March 26, 2021
There’s a philosophical spine to the story of Genesis Noir, questioning the very meaning of life, the creation of the universe, and the importance of love and connection. It’s something I never expected before I started playing, but the further you investigate its mystery, you begin to understand the deeper meaning Feral Cat Den is trying to present. Stylish, simplistic, and smooth, Genesis Noir is part point-and-click, part puzzler, with a message far more embedded in the fabric of time and existence than I realised.
Genesis Noir starts off with you selling some watches outside a jazz club, witnessing the love of your life getting shot, then transports you into a puzzle-lite adventure where you investigate just what has happened. Whilst there is a love story, there’s also an investigation into the big bang, the universe itself, and it’s something you can’t help but fawn over. The black and white art style provides a silky aesthetic, and the jazz music works well in telling the story. For much of the game you’re taking part in simple puzzles, but that’s part of what makes it work.
Genesis Noir review: Appreciating the Simple things
Planting black, white, and gold seeds to open up new paths, connecting constellations, and finding footprints in a forest are just a few of the puzzles, and they’re never difficult to figure out. It feels as though Feral Cat Den don’t want you to struggle, but to enjoy the story with as little effort as possible. It feels on-rails at times, as if you’re watching a film noir, but I rather appreciated the simplicity of it. The way it connects memories and feelings through the trail of a gun shot gives you an idea of the game’s length, as well as drip-feeding you a romantic and cosmic tale.
After finishing one of the small sections of Genesis Noir, you’re thrown back into a room that houses all the clues you’ve found so far. You can look through them, but it’s more of a visual guide than anything else. You don’t have to ‘solve’ anything per se. As mentioned earlier, a jealous saxophonist has shot the love of your life, and the trail of the bullet takes the form of a trail of smoke and sparks. By looking in the trail, you can click on yellow spheres that either reveal an image or a level, if you can call them that.
It’s fundamental in its delivery, but you don’t feel like you’ve been short-changed in interactivity. Although much of the time you’re walking down an acutely linear path with easy puzzles thrown in every now and again, it’s the intrigue of Genesis Noir’s plot that keeps you hooked. If you’re expecting plenty of puzzles that test your intelligence, you’ll not likely to find any. Still, the one’s I did get to solve were fun for what they were.
To save the woman you love, you must find a way to stop the big bang and the universe itself. Whilst it’s an intriguing plot, there were times when it wrapped itself up in too much of an enigma. It wasn’t confusing as such, but it didn’t always explain itself. The best way to enjoy Genesis Noir is to let it wash over you. Don’t dwell on particular moments, but appreciate the mysterious beauty of it, much like a David Lynch movie.
Genesis Noir is a simple puzzler with point-and-click elements that are stripped back to reveal an engaging and beautiful story. You may feel like there’s not a lot to do, and you’re restricted in what you can do and where you can go, but I don’t think it would work any other way. Its striking visuals and delightful soundtrack provide the perfect backdrop for its existential narrative, showcasing the grandeur of love and connection in a striking way.
Engaging love story
Puzzles are simple
Doesn't explain itself too well
Genesis Noir is a simple puzzler with point-and-click elements that are stripped back to reveal an engaging and beautiful story. It may be too easy and rather linear, but it's still a well presented game that'll keep you engaged throughout.