Review – Genesis Noir (Switch)

I don’t know what it is about gritty, noir dramas that makes the genre so compelling for video games. Perhaps it’s the satisfaction you get when successfully reading a person’s body language and break them down, like in L.A. Noire and Interrogation. Maybe it’s the gripping stories that keep us invested, such as those found in The Sinking City and Dry Drowning. Sometimes, it’s even the way the genre is presented to us in a whole new light, like the anthropomorphic presentations of Blacksad: Under the Skin and Chicken Police – Paint it RED!. Genesis Noir from Feral Cat Den takes this category to a whole new level: the cosmic crime drama.

Genesis Noir No Man

Meet No Man and his his jazzy collection of artifacts.

In Genesis Noir you play as No Man (yes, really), a watch peddler who finds himself in bit of a love triangle. After having a tryst with Miss Mass, the voluptuous lead singer of a local jazz band, they are confronted by her lover Golden Boy, her band’s saxophone player. In a fit of rage, Golden Boy fires a gun at Miss Mass. However, this is no ordinary bullet.

Witnessing the projectile suspended in time, No Man realizes that the bullet is actually the Big Bang. He then takes it upon himself to journey through time and space to find a way to stop it. How, you might ask? Simple: by finding the correct formula to create a black hole. I honestly want to know how the developers came up with such an outrageously unconventional idea.

Genesis Noir Big Bang Bullet

The Big Bang bullet. I wonder if you can purchase these at your local ammunition retailer?

Genesis Noir is broken up into sections. No Man explores several celestial bodies found within the Big Bang bullet’s wake, which takes him to various places and points in time. He’ll encounter different cultures from around the world and even see their course of evolution at some points. Although, it’s not all about anthropological discovery. He’ll also travel all throughout the cosmos in search of symbols and power that will allow him to create the black hole he needs to stop the tragedy.

As if the premise wasn’t already curious enough to keep you going, the gameplay is remarkably refreshing too. Genesis Noir is a casual point-and-click game. It’s loaded with puzzles, none of which are very difficult. I know that probably doesn’t sound like the greatest sales pitch, but Genesis Noir is all about the journey, rather than stumping your brain. It reminds me a lot of GRIS in that regard. And while the puzzles might not be the most challenging, they are delightfully inventive and varied. No two sections or puzzles felt the same.

Genesis Noir Seeding

Planting different colored seeds will open up new pathways.

Although, I do have one pretty big issue with Genesis Noir. There are a few bugs present in several stages of the game that will cause it to softlock. For example, there’s a puzzle where you have to connect stars in a constellation to a celestial mass in the middle in a specific order. The problem for me was that the game wouldn’t allow me to remove a connection I’d previously made. This made solving it impossible. I finally broke down and looked up the solution in a guide and realized I’d encountered a bug, and that it wasn’t me missing something. I had to quit and restart that entire level three times before it worked as it should. There were a few instances like this that I ran into throughout my playthrough.

Genesis Noir Constellation Puzzle

It might not look like much, but this puzzle took me almost an hour to solve thanks to a bug.

Still, even with those annoyances, I was captivated by Genesis Noir. The art design is fantastic and unique. It features simplistic line drawings set against 3D backgrounds. It also uses a black and white color scheme, with small pops of color here and there. This lets you know right away what’s important and gives prominence to its intended focal points. There’s no needless clicking on everything just to see if there’s something you’ll need nearby, which I greatly appreciated. Surprisingly, this game does have some framerate issues, but thankfully they don’t take away from the experience too much.

As you would expect from a noir game, the soundtrack is filled with jazz tunes, most of which are very well done. There a few other styles of music found within the various sections and they fit the setting of those levels appropriately. For the most part, Genesis Noir doesn’t have any spoken dialogue, with the exception of the very end which features a pretty solid performance.

Golden Boy

A time of regret for Golden Boy.

Genesis Noir isn’t a terribly long game, taking only about two to three hours to complete, but it’s definitely a worthwhile experience. This game was not at all what I was expecting, but in a good way. It is definitely not your run-of-the-mill noir drama.There are some truly interesting ideas in here that are presented with a strong scientific basis. As someone who has studied a bit of Astronomy, I was pleased to see such a creative take on cosmological knowledge. For fans of Astronomy, casual adventures, and unique experiences, Genesis Noir is a journey worth taking.


Graphics: 8.5

The art design is amazing, blending simplistic line drawings with 3D environments for a truly one of a kind look. The monochromatic palette with small pops of color give weight to the focal points. Surprisingly, there are some framerate issues during certain sections.

Gameplay: 7.0

While not a difficult puzzle game by any means, Genesis Noir is more about the experience rather than challenge. That being said, each level has a vastly different feel, which keeps the whole thing interesting. There are a few bugs present that can softlock your game at specific points.

Sound: 8.0

Being a noir game, you can count on soulful jazz tunes throughout, with a few melodic change ups depending on which time period you’re in. There’s very little voice acting, but what is there fits very well.

Fun Factor: 7.0

This is a truly unique game that I highly recommend, especially for anyone with any basic knowledge of the universe. However, the bugs present in the game keep it from achieving greatness.

Final Verdict: 7.5

Genesis Noir is available now on PC, Xbox One, and Switch.

Reviewed on Switch.

A copy of Genesis Noir was provided by the publisher.