“One, remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Two, never give up work. Work gives you meaning and purpose and life is empty without it. Three, if you are lucky enough to find love, remember it is there and don’t throw it away.” – Stephen Hawking
NOTE: This review is based on a ‘work-in-progress’, pre-release demo of the game.
Genesis Noir is a poetic adventure game about stopping the big bang to save your love. A cosmic gunshot expands towards the heart of a god and the player must explore the universe, seeking clues on how creation might be undone. With an emphasis on exploration, simple interactions, and generative art, Genesis Noir seeks to create memorable moments and tactile gameplay.
Styling and Narrative
The game takes stylistic and thematic inspiration from film noir titles, made immediately obvious through a number of game elements. The music has a recognisable jazzy sound to it, heavily featuring instruments such as the double bass, piano and saxophone and the scenes are made up of nighttime cityscapes, silhouettes and unconventional character POV.
Genesis Noir has a highly stylised aesthetic with a limited and high contrast colour palette that works well with the general tone of the game but also makes it more ‘colour-blind friendly’. The artwork is stunning in its simplicity whilst also seeming unfamiliar and experimental.
Genesis Noir focuses on exploration and has an almost film-like feel to it with mini cut-scenes and panning shots across the city but there are a number of relaxing mini puzzles to provide some interaction above and beyond looking at objects. There is not too much going on in terms of mechanics however, and the gameplay is as trippy and abstract as the delivery of the narrative.
Still in development, it is unclear from the demo quite how Genesis Noir will evolve and expand and how the different aspects will eventually amalgamate into a tangible and complete game that matches the developer’s description and aims. That being said, it was an unusual and enjoyable experience that inspires curiosity and is definitely worth keeping an eye on!