Concrete Genie is a game that sparks the creativity of anyone who plays it.
With it’s unique gameplay, vibrant visual style and ability to tackle themes like bullying, this is a game that will make you happier simply by playing it.
Having recently played through the first hour of this game here is my snapshot review of Concrete Genie on PS4.
Watch the Video Here
Basic game details – Concrete Genie
- Release Date: October 2019
- Genre: Action Adventure
- Metacritic score: 75
- Number of trophies: 56 – 1 plat, 2 gold, 8 silver, 45 bronze
- Game length: approx 5 ½ hours according to HowLongToBeat.com
Concrete Genie – Plot
The basic premise of this game is that you play as a young boy called Ash who enjoys drawing and doodling characters in his notebook.
Unfortunately for Ash, his hometown of Denska has become abandoned and is slowly being ravaged by darkness.
During a particularly nasty encounter with some local bullies, Ash’s notebook is torn to pieces and then scattered throughout the city.
Ash is then shoved onto a train and sent to the abandoned and supposedly haunted lighthouse.
As Ash begins to recover some of the pages from his notebook, he discovers that one of the characters from his drawings has come to life.
Ash is then tasked with removing the darkness from the town of Denska. To do this Ash uses his magic paint brush that will bring his drawings to life and destroy the darkness that has engulfed the town.
Along the way, Ash will collect the pages from his notebook and create and meet new and amazing characters.
Upon starting this game, the controls are gradually revealed to you which in my opinion is a great way to ease new gamers into the game.
Rather than being inundated with controls and mechanics right away, these are revealed to you one step at a time which creates a fun and relaxing experience.
As well as this, a pretty unique feature to this game is its use of the motion controls in your Dualshock 4 controller.
By moving your controller around you’ll be able to control the direction of your paintbrush in the game which makes up the core experience of Concrete Genie.
The use of motion controls, particularly on the previous gen console, the PlayStation 3, was often thought of as a novelty rather than an actual way of interacting with a game.
I’m happy to report that the way the motion controls are used in Concrete Genie do a truly excellent job of keeping you engaged in the gameplay.
I found myself taking that extra time to paint and repaint pretty much every available surface in the game. This definitely took up the majority of my first hour with the game.
Even though after a certain amount of time I was probably doing nothing to advance the story, I actually didn’t care.
I was so engrossed in painting that I didn’t care how long I spent at it.
Graphics & Design
The design aesthetic of Concrete Genie is quite endearing and I really enjoyed it for being quite different to the other games I am currently playing.
The beginning of the game which sets the scene contains a number of different art styles to differentiate between past and present which does a great job of keeping you engaged.
The past is conveyed in a bright and colorful cartoon style whereas the present is gloomy and almost devoid of color.
I really like how this is done because once you start painting everything in sight, you can see the color return to the town which just makes you feel happier like you’ve accomplished something.
There is almost a hint of The Nightmare Before Christmas about the motion of the characters, especially during scenes dialog.
I really enjoyed the design and style of this game, so much so that I quickly began to enjoy and look forward to cut scenes and character animations to see how Ash would interact with his creations.
Music & Sound
The music in games is something that often goes over my head unless it’s used to very obviously make a point. This was not the case with Concrete Genie.
The music is understated and pleasant throughout your time exploring the environments which adds a nice peaceful element to your exploration.
On the other hand, during particularly important moments in cutscenes, the music is able to swell and become very emotive almost bringing me close to tears at some points.
I’ve basically discovered that I’m a sucker for emotional music.
What I enjoyed the most about the sound design of this game is the variety of sounds and melodies that are created simply when you’re painting.
It took me a little while to catch this but my favorite moment of the game was painting apples in rapid succession and listening to the beautiful melody that was created.
This was such a beautiful feature of the game that for me definitely created added incentive to paint everything in sight.
What I Think
Based on my time playing Concrete Genie I’ve come up with some recommendations of people who will enjoy this game and those who may not.
This will hopefully be more useful to you than a simple number based review out of 10.
Hopefully by reading this review and by watching some gameplay footage you’ll be able to make up you’re mind if this is a game you’d enjoy playing.
You’ll enjoy this game if you:
- Are completely new to gaming and want an easy game to start with
- Enjoy a captivating story and brilliant design more than hardcore gameplay
- Have small amounts of time to play games
- Enjoy finding and collecting all things in games
You might not enjoy this game if you:
- Are a hardcore gamer more insterested in more advanced gameplay
- Don’t enjoy using the motion controls to interact with games
- Aren’t not too interested in story telling games and prefer different types of games
So that’s it for this snapshot review, I hope you enjoyed it. I’ve definitely enjoyed my time with this game so far and I can’t wait to continue playing it an maybe even getting the platinum trophy for it!
If you enjoyed my review of this game, be sure to check out another excellent video game review I did: Destroy All Humans – I want a remake
Prefer to listen?
If you prefer listening to this content, check out the podcast I made on this very topic.
Question of the Day
Have you played Concrete Genie yet? If so what did you think of this game?
Let me know in the comments below, I would love to hear what you think!