Genesis Noir
Gameplay 7
Graphics 9
Sound 9

Tying together a love triangle between a jazz singer, saxophone player, and watch peddler with the big bang sounds like something that shouldn’t work and yet Genesis Noir pulls it off. From the noir visual style and beautiful jazz soundtrack to the surreal locations and dreamlike feel of the game, there is a lot to praise about Genesis Noir. However, it is also not a game that will appeal to everyone, especially those who prefer traditional titles over more experimental ones like this. It is certainly a wild ride, though, and open-minded players will have a blast soaking up the psychedelic atmosphere of this game.

Gameplay: Simple, but fun.

Graphics: Beautiful and unique.

Sound: The jazz soundtrack is a perfect match for the game

Summary 8.3 Outstanding
Gameplay 0
Graphics 0
Sound 0
Summary rating from user's marks. You can set own marks for this article - just click on stars above and press "Accept".
Summary 0.0 Terrible

Genesis Noir

Developer: Feral Cat Den | Publisher: Fellow Traveller | Release Date: 2021 | Genre: Adventure / Indie | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

How far would you go to save your loved one? Would you destroy all of creation just to prevent a bullet being fired at them from hitting its target? That’s the dilemma faced by No Man, the protagonist of Genesis Noir by Feral Cat Den and Fellow Traveller. At first, it seems like No Man is just a watch peddler who got caught up in a love triangle with a jazz singer named Miss Mass and Golden Boy, the saxophonist in her band. However, when Golden Boy shoots Miss Mass in a fit of jealousy, it creates the Big Bang and No Man is plunged into a surreal adventure spanning time and space.

As strange as the story sounds it is even more surreal in action. Genesis Noir is essentially a point & click adventure that sees No Man dipping in and out of pockets of time spread across the Big Bang. His overarching goal is to collect golden springs that will eventually allow him to destroy creation. However, as grandiose as this may sound, it essentially boils down to completing a couple of tactile puzzles in each area while marveling at the noir-style visuals. Unfortunately, this means that some players will love it and just go with the flow while others expecting something a little more traditional will more than likely end up confused and frustrated.

One of the most striking elements of Genesis Noir is the visuals. The game makes use of copious shades of black, blue, gray, and white for each scene and the result is as striking as it is stylish. The animations are fairly simple, but the constantly changing camera angles, dreamlike environments, and unique transitions make it all seem even more impressive. The game is split into fourteen chapters, each tackling a different theme or period in time. The developers of Genesis Noir are very good at using very simple visuals to convey epic concepts, so if you get drawn into this game prepare for quite a few mind-blowing moments. On the other side of the coin, some players might also find the game to be pretentious. From a technical standpoint, the only visual options are three preset quality options, the option to enable or disable Vsync, and the ability to choose the resolution.

Jazz music and noir visuals go hand in hand, so it’s no surprise that Genesis Noir excels in this department too. The soundtrack features everything from trumpets and double bass to tenor saxes and orchestral elements. Voice acting is conspicuously absent for most of the game, which adds to the surreal atmosphere, so it’s rather surprising to hear it introduced in the final chapter.

The controls are very straightforward and mostly involve moving No Man around the various scenes and clicking or dragging items to interact with them. We found that using the WASD keys works best for moving No Man while the mouse is reserved for interactions. Often these interactions are as simple as popping bubbles, plucking petals from flowers, spinning planets, or playing a Simon-Says style duet with a bass player. The puzzles are not exactly taxing, so half the challenge is often figuring out what the game expects from you. It is impossible to do anything wrong or die, though, so players are free to poke and prod at everything. The game doesn’t really have an inventory system like traditional point & click adventures either and while you might return to certain locations there’s never any real backtracking required.

Genesis Noir is certainly not a game that can be faulted for its scope or its imagination. No Man might be putting together the components of a Japanese tea ceremony in one chapter and then fiddling around with the controls of an electron supercollider in another. It is these surreal elements and never knowing where you might end up next that makes the game so compelling to play. The puzzles generally feel more like short mini-games so there is nothing here that is taxing enough that players will be stuck for too long. However, especially towards the end, some puzzles perhaps repeat too many times, which can feel like the run-time is being padded a bit.

Genesis Noir is not a very long game and also not as complicated as its story would want you to believe, but it is hard to argue with its creativity and ambition. It is not often that a game sends us scurrying off to read up on things like “Bubble Theory,” “Inflaton Fields,” and the “Kardashev scale” so the developers deserve kudos just for that. Just like the jazz music that is woven through every element of the game, Genesis Noir abandons traditional elements for something more improvised and spontaneous. Still, jazz music is an acquired taste for many and the same applies to Genesis Noir. It’s not perfect and some elements work better than others, but players who are open to new and unique experiences will have a wild ride with this game.

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows 10
  • Processor: AMD / Intel CPU running at 2.6 GHz or higher
  • Memory: 6 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Radeon R9 285 (or equivalent) or GeForce GTX 560Ti or newer
  • DirectX: Version 12
  • Storage: 8 GB available space
  • OS: MacOS 10.13.0
  • Processor: 2.0 Ghz
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Storage: 2 GB available space

Related posts

Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas

Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas

Oceanhorn impresses with its charming visuals and addictive gameplay while drawing a lot of inspiration from the Legend of Zelda franchise. It doesn’t quite reach the same heights as the Zelda games, but it comes very close which is quite impressive. Even more impressive is the fact that it was originally a mobile title and the developers actually put in a lot of effort to polish it up for PC. Thanks to its length, charm and polish we can definitely recommend Oceanhorn to all fans of the genre. Gameplay: More than a little familiar if you’ve played any of the Zelda titles, but still a lot of fun. Graphics: Bright, colorful and detailed. Sound: Decent voice acting and a great soundtrack.

Rock Boshers DX: Directors Cut

Rock Boshers DX: Directors Cut

Hats off to Tikipod Ltd for managing to create a game that not only plays exactly like a ZX Spectrum title, but a very good one at that. If this game was released back in the heyday of the Spectrum it would have been rightfully regarded as a classic and even in today’s market it is still a lot of fun. Rock Boshers DX: Director’s Cut isn’t a game to show off your hardware, but if you are looking for fun and a challenge you can’t go wrong with this title. Gameplay: Very challenging, but also very entertaining. Graphics: Looks just like a high resolution and very polished ZX Spectrum title. Sound: Catchy 8-bit tunes and authentic sound effects.

Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds

Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds

Even after completing all of the modes in the game a few times I’m still not tired of it and will probably end up maxing out the levels of all the characters while waiting for the DLC to (hopefully) arrive. Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds has a beautiful and unique art style, rocking soundtrack and polished gameplay. If you are a fan of the genre and don’t already own this on Xbox or Playstation Vita this is your chance to add another great side scrolling beat ‘em up to your collection. Gameplay: Polished, entertaining and with a bit more depth than your typical side scrolling beat ‘em up. Graphics: Beautiful retro style visuals with huge sprites and excellent character designs. Sound: The game features a rocking chiptune inspired soundtrack.

My Friend Pedro

My Friend Pedro

My Friend Pedro is a violent platform shooter with an emphasis on stylish action. Taking down enemies in slow motion is a lot of fun and the game has no shortage of props like frying pans, skateboards, glass panes, zip-lines and more to make it look even more impressive. The last half of the game skews perhaps a bit too much towards puzzles and platforming instead of stylish mayhem, but apart from this the game is a blast to play. Gameplay: Violent, over the top and lots of fun. Graphics: A few wonky animations and generic backgrounds, but overall good. Sound: Decent sound effects and a great soundtrack.

Montague’s Mount

Montague's Mount

Montague's Mount is a game that left me with mixed feelings. I can appreciate what the developer has attempted here and the game has a wonderful atmosphere but it is definitely not going to appeal to everyone. There are lots of small issues that detract from the overall experience but I still found the game to be engaging and thought provoking. Gameplay: The slow pace and slightly obscure puzzles makes this a niche title. Graphics: The art direction fits the theme but make it hard to spot small stuff. Sound: Excellent voice acting and absolutely brilliant music.

Borderlands: The Secret Armory of General Knoxx

Borderlands: The Secret Armory of General Knoxx

With more humour, weapons, enemies, locations and vehicles this is the best Borderlands DLC yet. A much improved effort than Mad Moxxis Underdome Riot and another chance to loot Pandora. The story is engaging and apart from the tedious driving sections this DLC is a lot of fun to play. If you own Borderlands then you definitely want this DLC as it ups the level cap and throws in some nice high-level loot. Gameplay: A much better effort than the previous DLC. Graphics: Nice but nothing we haven't seen before in the main game. Sound: The usual high standard.

Leave a comment

15 − 12 =