After a nearly two year wait, Concrete Genie makes its way to the PlayStation 4. Is this action-adventure game worth the investment, or should you look elsewhere for your next gaming hit? Check out our review and find out.
Concrete Genie Review
Concrete Genie follows the story of Ash, a teenage painter who has a bully problem. To escape this, he draws bizarre creatures that he refers to as genies on his sketch pad. Sadly it doesn’t take long for the bullies to target that and shred it to bits. After being forced up to the lighthouse in town, Ash finds a large paintbrush that allows him to bring his creations to life. Using the paintbrush, you make your first genie – and your first friend.
From the lighthouse, you can see just how bad the darkness in town has gotten. You set out with a goal to restore color to the city and to find your missing pages. Ordinary paint can’t defeat the darkness though; you need Super Paint. Super Paint comes from genies, and they will restore your super meter if you draw what they want. It is quick, and the genie’s interactions can be fun to watch as well. You do have to worry about the bullies, but they can’t climb and are easily avoided. Overall the game will run you around five to six hours.
These genies that you summon can be customized as you make them. You can give them horns, tails, mustaches, and plenty of other things. They also come in three colors: red, blue, and yellow. Red will burn tarps for you to expose new passages for you to explore. Blue will blow boxes around to help you jump over the water and other obstacles. Finally, yellow is lightning, and will activate power boxes for you and open doors. You do not pick their color; their spawn point determines their color. Note that I never ran into a section where I didn’t have the genie I needed.
Concrete Genie isn’t challenging by any stretch of the imagination. You will occasionally run into puzzles that stump you for a few moments, but there is nothing that is overly frustrating. The gameplay loop is pretty consistent until the last third of the game. You enter a zone, paint some lights, get super paint from the genies to clear darkness, do some platforming, do a puzzle, and wrap it up with a masterpiece. Due to how short the game was, I didn’t get burnt out on this; I kept wanting to see the new pictures and genies. The game’s progression did enough to keep me going from area to area.
I should probably mention that the drawing is fairly easy. You don’t have to even be remotely good at drawing to do well here. You sort of guide where the picture will go, and the game makes the picture. Sure, you might put a tree at a weird angle or draw a floating stalactite, but it doesn’t break the game. Once you get a feel for how the drawing works, you can make things look as goofy or enjoyable as you want. You cannot free draw though. The game has a set amount of images that …