Steam Game Festival 2021: Genesis Noir hands-on preview

Feral Cat Den has put together journey of cosmic noir and love triangles in Genesis Noir. We gave an early edition of these creative strings a spin.


Throughout gaming history, we’ve seen plenty of point-and-click adventures. It’s not often, though, that you see one that goes so abstract as to explore the creation of the universe as we know it by way of a metaphorical noir story. By all appearances, that looks like what Genesis Noir is going for. In a cosmic story of time and space, you enter a love triangle that becomes embittered. If you’re going to save the love of your dreams, you’re going to have to prevent or destroy creation to do it. Sounds heavy, but we gave an early demo of Genesis Noir a go as a part of Steam Game Festival 2021 and came away intrigued to see more.

First, there was nothing, then boom… Jazz

Genesis Noir begins before the Big Bang. That’s not a metaphor. You actually start off the game hanging around in the blackness of the cosmic void. And it isn’t long in the demo before you’re pulled into a curious series of puzzles and narratives that convey both a neon wireframe downtown scene and a journey through the cosmos. Genesis Noir is eclectic in its approach to the usual point and click. The puzzles definitely help to tie down the experience to something more tangible. Still, it didn’t take the demo long to take me for a ride that both looked surface-level stylish and wild, but also seemed to have a deeper metaphor caught up in its bombastic fun.

To solidify what I mean, the demo starts out with the player’s character sitting on the bars of tuner out in the starry reaches of space. Jumbled radio waves run through space before you and by messing with the tuner, you eventually formulate the semblance of a jazz band. It’s from there that your character is taken into the nebulous confines big city, following the sounds of the music. I don’t want to spoil what happens next, but Genesis Noir’s puzzles thereafter showcase a series of memory puzzles, logic minigames, and downright musical freestyle. Before and after that segment, there are traces of item collection in your standard point-and-click exploratory affair. There’s also some pretty good animation to go along with all of it as well. All-in-all, it was perhaps as charming as it was utterly perplexing.

A big bang mystery of love & creation

When I was done with the Genesis Noir demo, I had far more questions than answers, but in a good way in this particular instance. There’s a mystery afoot here and it’s wrapped up in one of the most interesting art styles I’ve seen in a long time. I wanted to see more and figure out what was going on and I was genuinely left whining that the experience came to an end when it did because of how much I was enjoying what it was showing. Such as the case, I think Genesis Noir is on the right track. I want to see how this plays out, and it looks like there will be plenty of brain-tickling puzzles and discovery, as well as good music and animation, to keep players strapped into its outlandish ride.

This preview is based on an early Steam demo build provided by the publisher Genesis Noir's demo is available in the Steam Game Festival 2021.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

From The Chatty
Hello, Meet Lola