Review: GENIE Reprise


Posted on February 15, 2024 by fncwill

Listen to this Article:

3.5/10

Summary

For those unimpressed by poetic endeavors, GENIE Reprise generously offers you mere glimpses of game worlds to aimlessly wander through – cramped locales that wouldn’t even make the cut in the next big-budget Western RPG. The sheer lack of substance in these worlds is staggering; there’s nothing to do beyond the absolute bare minimum required to stumble through the experience until its inevitable, and merciful, conclusion. While a handful of locales might stick around in your mind, it’s more likely due to the trauma of realizing how utterly unengaging and devoid of challenge the entire experience is. If there was any intent behind this lackluster endeavor, part of me suspects that the developers aimed for a masterpiece in mediocrity from the start. GENIE Reprise 100% feels more like a tech demo than a game.

Developer – Eastasiasoft, Tonguç Bodur

Publisher – Eastasiasoft

Platforms –  PS5 (Reviewed), Xbox Series X|S

Review copy given by Publisher

When I first saw the Press release for Genie Reprise come into my email, I thought the game would be a fun little first-person exploration game, where you solve little puzzles or do fun interactive tasks to advance the progress., with Some poetry mixed in to help tell the story, well …… this game is far from that and feels very much like a tech demo, then an exploration game, if you can call it a game at all.

Genie Reprise, takes players on a lackluster journey through a fantasy world, with all the excitement of watching paint dry. Get ready to yawn your way through fifteen chapters, each lasting a mind-numbing 8-10 minutes, resulting in an excruciatingly long runtime of around 2 hours. If you were hoping for engaging gameplay, think again.

Forget about any challenges or brain stimulation; Genie Reprise has no puzzles, zero interactive elements (except for an underwhelming gate that needs switches to open), and absolutely no collectibles to spice things up (other than the game premise where You’re simply instructed to find a handful of crystal shards within each environment). The developers seemingly embraced the philosophy of “less is more” to an absurd degree, leaving players with an experience that is less entertaining and more like a lesson in patience.

How do I even begin to explain what the game actually is? Well, you’re on an eternal stroll to find a handful of crystal shards scattered in each environment. Oh, the thrill! These shards, when collected, magically generate beacons that, brace yourself, initiate a poetry recital – and not just any poetry, but poetry read at a pace that makes a snail look like Usain Bolt. The monotony is accentuated by a softly spoken female voice, which isn’t anything to write home about.

Navigating the small, uninspired locations to find these shards becomes an exercise in futility, marked only by beams of light stretching into the sky. The only thing stretching here is the player’s tolerance for monotony.

Though it’s tempting to dwell on what’s lacking, GENIE Reprise does manage to bring something to the table for those willing to give it a chance. Spread across the fifteen chapters, the game unfolds in diverse and visually stunning fantasy-themed locations. Each chapter introduces a unique setting, characterized by soft lighting and intricate textures. From a forest adorned with oversized fungi to a medieval village immersed in a brisk winter, an underground cavern with a prominent statue centerpiece, and a magical realm boasting floating islands—GENIE Reprise offers a variety of captivating landscapes. Notably, a gas-punk-style city showcases the uninhibited creativity of inventors, presenting a plethora of sights to explore and appreciate.

Oh Wait, I said this was advertised as an exploration game right ??? Well that’s far from the truth also.

In fact, most of the locations have something to stop and stare at. It’s a shame that a lot of this is mere window dressing. In the rural coastal town, for instance, it’s impossible to enter the town itself, restricting access to the beach only. The blustery mountain range meanwhile has a view that stretches for miles, yet ends up being one of the smaller locations, with the path to the mountain itself blocked. Run across the bridge, turn back around, and that’s the end of that chapter. GENIE Reprise is but a tease.

The poetry in GENIE Reprise desperately attempts to tether itself to the sights and sounds of each location, a feeble blend of ambient effects and piano-led musical scores.

For those unimpressed by poetic endeavors, GENIE Reprise generously offers you mere glimpses of game worlds to aimlessly wander through – cramped locales that wouldn’t even make the cut in the next big-budget Western RPG. The sheer lack of substance in these worlds is staggering; there’s nothing to do beyond the absolute bare minimum required to stumble through the experience until its inevitable, and merciful, conclusion. While a handful of locales might stick around in your mind, it’s more likely due to the trauma of realizing how utterly unengaging and devoid of challenge the entire experience is. If there was any intent behind this lackluster endeavor, part of me suspects that the developers aimed for a masterpiece in mediocrity from the start. GENIE Reprise 100% feels more like a tech demo then a game.

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