch. One unfortunate day, the local bullies find Ash in Denska and steal his sketch book, causing his illustrations to be spread across the town. Whilst retrieving the missing pages Ash finds a magical paintbrush that allows him to bring his drawings to life. The aim of the game is to use the paintbrush to liven up the town again and appease the genies that you’ve created who will in turn assist you throughout our travels.
Concrete Genie contains a heartfelt story with innovative gameplay, I was immediately captivated with the sincere story line and it’s use of the PS4’s motion controls. I found the best part of each zone was creating my own unique genie using the games feature library. It was so endearing witnessing something you had created come to life before your eyes and being able to interact with it was also an adorable plus! I also loved having the freedom to decorate the town more or less however I wanted with everything appearing visually stunning and leaping off the wall in front of you. I also found the controls very responsive – for some reason I expected this game to be slightly laggy perhaps due to all the colours and detail – however I found the game to be very smooth, even when I’m switching between designs at 100mph. Lastly, I found Concrete Genie challenging at times without becoming too frustrating, I was able to play the entire game over a few days without it becoming a chore.
It is however let down slightly by its change of pace towards the end of the game as well as it’s really short playtime. You see, you spend the first 4 or more hours solving puzzles, platforming and painting on walls. When you reach the 4-5+ hour mark though things begin to change, you are suddenly thrown into an RPG like game that requires you to dodge, shoot and glide. Although it didn’t ruin the game for me it did change it from being a sweet easy-going game to a slightly more serious game that required more attention, something I was unprepared for. I was also disappointed to find that the game had a very short play time of only 6 hours (and only around 7 hours if you’re a completionist) this did make the release day price of £20 - £25 a little steep. The game does have VR capabilities though which I haven’t explored that may make it more worth the price. Other than this and finding the game a little confusing at times, I have no other complaints.
I genuinely really enjoyed Concrete Genie and do recommend everyone gives it a try, even if it’s in a few months and it has dropped in price a little! The game manages to capture your imagination and remind us all to be a little kinder to each other. The dialogue between the characters is also charming and even funny at times, the game just feels very genuine and I had a lot of fun playing it.
For more reviews see what else I have to offer here at nerdoutwordout.com as well as my own blog hopeelizablog.wordpress.com. Oh! Also, if you want to watch my entire play through of this game, it’s made up of 4 parts on our YouTube channel! (Link above this post!)