A Personal, Heartwarming Journey
Concrete Genie follows the heartwarming journey of a bullied teen named Ash, who escapes his troubles by bringing his colorful imagination to life in his sketchbook, while exploring his hometown of Denska – a once bright and bustling seaside town now polluted by Darkness.
Ash discovers a mysterious lighthouse, where he finds a magical paintbrush charged with ‘Living Paint’ capable of creating magnificent masterpieces that can purify Denska’s polluted walls.
Ash must harness the magical properties of his powerful paintbrush to eliminate the Darkness polluting Denska with the help of the mischevious Genies he creates along the way.
Can Ash overcome his personal struggles and paint his hometown back to life?
Ash is an adventurous young teen with an incredible imagination. An eager artist and a dreamer, his imagination bursts from him onto the pages of his sketchbook, and into the world around him. Exploring the dark corners and alleyways of Denska, his hometown, Ash breathes life into the world through the power of creativity.
Once a thriving fishing community, the town of Denska has been left a gloomy shadow of its former self. After a massive oil spill poisoned its waters, the formerly vibrant and bustling town is now all-but abandoned, blanketed in oppressive Darkness and inky black waterways. Now, with a group of rowdy kids vandalizing its darkened streets, Ash may be the only person who can bring Denska back to life.
Paint Your World to Life
Explore the streets of Denska and use magical ‘Living Paint’ to restore Ash’s hometown from Darkness. Use the DUALSHOCK®4 wireless controller to create your own vibrant street art designs in this colorful adventure. Find the scattered pages of Ash’s favorite sketchbook across Denska to expand your design toolset.
VR Experience Mode
In VR Experience, you’ll help a Genie discover a mysterious power through painting and see your art come to life from a new perspective. Completing VR Experience Mode unlocks VR Free Paint Mode.
Concrete Genie - VR Experience Screenshot
VR Free Paint Mode
Practice your new skills after unlocking VR Free Paint Mode, where you’ll manipulate your paintbrush with two PlayStation®Move Motion Controllers to create beautiful, living landscapes.
8 hours completionist
October 8, 2019
PS4, PS VR
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment LLC
Genre: Action / Adventure
Rating: E 10+
Price: $29.99 standard, $39.99 digital deluxe
Pixelopous is a smaller Sony Studio whose first title was the gorgeous rhythm game Entwined. Concrete Genie is their follow-up, and based on the quality of this new title, they are well on their way to becoming a household name.
Spiritual Content: This game features Genies or spirit-like creatures. Occasionally they will have horns or sharp teeth, which may interpreted as evil. Magic is a feature of the game; it’s not teaching kids to be wizards or witches, but it is present.
Violence: The game features minimal violence where the protagonist is bullied by a group of peers but these moments are few and far between. Later in the game the protagonist engages in combat against evil Genies. These scenes are relatively tame, though.
Positive Content: The city in Concrete Genie has been affected by an ecological disaster, lost jobs and industry, and overall has become desolate and run down. I can’t help but think of Original Sin, in this instance. Before sin entered the world by Adam and Eve, mankind was in perfect harmony with God, one another, and nature. But after sin came to be, the relationship with God and His creation became strained, and soon man began abandoning God for his own personal gain. Relationships between men and woman became points of contention, and sin has even affected the world around us in the form of thorns, famine, and natural disasters. However, God promises in Genesis 3:15 that Eve’s seed (Jesus) will conquer sin, death, and the devil, and restore the world. Concrete Genie‘s protagonist Ash serves as a Christ-like figure in the story, as his actions are erasing the evil and corruption found in the games world, and the world is coming back to life in new and improved ways.
The story of Concrete Genie focuses on a teenage boy named Ash (who bears an uncanny resemblance to Delson from Infamous Second Son, beanie and all) living in the city of Denska. In-game collectibles and flashback cutscenes piece the story together. Denska was once a busy fishing port and cannery, but an environmental disaster hurt the small port city causing most residents to flee. Ash brings the city back to life by painting over graffiti, dirt, and general rundown sections of townwith a magical paintbrush.
Ash must also find drawings which bullies tore from his notebook. These drawings feature Genies set against gorgeous, intricate backdrops. The genies are a really cool feature of game. Occasionally you’ll find a genie on wall or ground. With his magical paintbrush, Ash brings/paints them alive. But that’s where the fun begins. Once alive, the Genie gives ash signs of what they need. For example, one of the Genies I found wouldn’t leave and follow me until I painted trees and tall grass for him to climb and hide in as he traversed the walls to follow Ash. Ash can interact with Genies as well; he can pet, talk with, and even play basketball with them. The environmental disaster has affected the genies too because it manifests itself in the world as corrupt, glowing purple vines. This makes it so the Genies are unable to move past the corruption, and the only solution is to clear the way with magic paint that the Genies give to Ash for completing tasks.
Gameplay-wise Concrete Genie works well as both a puzzle platformer and as an adventure game. Perhaps my only complaint is minimal motion controls; to paint you hold R1 or R2 and then follow an onscreen marker by moving your DualShock 4 up, down, left, or right. The marker helps you see where you need to paint. However, the painting is tied to motion controls and they can be frustrating, because if you are a perfectionist and the Genie you design comes to life differently than you intended, you play the rest of the game with an ugly Genie. While I haven’t explored this yet, the game offers a PSVR mode and free paint option.
The world is beautiful even while corrupted. But when Ash begins painting and Genies begin exploring your paintings, the world is amazing. The colors shifts from oranges, browns, yellows, and greens, to accents of neon blue and pink.
In my opinion, Sony crushes it when offering crazy cool game concepts. With Concrete Genie, Sony knocks it out of the park once again. This is a game that all types of people can enjoy—especially people who have been bullied and/or feel bogged down with sin or depression. It’s a world where I can get lost, relax, and move beyond all my real-life issues. It becomes even more special when I consider the theological implications of restoration I find in the game. My year has been dark; I had a stroke, lost my left hand, and even left my position as a pastor because of the stroke. Concrete Genie, my family, and prayer is where I have found comfort and peace.
+ The concept of the game is unique
+ The Genies are fun to interact with, kind of like playful dogs.
+ The game's artwork is beautiful
- The motion controls get frustrating at times
- The PSVR mode ought to be more interactive than it is