Game: “Say No! More”
In a strange world known as ‘the workplace’ something odd happens. Instead of “No, Stephen, I will not get your fish from the microwave”, life is more agreeable for fear of being reprimanded, even by members of staff who work in a different department! You turn into a mindless drone that’s full of helpful offers such as, “Of course, I will file those papers for you, Barbara. I know you’re right next to the cabinet but I’m going that way hur-hur-hur.” At some point we seem to have forgotten how to be ourselves; we’ve forgotten the power of ‘No’. Thankfully, Thunderful Games and Studio Fizbin have us covered with their newest game, Say No! More. This game has the sole objective of getting you to say “no” … More.
At A Glance
|+ Character design & customisation options
|+ Hilarious plot
|+ Accurately expresses office life
|– Far too short
|– Useless power-ups
|– Little replayability
Before you start on your tyrannical tirade of dissension and destruction for your unicorn lunchbox, you have to create your character. Visually, Say No! More takes inspiration from the good ol’ Nintendo 64 days with its blocky character design and vibrant 90s aesthetic. After spending far too much time cycling through the hundreds of character customisation options, it was time to choose a voice. There are 17 different languages to vocalise your dissatisfaction, as well as a couple of variations on how the word is spoken. After I settled on a hard-faced punk complete with Hawaiian shirt, green mohawk and softly spoken Chinese accent, (which certainly added to the ridiculousness of the game), it was time to get to work.As an intern on your first day, Say No! More introduces an office where you must agree to everything. The word “no” is not acceptable. After your lunchbox is promptly pinched by management, the intern finds a self-help cassette to teach them the power of saying “no” to people. This prompts you to set off on a rampage to reclaim what is yours in a combination of abusive and hilarious scenarios, as random workers jump out at you to ask you favours.
For all intents and purposes, Say No! More is an on-rails shooter. You have no control over where the character moves as you play through each of the eight chapters. Instead, when a colleague comes up to you with a ridiculous request, you press either A or B to bark a reply. On most occasions, if you fail to press anything, the enemy will loop their request or insults until you relent and respond. There is, on occasion, an active time bar that ticks down, indicating how long you have to choose whether to give an answer or not.
Unfortunately, choosing to respond or not doesn’t make any difference to the outcome of the level. If you do say “no”, the person in front of you flies off into the distance, much like Team Rocket “blasting off againnnnnn”; while staying silent leads to the colleague getting annoyed and moving off to one side. Either way you’ll strut to the next worker. I say “strut” as one of the limitations with using mid-nineties graphics is the absence of knees, leaving everyone to frogmarch around the office, which was undoubtedly funny and never got old during my time with the game.
Progressing through Say No! More, powerups to ‘enhance the power of “no”’ are unlocked. These range from a sarcastic “hmmm”, to a slow clap, and maniacal laughter. Each one of these powerups won’t help with progression but will spit out a different response if timed correctly to the person’s request. While a fun little gimmick that triggers responses like, “Oh no, my confidence!”, they serve no real purpose. When it comes to level progression, simply hammering the ‘NO’ button will get you to the credits.
It won’t take you very long and Say No! More can be beaten within an hour or so of playing; and even this is a very generous estimate as I spent around 20 minutes going through the character customisation menus. The length of the experience was disappointing, as each level is dripping with humour and silliness that I loved, but before I knew it, the story had come to its end. There’s no post-game content and the only inclination to replay it comes from creating another character to then go through the same game.
It’s a real shame that Say No! More can be surmised as a short, on-rails experience. If we could roam around the office or had there been missions to bulk out the experience, we would safely recommend the game without question. That said, Say No! More does succeed in what it sets out to do – teaching the power of saying “no” more.
Is Say No! More lengthy? No.
Will the game win any awards for complex narrative? No.
Are the power ups relevant and useful to the game? No.
Is the game fun? N… wait, yes! Inside such a compact game, you have humour and ridiculous situations that are fun to play. Characters are well voiced and the stupid requests hit home on a personal level. Unfortunately, being restricted to an on-rails experience that lasts fewer hours than the smell from Stephen’s microwaved fish, hampers the enjoyment, and unlike our office co-worker’s rage inducing odours, Say No! More is rather fun while it lasts. It’s just a shame it couldn’t stick around longer.
In the interest of full disclosure, the publisher provided VGamingNews with a copy of the game in order to conduct this review.