Genesis Noir is a stylish and strange detective mystery that takes place during The Big Bang

Genesis Noir has been on PC Gamer's radar for quite a while. From our first look at its Kickstarter back in 2018 and its spot in the PC Gamer Show, the slick and surreal detective adventure—whose story unfolds within space and time—has certainly caught my imagination. 

In Genesis Noir, you play as a fedora-wearing watch peddler named No Man who is trying to stop The Big Bang. This event isn't just the birth of creation as we know it, it's also a gun blast frozen in time, with the bullet speeding towards the love of your life. To stop this monumental event from happening, you need to jump into pockets of time to alter events and change the course of destiny. 

It's super weird, but also super cool. This collision of film noir tropes and themes of boundless space create an intriguing mystery and one which you can try for yourself. Feral Cat Den has uploaded a free pocket-sized demo for anyone to download and play as part of the LudoNarraCon games festival happening this weekend. 

The demo is short and pretty abstract. As No Man, you become mesmerised by the sound of a jazzy baseline. As he tries to find the source of this alluring tune, No Man glides from one comic-book panel to another as he traverses the streets and subway system of the city. You find that the catchy tune belongs to a man playing the double bass and, whipping a saxophone out, the two of you start to jam out together.

There's no indication of how this small affair will tie into Genesis Noir's overarching story, but the demo does a great job at showing how you'll be interacting with the game. You'll be clicking and dragging objects to move from one vignette to the next, and the demo invites you to create some groovy freeform tunes throughout.

The animation is fluid and imaginative. There's one moment where the giant piano keys you're playing melt away into space only to reappear as the windows of a giant skyscraper. If fellow jazz aficionado, Ape Out, captured the frantic and intense side of improvisational jazz, Genesis Noir is the other side of the coin. It's cool animation and saxophone/double bass duo go down like a smooth whiskey.

The demo only lasts ten minutes, but it eloquently tells you everything you need to know about Genesis Noir. It's cool, stylish, and a bit odd. If space jazz is a genre of music, then Genesis Noir would be a headline act.

Rachel Watts

Rachel had been bouncing around different gaming websites as a freelancer and staff writer for three years before settling at PC Gamer back in 2019. She mainly writes reviews, previews, and features, but on rare occasions will switch it up with news and guides. When she's not taking hundreds of screenshots of the latest indie darling, you can find her nurturing her parsnip empire in Stardew Valley and planning an axolotl uprising in Minecraft. She loves 'stop and smell the roses' games—her proudest gaming moment being the one time she kept her virtual potted plants alive for over a year.