According to its website, Say No! More is the world’s first NO!-Playing Game or NPG, and it’s certainly a unique selling point. It grabs your attention and gets the clicks, and then the presentation will do the rest. Say No! More is a wonderfully quirky game just oozing with humour and a significant, important message – say no more. As in, decline more often.
In a world filled with yes-people who literally cannot say no, you play as the intern of a company that does… something. It doesn’t matter really, all you need to know is that you are an intern on your first day. The game expresses the idea that you cannot say ‘no’ and then reinforces this by plopping you in a world where no one can say ‘no’ and the powers that be will absolutely take advantage of this fact, making their lessers do all of their dirty work and menial tasks.
When your supervisor steals your lunchbox so lovingly crafted by your best friend, you seem at your wit’s end, until a mysterious tape falls on your head. Listening to this motivational tape grants you a whole new ability: the ability to say ‘NO’. The story proceeds quickly, chaotically and somewhat violently from there.
Say No! More is a pretty short game – I think I got through the entire thing in about an hour and a half. What is fantastic is that it manages to be an engaging experience throughout the entire thing. Playing much like a very funny movie, Say No! More pushes its cartoonish stylings and absurd humour to their furthest and it pays off magnificently. It’s also chock full of puns. The jokes land more often than they don’t and the combination of genuinely great and sometimes overacted-to-heck voice acting makes everything that much better.
What I really like is that Say No! More has a genuine message to tell, and while it gets a little anvilicious towards the end, this millennial parable means well. It tackles the all-too-real phenomenon of people not wanting to disappoint those around them, and the idea that saying ‘no’ makes you out to be a selfish person. This idea is parodied to hell and back, with your completely new co-workers asking you to buy lunch for them or carry out completely degrading menial tasks just because they don’t want to, and you as the player get the chance to be ruthless in the ways you can turn them down.
Towards the end of the game the game turns into a critique of those in power, justly ripping on bosses and CEOs who exploit their workers for profit without any empathy. It’s very blatant and blunt, but an enjoyable if predictable trajectory for what amounts to a love letter to the overworked 20-something office drones of the 21st century.
To summarise, Say No! More is a satisfying experience with shallow gameplay by design. It’s hilarious, charming, and absolutely worth your time. Also, there is character customisation, non-binary inclusivity and the ability to say ‘no’ in more languages than you’d expect – even Gaelic.
Say No! More is available on Steam, Nintendo Switch and iOS.
Verdict: Quirky and fun.