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Game review: Painting art in Concrete Genie

14 Oct 2019
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Concrete Genie is a new PlayStation 4 exclusive where you can literally paint the town using a giant paint brush that gives life to inanimate objects. It is one of the more unique games I have played all year, but is it really enjoyable?

In Concrete Genie, players assume the role of a young boy named Ash that lives in a drab dull looking town called Denska. It is Ash’s job to repaint the town making it more vibrant than ever before and he does this by using an oversized paint brush.

At the start of the game, Ash gets manhandled by some mean bullies that rip out the pages of his art book. In his quest to recover the pages of his book, some of his creations come to life and these are the genies that help him paint the town of Denska.

Your goal at the beginning of the game is very simple because Ash has to literally light up the drab parts of town using his magical paint brush. Some of the genies that come to life can aid Ash like getting rid of real life objects that are in the way of him painting a wall or getting into a newer area of town.

The controls in Concrete Genie aren’t hard because you can guide the paint brush using the motion controls of the DualShock 4 controller. There are many designs that Ash can choose from and you can make the town look as pretty as possible.

I actually thought using the motion controls felt too gimmicky and unresponsive during my playthrough. Well you can simply rectify this so you can control the paint brush using the right stick instead. The more accurate PlayStation Move controllers are also compatible, although this is only usable in the game’s special VR modes only.

While the concept of the game sounds easy, Ash’s quest is made a little more difficult because the several bullies in the game are always hanging around town threatening to put him inside a dumpster.

Thankfully, it’s easy to distract the bullies in this game because all you really need to do is climb up the rooftops and distract them by using Ash’s voice. None of the bullies are agile enough to climb up to the rooftops so it’s pretty easy avoiding the bullies in this game.

Not to mention it’s not really ‘game over’ when you get caught by the bullies either. You pretty much just get buried inside the dumpster and you can try to avoid them again where you left off. Even if Ash falls down from a very high distance, you get put into the same position to restart.

Anyway if you manage to avoid the bullies, Ash’s main mission is to light up the dark regions of Denska.  Ash usually has a certain quota he must meet before he can continue onto the next area. Not to mention Ash’s genies also help him if he needs to solve a small puzzle to open another part of town.

Without giving away too many spoilers, the latter third of the game changes where Ash can use his brush as a weapon. This part of the game made the game much more enjoyable in my opinion as it was getting boring just painting the town in pretty colours at the beginning of it. The last part of the game also has some boss fights which are really cool to engage in.

Graphically, Concrete Genie is like an art book that comes to life. The paint you use to colour the town looks shiny and bright as they really illuminate any room you enter. The character models also look unique with its semi-2D look to it. The game becomes very pretty to look at once you save the town of Denska from its darkness.

As much as I enjoyed playing Concrete Genie, the game isn’t very long. The game is only five to six hours long and there’s not much replay value on offer here. You can go back and paint the town any way you wish when you finish, but there’s not much else to do after you complete the game.

All in all, Concrete Genie is a fun and unique game. It is fun to paint the town and the latter third of the game is really enjoyable. That being said, the game might be too short for some people, although it is priced at only $49.99 on the PlayStation Store.

Verdict: 8.0/10