If Katamari Damacy and Disney’s Fantasia had a Jazz baby…
After playing through the Genesis Noir demo twice, I’m still not really sure where to begin here, so I’ll let the game’s itch.io page do the talking:
“Genesis Noir is a poetic adventure game about stopping The Big Bang to save your love. A cosmic gunshot expands towards the heart of a god and you must explore the universe, seeking clues on how creation might be undone.
“With an emphasis on exploration, simple interactions, and generative art, Genesis Noir seeks to create memorable moments and tactile gameplay.”
The demo wasn’t truly long enough to grasp that first part, but it was honestly a braingasm so I’ll let it slide.
How do I explain Genesis Noir?
You start off listening to the sound of the universe. It’s hard to make sense of it at first, so it each wave needs a bit of tuning to get the proper flow. Tune all the waves and a beautiful harmony appears. Following the sound waves, you come across a bassist at the subway station, so you pull out your saxophone for a sweet jam session. As you two are riding the waves and straight up vibing, a gunshot can be heard, your bassist nowhere to be seen. What happened?
No, like, I mean that in like every sense of the phrase — sure, what happened to our jazz duet, but also like, what did I just experience?
Instead of touching up on art and music as individual components, I’d like to explore how Genesis Noir marries them together. If you’ve seen Disney’s Fantasia — my favorite Disney movie — you already have an idea of what the experience resembles. What you see on screen is the visual representation of what you hear through your speakers, and it’s all Jazz. Why Jazz? Because that’s nature, cool cats — there’s a beat, or order, the universe must follow, but there’s plenty of chaos, or rhythm. The rhythm may follow the beat, but there’s plenty room for change, harmony, and variety. It’s all about the flow.
Currently in development by Feral Cat Den and will be published by Fellow Traveller, Genesis Noir is remarkable in that the player instinctively feels connected to the music and uses visual cues to keep the flow going. The character might walk through certain panels, and the player clears obstacles for the sustained note for them to continue. When the bassist and the character fly up to the sky to jam together, an impromptu game of Simon Says begins, which was immediately clear for no other reason than good game design. As long as the player is attentively listening and absorbed into the screen, Genesis Noir is a surprisingly intuitive experience.
Of course, there are some words of warning with Genesis Noir: I am not sure if someone who hasn’t enjoyed playing a musical instrument will love this game, and, to be frank, I feel like I loved it as much as I did if only because I’ve long dreamed of playing Fantasia. In this sense, it’s a little Katamari-esque — some people will look at it with no real understanding and love it for its deviation from the norm, while others aren’t going to have fun. At the end of the day, Genesis Noir seems to gleefully challenge what a game is, leaning heavily into art territory. Nevertheless, it’s a fantastic experience, and I’m thoroughly excited to get my hands on the full version.
Any noir game automatically has my attention, and Genesis Noir is one I’m eagerly awaiting with bated breath. I feel like I’ve waited my whole life for a game like Genesis Noir, and its release date cannot come soon enough.
Be sure to download the demo for yourself on the Genesis Noir Steam page.