Concrete Genie review – a bright and thoughtful exploration of some dark and difficult themes

October 8, 2019
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Ever since its announcement at 2017’s Paris Games Week, PlayStation exclusive Concrete Genie has been nothing short of intriguing. The setting, the stunning art style, the artistic game play – this an ambitious game for Pixel Opus, a studio of university graduates whose only other title is Entwined, but that ambition has served them well. Concrete Genie is everything I hoped it would be.

It sees you step into the shoes of Ash, a young boy exploring and painting in his now abandoned home town of Denska. It’s not long before you’re interrupted by a group of bullies who rip apart your sketchbook and shove you onto a tram, trapping you in a haunted lighthouse. It’s here your adventure begins, and the dilapidated town starts to brighten up with your discovery of a genie and a magic paintbrush.

Concrete Genie is predominantly about painting. Your main aim is to collect the ripped pages of your sketchbook and use your designs to brighten the town’s gloomy walls. Each new area you go to will provide you with new themed sketches, from forests and flowers, to ponds and thunderstorms, each designed to reflect Ash’s emotions at different points in the game. To perform the painting you’ll need to select a design from your sketchbook, then drag your controller in the direction of how you’d like it to appear. It’s very much designed so regardless of your artistic skill, you can make some beautiful paintings.

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