There have been plenty of times in my life where I would have probably benefited from saying ‘no’ a bit more often, but hey, I’m a nice guy… it’s in my blood to be willing to help someone out and say ‘sure, why not’. Well, sometimes nice guys finish last, with Say NO! More showing how much better life can be and how much further you can progress if you are willing to give some folk a big N-O.
Does a game based around simply saying ‘NO!’ to people sound like a good idea, though? It is certainly a unique concept and one that made for a few laughs, though I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that it lacked the depth and longevity to keep me too invested in the experience.
Say NO! More casts players in the role of an everyday person (who they can create themselves) that takes on a job as an intern at some big-wig company. Of course, interns aren’t always treated with a whole lot of respect by their superiors in the workplace, and that’s something you find out quite quickly when you’re bombarded with tasks that are probably beneath you. But hey, anything to please the boss… right?
Things take a sour turn when one of those bosses takes your packed lunch, one that was lovingly prepared by your best friend (who also probably takes a bit more advantage than they should). Remember how Ross had a breakdown in Friends when someone ate his sandwich? Well, you have a breakdown of sorts in Say NO! More, but it’s of the alphabet; only the letters N and O are included in your vocabulary now, as you go on a rampage of negative responses to not only make yourself feel better inside but also improve your lifestyle.
It’s a wacky concept, but one that works quite well due to the comical writing of the game and the quirky nature of the world itself. Naturally, Say NO! More never takes itself too seriously at all, and it shows in the sometimes-preposterous situations that you find yourself in. It’s comical and clever at the same time and it genuinely makes for an experience unlike any other that I’ve played in a video game before.
That doesn’t mean that it necessarily makes for an overly engaging gameplay experience though. Say NO! More’s gameplay all takes place on-rails… you know… in a similar fashion to a light-gun shooter. However, rather than picking off targets, you’ll be saying NO (or another variant of the word depending on your choice in-game) to a bunch of folk who come in your path. You’ll unlock different ways to say NO as you progress and you’ll even be able to belittle the characters you interact with by appearing to agree with them or laughing at them before you say NO, but ultimately it all comes down to one thing… saying NO! Simple.
The problem is, it’s a little TOO simple and lacks any real form of challenge. You decide when you want to say NO to the characters that approach you, but there’s no punishment or benefit to timing it in a specific way. The different ways of saying NO don’t change much up in-game either, whilst even charging up your NO before you deliver it only adds a little bit of chaos to the game. There’s just not a whole lot to the experience outside of simply saying NO to people, with the whole gameplay experience revolving around pressing a button whenever you need to.
Whilst I can appreciate that Say NO! More is going for that whole ‘wacky experience’ vibe as opposed to trying to be a deep gameplay experience, it did feel a little underwhelming for me. A concept like this could’ve lent itself well to a few puzzling mechanics or even demanded precise timing from the player, but instead I just felt like I was witnessing some bizarre cartoon unfold where I played just a small role in its outcome.
On the flip-side, I can’t say I had a bad time with Say NO! More once I accepted that the gameplay itself was limited in depth. As mentioned, there’s something undeniably charming about the quirky nature of the world, whilst there was certainly a sense of fulfilment to be found in the narrative thanks to the powerful satisfaction of simply saying NO to people. There’s an underlying message behind the whole experience that a lot of people will find relatable, and honestly, there’s something super satisfying about embracing it – I know I just wanted to open my window and scream ‘NO!’ to the world when I was done playing the game.
Still, there’s no denying that it’s an overly simple experience, with the game easily beaten in under two-hours and not offering much else for players to come back to when they’re done. It does introduce enough different scenarios to ensure that it remains interesting to play, but I just found myself constantly wishing that it did something a little bit more involving for the player, if only to immerse myself more in its zany world.
Say NO! More is an undoubtedly unique game and its quirky sense of humour is certainly endearing, but its gameplay lacks any sort of depth to make it feel that engaging. You’re literally just pressing a button to say NO over and over again… and that’s it. That sort of simplicity CAN work in games, but in this case I couldn’t help but to wish that it offered a little something extra – if only to help immerse me further and make me feel like I’m really having an impact on its bizarre (yet relatable) world.
It’s not a bad game by any means and the zany scenarios, charming narrative, and wacky ways of saying NO do make for a memorable experience. It just doesn’t really do enough to make it essential playing when compared to other comical games that try to do something a bit *different*.
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch (Reviewed), PC
Click here to visit the official website.