Concrete Genie is yet another first party game from Sony Interactive Entertainment. The press release calls it an action adventure title, but it honestly feels more like a puzzle game. Especially since it’s less about exploring and more about solving the problem presented by the level.
Developed by Pixelopus, yet another developer owned by SIE, the game centres on a young artist named Ash. The goal of the game is to use Ash’s oversized paintbrush to clear the darkness that’s engulfed his small town; returning colour and magic to the surroundings. Along the way, players will be able to create living paintings that help them manipulate their surroundings.
Painting with the brush uses the gyroscope of the DualShock controller, requiring players to actually physically move their hands. That said, the strokes needed are rather broad; becoming more like whitewashing a wall instead of creating a detailed masterpiece.
Pixelopus doesn’t quite have the same budget for graphics as triple-A titles do, leaving the designers to make do with their limited resources. As such, it’s entirely unremarkable in terms of styling. Although, the actual living genie paintings have a simple sort of child-like charm to them.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a puzzle game without some complications along the way. In this case, there is the presence of a group of bullies that lurk on the map. The bullies will attempt to harass Ash if they get their hands on him, and will also scare the genies into inaction.
Concrete Genie is a cute little game that seems to have a lot of heart behind it. It’s difficult to say how clever the puzzles will be, seeing that the demo at E3 was relatively short. For the most part, it seems like something designed for younger gamers. The simpler mechanics and slower pace are likely to be a good introduction for kids to gaming.
This may not have the pure child-like wonder of Captain Spirit, but it did provide another break from all the flash and noise of the show floor.