Written by Mike Melkonian of CardboardConsole.com
Concrete Genie is currently available for PlayStation 4 (And PlayStation 5 via backward compatibility) and is playable on PSVR.
It’s refreshing to see a smaller, experimental game come out of Sony’s Worldwide Studios. Players take on the role of Ash, a young artist living in the now-deserted town of Denska. He must use the power of his imagination, as well as a magic paintbrush, to restore his hometown to its former glory.
Concrete Genie, by PixelOpus, follows in the tradition of games like Flower and Journey to create a unique and artistic experience. It may not be challenging in the way a satisfying game typically is. But, it provides the player with a gorgeous six hours of therapeutic play and deeply thematic moments of self-reflection.
Is Concrete Genie Good?
Concrete Genie combines elements from various genres to create a one-of-a-kind single-player campaign. But is, at its core, an environmental puzzle game. Players must paint “genies” (which can be customized to the player’s liking) on the walls of Denska. He can then control them and use their unique properties to progress past various obstacles. For example, fire genies can burn down wooden crates blocking Ash’s way, electric genies can power generators needed to operate machines, etc.
There is also quite a bit of platforming in the game. In fact, Ash scaling the various walls and environments of Denska looks very similar to Nathan Drake’s animations in the Uncharted series. It is to the point where I think PixelOpus is intentionally trolling their fellow Sony studio, Naughty Dog. The game also provides quite the scavenger hunt for all of the missing pages in Ash’s sketchbook, and this collectathon will keep players engaged long after the main story is over.
Even though this is a game aimed at a younger audience, the developers could have provided a *little* more challenge. Players who have ANY experience with games will find Concrete Genie a breeze to get through. While I understand this may have been an intentional choice, some more difficult side/optional content would have been appreciated.
Is it okay for kids? Absolutely! I think anyone between the ages of 6 and 12 will likely enjoy this game. And I strongly suggest that people play Concrete Genie as a family activity. There are so many themes for a kid to relate to, including some relatively heavy subject matters such as divorce and parental fighting, that it may be helpful for parents to play along and explain the meaning of certain interactions to their kids when it’s needed.
Is Concrete Genie Ok for Children?
Concrete Genie was rated E10+ by the ESRB for Fantasy Violence. You play as a teenager with a magical paintbrush as he explores his hometown, paints fantastical creatures on the walls, and avoids bullies. Violence in this game is limited. The bullies are shown shoving people. The monsters are made of paint and ink so they don’t do any real damage. This is a safe game to play with even younger children as long as they aren’t scared by the monsters.
Can you play Concrete Genie on PS5?
Yes. You can play Concrete Genie on the PS5 via the backward compatibility feature on the console. There are some limitations with the backward compatibility that you can find on the PlayStation Website.
While the simplistic gameplay holds it back a bit, there is no denying the sheer amount of heart that went into crafting this game. It is truly beautiful, and at an affordable price no less! I would say Concrete Genie is a must-buy for any PS4 owners with kids, and even those without.
What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!
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