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Play This! Concrete Genie

I've always had a soft spot for video games that utilize the interactivity of the medium that allow players to interact with their world in unique ways. Like how Amaterasu in Okami uses her paint brush to affect the world around her, or a terrible goose causing mayhem in a quiet English village. But games that allow for player creativity easily set themselves apart from the rest.

Concrete Genie is one such title that had me grinning from ear to ear the entire run through.

You play as Ash, a young artist who returned to his old hometown of Denska. The old fishing town has hit hard times become a haven for delinquents. Despite this, Ash braves the danger to enjoy some time sketching in his sketchbook. However, a run in with the local bullies leaves his sketchbook in pieces. However, miraculously, one of his sketches comes to life and gifts him with a new paint brush. A paint brush Ash can use to paint the town and bring it back to life.

Even though you only have to complete certain sections of painting in order to progress, the game does limit how much you can paint. Players can take their time, turning a street corner into a canvas. Covering up hurtful graffiti and create "Genies" to help them along their journey. These Genies are also customizable. The more pages of the sketchbook you find, you find new options. Tails, horns, accessories to make your genies unique to your playthrough.

There are some stealth elements as well, since you'll have to avoid the bullies as you go. But even if you do get caught, the game doesn't punish you very much. It's clear the developers wanted to give players as much freedom as possible to have with the painting mechanic.

The animation of the characters itself, is very nice. Almost having a sort of stop motion look to them, while the genies are bright, 2D and bubbly.

If you're a creative soul and looking for something with a lot of heart, Concrete Genie is definitely a game you should check out.