While playing Genesis Noir, I was left with a feeling of a love-hate relationship. Not to say it was a bad game at all, the story concept was very good and the art style was beautiful. Unfortunately what I felt to be lacking was the gameplay, story execution, and overall atmosphere. I wanted to love this game, but it was so underwhelming that it was hard for me to return to the game completely.
While most games tend to have a slow beginning, this game in particular felt like the beginning for over half of the game due to an underdelivered story and repetitive gameplay. That being said I do see the merit in the game itself, for it is a relaxing game to play and as I said before beautifully designed. It may just be right up the alley for casual gamers that may not might slower and fairly basic gameplay. However, I honestly feel that even at the price there are far better options to go with. Genesis Noir is an adventure game developed by Ferel Cat Den and published by Fellow Traveller. It can be bought on all current and last generation platforms aside from PlayStation for only $14.99.
You follow the character known as No Man, a time traveler who is trying to save the love of his life by stopping the expansion of the universe. No man is a peddler and sells a vast collection of watches for money during his time travels. Each time he travels and alters various events it changes the big bang overall. While trying to save his love, he must overcome obstacles whether it be various puzzles or confronting his enemy Golden Boy, who happens to also be a part of this love triangle.
The story concept was based on Cosmiccomics by Italo Calvino and would have been a great story to tell if it were not for how the story was delivered. A story like this I feel would have drawn me in, but the atmosphere of the game and little context left me feeling like there was not much of an impact. I will give credit to the visual aspect of the game which did keep me coming back at times. This unique art style and soundtrack gave me a 1920’s jazz-filled experience that brought this piece to life, and nearly saved the experience overall.
The gameplay was another big letdown for me, and normally I would not take points off when it comes to story-based adventure games but it was seriously lacking. In addition, due to the poorly executed story, I was hoping the gameplay might make up for it. Genesis Noir’s gameplay mainly consists of clicking items to interact with them making the experience very lackluster and not interactive. Some good brain-teasing puzzles draw you in a bit, but ultimately players will find themselves occasionally moving around and clicking on items. Now I understand this game was not solely made for the switch, and some point-and-click adventures are fun, but as I said generally for an adventure game you either get interactive fun gameplay or a great story. This game failed to deliver on both ends which is ultimately the reason I found it to be disappointing.
In short, Genesis Noir was a case of wasted potential. Adventure games are meant to draw players in with interaction and engaging tales. The art style was nothing short of gorgeous and the jazz music was perfect in taking players back to the roaring 20s, but the lack of story and overall context killed the atmosphere. With poor gameplay and poor storytelling, visuals and soundtracks can only carry a game so far. Though I will say I do love the direction that the developer was aiming for, and hope for the next time they can capitalize on their concepts.