Title: Say No! More
Developer: Studio Fizbin
Release Date: April 9, 2021
Reviewed On: PC
Publisher: Thunderful Publishing
Like others, I generally play video games to escape reality. Whether it be exploring a fantasy world of secrets and mystery or shooting zombies in the face, I partake in the medium to experience something fresh and detract from the mundaneness of the world. So why would I play a game where an intern is told to stick to the status quo and say “Yes” to every task and demand? Well, because they quickly learn how to say the word “No!” which begins this fun and wacky little journey.
In Say No! More, you start interning at a new company in a world where saying “No!” is forbidden. It doesn’t take long for the game to show you just how dreary and depressing your work life would become. Within the first few minutes of your job, you begrudgingly allow your supervisor to steal your precious lunchbox away from you since your vocabulary lacks the word “No.” This happens to be the lunchbox that your best friend made for you on your first day of work.
But worry not, a magical cassette player and tape fall into your hands. After listening, you’re transported into this space-like realm where a big, muscular spirit giant teaches you the power of the word “No!”. And so begins your shenanigans and hijinks to find your lunchbox and change the company from within.
The gameplay is relatively minimal and straightforward. As you move throughout the office in search of your lunchbox. You’ll often have to use your new word against your coworkers’ annoying requests, such as making them coffee or fixing the printer. The game automatically moves your character along for you, reminiscent of old-school on-rails arcade games.
Say No! More does a good job in making the rejections comical. Depending on your power level indicated by a circular meter, you can either hurt them gently or blow their bodies back across the room. This can make for some chaotic messes as you can vehemently go about denying people of their demands.
Over time, the buff spirit teaches you different ways to say “No!” and shows you various taunts. Rather than angrily denying someone of cleaning their desk, you can laugh and reject them with a lazy or sarcastic tone. Unfortunately, this gameplay mechanic of saying “No!” in different tones is very shallow. Any manner of rejecting someone works, so there’s no real need to learn the different styles, reducing the depth of the already minimal gameplay. Nevertheless, it does make for an entertaining ordeal, as I had fun clapping in front of someone’s face or pointing at them, making them feel a bit stupid.
There’s a decent level of customization for your character through a character creator. Though the range isn’t extreme, it offers a variety of options in facial expressions and skin color to change your look. You also get to choose the language of how you say “No!”, ranging in options from Mandarin to Irish Gaelic to Hindi. While I enjoyed the array of options, I was a bit disappointed that I couldn’t change the language mid-game. Once you choose the language for your story, you’re stuck with it.
Despite the simplicity of the narrative, the details within the story are quite fleshed out with humor and wackiness. Your objective to regain your stolen lunchbox turns into something more as you explore how to change the company and care for its employees. You move up the corporate ladder, tackling anyone who gets in your way.
Throughout your corporate journey, you’ll neet recurring characters who support you and want to see you succeed. Other times, you run into silly coworkers who just want to chat on top of a tree or play a game with you, like having a staring contest. There’s always something to keep you engaged as you move forward.
To accompany the quirky and frivolous atmosphere is the art and background. It’s a unique pixel visual design, one that’s quite fun to look at. The expressions on people’s faces are exaggerated and weird while the design of some of the levels is uncoordinated and nonsensical. The game makes sure to consistently provide a feeling of eccentricity.
Many of the environments have something going on, so it’s pretty rewarding to look around and see what’s happening. While it was completely random, I felt pure joy seeing a crocodile join me and my coworkers for a walk in the park.
It helps that a fun and upbeat soundtrack accompanies your trek. My favorite detail is that each time you learn a new way of taunting or saying “No!”, you hear a funky workout jam with a chorus of “No” being sung throughout.
To add to the silliness is the dialogue and voice acting in this game. Not only are the lines absurd, but the voices behind the characters are hilarious. You can reject the idea of bringing someone some mail and they’ll genuinely sound so defeated and depressed. It made it that much more fun to revel in declining people.
Though the game was quite joyous and fun, the story is very short. The length itself wouldn’t have bothered me so much if it weren’t for the lack of replayability. Once you’re done with the main story, that’s it. No other modes get unlocked and there’s nothing else to do. This was a huge bummer as it became a very brief and insubstantial experience.
Say No! More does a great job in giving the player some casual and lighthearted fun. With some satirical and colorful scenarios about corporate work culture, the adventure provokes themes of self-advocacy and helping those around you. You can easily tell the game is full of heart and humor. Despite its shortcoming of being a one-time deal, Say No! More is an experience worth picking up.
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