Let’s get to know the story of Ash, protagonist of Concrete Genie. Let’s find out why we should play it at least once
Concrete Genie is a Pixelopus title, released in the 2019 but we believe that its story is still very actual.
Ash is the protagonist of the game. He lives in a world immersed in Darkness but thanks to him it has a chance to return to its past beauty.
Events take place in Denska, a small port town. This vivid and thriving city is now abandon due to an oil spill from a tanker.
The city is in ruins after the accident and at the same time falls under the power of a force simply called Darkness, which feeds on negative emotions.
The young Ash, tries to escape from the decadence of his town, sheltering in his sketchbook. Doing so makes him a target of Denska’s bullies.
One day, while Ash is drawing, something magical happens: a creature he draws, Luna, comes to life. The creature gives Ash a magical paintbrush, which allows him to dare anything he imagines to come to life.
From here, Ash’s adventure begins – to remove the Darkness from Denska. With Luna and the power of the brush, he’ll give life to other Genies to bring joy and beauty back to his town.
Ash faces both the challenges: Darkness and bullies.
Why play it: The sensitive topic of Bullying
“The idea of Concrete Genie was born during one of the first brainstorming sessions” – says Dominic Robilliard.
“Someone proposed making a game in which a bullied child would try to build strength by drawing fantastic characters, hoping that they would defend him”.
From this premise, the world of Concrete Genie came to life. The “heart” of the whole narration is enclosed in the concept: Violence generates more violence. The development proves the player the direct consequences of bullying on the actions and thoughts of the victims.
The story shows how a boy passionate about drawing and bullied, develops a deep bond of affection with a series of creatures he paints. Thanks to them he feels less alone and scared.
Why play it: Art VS Bullying
“I dream my painting and then I paint my dream.”-states Vincent Van Gogh and this is how Ash tackles his story.
Art is not only capable of transporting us to a comfortable dimension and helping us to bear a difficult reality but above all of giving beauty to the world.
Observing the corrupted world of Denska, we realize how much beauty is needed and how important Ash’s mission is.
As we progress through the three acts of the story, we will create new Genies and works of art. Replacing the graffiti that vandalize and make the town gloomy.
Pixelopus makes each of us feel like an Artist. Facilitating the bond between us, the Genies and the murals created.
Graffiti are a form of protest and are not associated with a positive image.
We find an example of this in Jet Set Radio, which prompted the player to create graffiti with which to express the discontent with an oppressive government.
Concrete Genie’s street art is very different. “For this we took inspiration from some experiences of our real life” – comments Dominic.
“In my hometown of Bristol, urban art brings people together and enhances the streets. Impacting on me as a kid. Likely a girl on the team, born in China, had a similar experience where art was used to enhance abandoned areas.”
“Working on Concrete Genie we never thought about graffiti” – confesses the developer.
“We have always had urban art in mind, a positive concept that can give a lot to cities”.
Concrete Genie: The Gameplay
In Game, the player controls Ash and uses the motion controls of the DualShock 4 to create animated landscapes in the city of Denska.
How you paint creatures and the color you choose for them will greatly affect their personality and their presence throughout the story.
Red paint gives the Genie a fire-breathing ability, while other colors give other powers. Some parts of the floor have chalk drawings depicting the Genies. There, Ash creates special painting, giving life to one of the three types of Genies present: fire, electricity and wind.
By using their elemental powers it is possible to access other areas of the map. We’ll be solving very simple environmental puzzles. We’ll also access the Masterpieces, huge paintings that definitively free the area and bringing the chapter to a conclusion.
The map is divided into four large areas, connected to each other. The player must paint the walls minewhile escaping from the bullies. Creating murals in the various areas of the town, special light bulbs light up, indicating the “redevelopment” of the area.
Concrete Genie: The VR Experience
The game also features two VR modes i.e. virtual reality. So, you will need the PlayStation VR headset, which must be connected to the console. You can then choose between the Experience mode and the Free Design mode.
Experience: You’ll go on an adventure together with the Genie named Splotch, unlocking mysterious powers and improving your painting skills. After completing this mode, it will be possible to unlock the next one.
Free Drawing: Practice your new skills by wielding the brush with two PlayStation Move to create colorful and beautiful landscapes in four unique locations in Denska.
Concrete Genie is forever
Sympathize with the funny and very tender Genies. Play basketball with them or talk to them when they are feeling down. They will surprise you with interactions that will not leave you indifferent! Help Luna and Ash bring beauty back to Denska by defeating the Darkness and the bullying once and for all.
You’ll discover a story with an actual social theme more than ever, which will touch the strings of your emotions on a journey of redemption.
Will you defeat the bullies with the kindness that only Ash’s heart seems to remember?
Concrete Genie’s Magic awaits you!