I’m a big fan of games that try something a bit more experimental, and that’s definitely the case with the game I’m reviewing today – Genesis Noir. It’s a point and click-ish adventure game that doesn’t stick to the usual tropes of the genre, giving you a chance to manipulate objects and the space-time continuum itself in order to reach your final goal of saving Miss Mass.
There is no other reasonable place to start than the presentation of Genesis Noir. It’s a beautifully drawn and animated in such a way that every scene is an absolute work of art. A lot of effort went in to how the game looks and it genuinely pays off. From the moment I started the game I was immediatly taken by it and every aspect of how it looks really makes it stand out against any other indie game that is out on the market at the moment.
Coupled with the aesthetic, is the magnificent soundtrack. It is perfectly written to match the game and what is going on. From minor interactions to deep, meaningful events that happen throughout the game, the music is always on point. Genesis Noir has one of those soundtracks that you can just listen to endlessly. There aren’t many games that I think about buying the soundtrack for, but this one definitely is one I’m considering. It’s up there with Lone Survivor as one of my all time favourite game soundtracks for sure.
Calling Genesis Noir broken might be a bit unfair, but it certainly has a fair share of bugs in it. I had numerous occasions where the game either froze up or turned into an unplayable state. The most irritating was when I had clicked to speak to someone, the main character trots up to him and then seems to interact with him, but is in fact just doing an idle animation. The screen had even letterboxed itself to indicate that it was working on a cutscene of some description, only for it to lock up and not let me do anything – not even exit. I had to force a crash to be able to exit the game and replay it, which is something no gamer wants to do.
Once you get beyond the crashes and the hanging, there are also issues with the puzzles, which I was very disappointed with. Some of the puzzles are fun, but there are a number of them that are extremely obtuse and not easy to work out what you have to do, which in a non-textual game is a pretty big miss. I got stuck on one particular puzzle for a very long time because no matter what I did, there didn’t seem to a clear way to figure it out beyond a lot of trial and error. For the most part the puzzles weren’t like this and were mostly intuitive, but the ones that weren’t so well constructed certainly stayed in my mind and tainted my view of the game much more.
Genesis Noir isn’t a bad game, I do enjoy the aesthetic and the soundtrack, but it just feels a bit unstable right now. The music and aesthetic are amongst the nicest you’ll see in a game, but if the game is as frustrating to play through as I found it, it’ll mean a great number of players won’t experience it completely, which is a shame.