Say No! More
Developer: Studio Fizbin
Platform: Nintendo Switch (Also available on Steam and iOS)
Age Rating: PEGI 7
Release Date: 09/04/2021
A code was provided for review purposes.
Yes, No, Maybe, I Don’t Know…
How many of us go through life saying yes to people’s demands or requests? It may be a family member, a friend, or even a work colleague. It’s easy to slip into the habit of trying to please everyone and being too nice, even if it’s detrimental to our wellbeing. You can end up burnt out, or in an uncomfortable situation. Do you find it hard to tell others no, out of fear of upsetting them?
Well, Studio Fizbin have made a game about just that! Say No! More is exactly about what it says on the tin; saying the word ‘no’ more. With its chunky, low-poly graphics and comedic atmosphere, it seems silly and carefree on the surface. And, it is. However, it is also surprisingly heartfelt and touches on emotions we know too well.
No, Adverb: Used to Express Negation, Dissent, Denial, or Refusal
After designing your character, you are plunged into a world where the word ‘no’ is forbidden. What’s worse, is your room mate is asking you to pay the rent again, and you’ve started a new office job as an intern. It’s clear from the offset that your character has something brewing inside of them, as soon as they’re playing a mobile game called the Wizards of Nay in the prologue! They’re hesitant to answer questions, simply saying ‘uhh’ or ‘hmm’. They want to say no, but how can they when it’s been drilled into them to say yes?
Something inside them clicks after the manager steals their beloved lunchbox made for them by their room mate. When the intern office space turns out to be cramped and windowless too, slamming the desk in anger causes a mysterious tape to fall. Listening to the tape reveals a fabulously 90s personal trainer complete with bright green wristbands and a headband. He will be your guide in the ways of saying no!
The gist of the story follows your character making their way up the work hierarchy, who are passing your lunchbox around like a weird baton in a relay race. With your newfound confidence using the power of ‘no’, you must take on your boss all the way up to the CEO. But your lexical superpower may not be strong enough, and there’s more than meets the eye to these yes men. It’s a wonderfully wacky plot, but also relatable at its core. What’s the reason people say yes, and how can we use a word with negative connotations for good? It is best experienced for yourself in Say No! More, which can be completed in one sitting.
The Art of Saying No
The simple controls allow for more of a focus on the story I feel, but they’re still fun to use! There are four types of ‘nos’ to choose from and four complementing actions, designed to have a different effect on anyone in your path! There’s a Heated No, a Cold No, a Lazy No and a Wacky No. Pair this with a slow clap, a sarcastic nod, hmm at them or just laugh in their face! You learn these throughout each chapter, using the left joycon for actions and the D-pad to switch between each ‘no’ style. Then, use A or B to unleash the nay, holding down to charge up and send your colleagues flying.
Though using each ‘no’ produces different reactions from the characters, and causes your intern to say ‘no’ with various inflections, they don’t affect the game or story as such. Instead, it acts as variation in an otherwise basic play style, not just using one button and being free to choose the emotion, adding more involvement. Though it is still very simple, I think it works as it’s an easy game to play if you’re not in the mood for anything extreme. Say No! More is not a title intended to be complicated or expansive.
Another little extra is coming across colleagues with pink dialogue boxes. You’re not explicity told what these mean, but I worked out if you don’t yell ‘no’ at them you can listen to their goals and dreams, and make them your friend! Again, this doesn’t impact the story but it gives you something else to think about while playing. I felt obligated to listen to them out of guilt!
Laugh Out Loud
Gelling in nicely with the story and and simple controls is the perfect humour. It’s ridiculously silly and witty, and there’s something there which reminds me of British humour. It’s often self-deprecating and you may spy a reference or two in there as well! This humour in the gameplay as well, at times unrealistic like blasting your colleagues through the office walls like a ragdoll, makes the relatable moments stand out that little bit more.
It genuinely had me laughing aloud, as well as fondly shaking my head at how silly it was too. And then Say No! More would hit you with some deep truth. This blend worked so well because you still had this casual, hilarious game with truths that hit home, so it felt more uplifting than bringing you down.
Back to the Past
Something that brings attention to Say No! More straight away is its visual style. You’re transported back to the PS1 days with the chunky characters and environments, which are vividly coloured. The character’s facial expressions are animated, and sort of ugly, but are definitely reminiscent of the good ol’ days! Though the subject of work life makes this a game targeted at adults, the graphics too offer a nostalgia trip. A lot of indie games are proving now more than ever that graphics don’t have to be hyper realistic to look good!
The soundtrack is just perfect too, which Studio Fizbin have labelled as rad mixtape music, and I couldn’t think of a better way to describe it! Its jazzy and funky but also knows when to quieten down for those heartfelt moments. The voice acting was superb too, adding to the comedic effect while also bringing the game to life. There were some very satisfying sound effects as well, such as the different types of ‘no’s, my particular favourite being the Lazy No which was an unbothered ‘nah.’
Say No! More had no performance issues, but one thing I did notice was some of the physics being a little glitchy. As mentioned, shouting ‘no’ would cause your colleagues to go flying, as well as the surrounding furniture. This meant that the next person you approached would sometimes have someone stood in front of them or something obscuring their view. It wasn’t gamebreaking though and did add to the humour, seeing businessmen and plant pots scattered across the office!
Say Yes Less
Overall, Say No! More is a fun, lighthearted title that is bound to make you laugh out loud. Its simple controls make it an easy game to play through if you’re looking for something less stressful. It is certainly one for adult gamers though, who will really appreciate the nostalgic feel and relate to the pressure of work and agreeing to everything out of guilt. Hopefully, this will make them want to make a change in their lives!
It will take no more than a couple of hours to complete, and doesn’t really have any incentive for you to replay it. That being said, Say No! More is a unique experience and you won’t regret your time with it at all. Who knows, maybe you’ll find yourself saying yes less.
Rapid Reviews Rating
3.5 out of 5
You can purchase Say No! More for the Nintendo Switch here.
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.