Concrete Genie, the newest game from Entwined developer Pixelopus, was first announced at 2017’s Paris Games Week. The game’s showing at PlayStation Experience put it on the map, though. A beautifully realized world accompanies an equally stunning soundtrack. What brings players into the world is a dark force, overpowering a small fishing town. An environmental disaster has brought the town, Denska, to its knees and many of its residents have already fled. It’s up to Ash, a young boy with an incredible artistic ability, to revitalize his hometown.
After months of silence, E3 2018 has Pixelopus ready to go more in depth on Concrete Genie’s compelling concept. During the PlayStation live show, a few developers talked through a demo of the game. Not only are fans given further insight, another lengthy look shows off the game’s beautiful visuals.
To save the town of Denska, Ash uses magical paint to bring it back to life. These paintings cover the walls and players can stylize each work of art to their liking. Landscapes and creatures are the primary options, with the latter acting as secondary characters of a sort. In the demo, Ash draws a red furry creature. No player’s red furry friend will look like another. Attachments such as antlers, tails, and horns give them personalities. Meanwhile, the color of a creature represents their innate abilities. For instance, red creatures have fire abilities. Later in the demo, Ash’s red companion opens a pathway for him by setting fire to a door.
The relationship Ash has to them gameplay-wise is contingent on their attachment to him. Through speech bubbles, the creature request gifts. Should they desire dandelions, a little drawing of the flower appears in the bubble. Upon Ash’s completion of the request, the creature gives him Super Paint, which rids the world of the darkness. Painting regular walls with Super Paint makes the images larger, brighter, and more vibrant.
Throughout Concrete Genie, players will interact with multiple levels. Unfortunately, the creatures are “land-locked,” meaning they’re incapable of leaving a designated area. Therefore, each level has its own set of creatures and its own color for painting.
Interestingly, the puzzling darkness that overtakes Denska isn’t the game’s sole threat. Bullies are an issue for Ash, as well. They chase him around each level, but only on the ground; rooftops act as Ash’s safe havens. At the start of the demo, the bullies steal his sketch book to rip out the drawings, leaving his pages to the wind. These, then, are Concrete Genie’s collectibles and provide the designs for Ash’s artwork. Players don’t have to catch them all, but creatures may require Ash to fetch a drawing.
While there’s still much to learn about the game, its development is seemingly progressing well. Pixelopus hasn’t yet revealed a release date, but the game is expected to launch sometime this year.