Say NO! More Review (Switch)
Making the workplace a better place, one NO at a time.
Publisher: Thunderful Publishing
I’m sure I’m not the only one that just has a terrible time saying “No” or any other versions of “No”. I just don’t like making people upset or them making me feel bad. I’m getting a tad better at it, and doing it through a screen does help, but I can’t help but be anxious and just hover over the send button and needing to walk away. But before, I certainly had myself saying “Yes” and causing my plate to be too full or letting someone off the hook from their parts (like the one time in a group project, I was the only one that presented out project despite being just as shy and terrible at public speaking, and then they had the audacity to complain about my presenting). Well, no more! When I saw Say NO! More during one of Steam’s Game Festivals, I was certainly drawn to it and couldn’t wait to see the full release. After all, just like the main character here, I can use some advice on saying “No”.
Once you get your character to your liking, wearing some stylish clothes that will certainly make you look all professional, and picking what kind of “No” you’ll be using from a list of languages, it’s time to set out into the world. After playing a (forbidden) game as you wait for the time to pass, you’re friend comes up to wish you a good first day at your new job. He even made you your lunch, full of your favorite food! Except… right away he also asks you to pay for rent again as he hasn’t had any luck at finding his own job and here we learn that our character is an introvert, too shy and doesn’t have much confidence to speak back (hey, like me!). Well, anyway, it’s time to get to work where you and two others are the new interns (which I hope we’re paid interns since we’re being saddled with the rent again by the looks of it). Here, we learn that the word “No” has been banned and you’re instead encouraged to say “Yes” to everything no matter what.
Despite having a terrible intern space, it isn’t that bad. Well, I spoke too soon. Before you’re even given time to settle down, you’re boss comes along, takes advantage of your shyness, and steals your lunchbox. How dare he right? But… you don’t have the confidence to face him and tell him anything. So you just, slam your head against the desk to groan or wish you worked somewhere else. Or you would if you weren’t hit in the head with a cassette player. Opening it up revealed a cassette with the word “NO” on it and listening to it reveals that it’s a motivational tape that helps people say “NO”. You’ll be listening to his speeches multiple times, and the music here actually comes from this tape, where you’ll imagine yourself in this vast space with the buff (buff with confidence?) motivational speaker coaching you and even giving you some people to try out your new founded confidence in saying “NO” and the techniques you’ll use to make others to make them feel awkward.
Once you learn to say “NO” and gain some confidence in yourself, it’s time to get your lunchbox! You’ll mostly be going up against your various bosses, as they seem to not want to give back what they stole from you. But, they seem to know what you’re doing and run away. Leaving you needing to run through a sea of coworkers ready to give you a task. Well, that’s what they think.
As you go on, you’ll be learning some new techniques to help you pass by those that are stronger than you as well as more ways to express yourself. Playing Say NO! More is pretty easy. Walking on rails, you’ll be propelled forward to where you’ll need to go and you’ll be interrupted in your pursuit by coworkers demanding you to do tasks for them like getting them their (probably too complicated) coffee order or fixing their mistakes and you’ll finally be able to respond to them with a tasty “NO”. And No’s here seem to be powerful (maybe due to them not being said as much anymore?) as the force of your confidence will blast the asker away as well as objects around you. Though, it seems you have more to learn as there are those more powerful than you and a simple “NO” won’t do it.
So what do you do when your NO’s don’t work? Well, there are more techniques you need to learn and will learn throughout your journey. You’ll learn how to charge your “NO” to give it more power by holding it in… before letting it go. Though, you can’t hold it in forever as overcharging will cause you to look embarrassing. Charging also takes away your energy which is shown by the charging circle, with the highlighted segments being how much you can hold it in. To replenish this, you’re given some techniques to make the asker awkward and making your confidence higher in return. Like laughing at them or giving them your slow clap. In addition, you’ll also learn different ways of saying “NO”. You start out with knowing the heated way, but you’ll be the master at giving cold, lazy, and wacky NO’s in no time.
However, you must use your No’s responsibly. Not everyone deserves one and it helps to help those that are nice, value your time, or just don’t mean any harm in making your day worse or putting more on your plate. Like those with pink text boxes are obviously the nicest ones in the office, though there are some that aren’t as obvious.
Though, aside from a few story-related times, you won’t necessarily need to do these different techniques or switch up your NO’s. I honestly do kind of like how you’re given the choice between the No’s. The freedom of not being forced into a specific No really lets you bring out your own personality so your character can be an even more extension of yourself. Your coworker demanding that you organize the papers that’s supposed to be their work so they can get off early to pick up a game? I laugh at their assumption that I don’t also want to get it and give them a lazy no. My boss acting like he totally didn’t steal my lunchbox right in front of me and wanting me to just accept it? Slow clap and a cold no. This doesn’t stop me from still having that feeling that this could have more to it. When you first learn how to charge, that there are different NO’s, and awkwardness techniques, it’s implied that you have to switch it up as different things will work on different people. Though, that’s not really the case. It could have given you a challenge at evaluating what “NO” was right and which technique they’d become the most awkward with. It takes a while to get out of this mindset for sure, but at the end it didn’t bother me much as I mentioned earlier.
I absolutely love the writing Say NO! More has and the voice actors make it even funnier with their performance. I love how every character is characterized as you have a weak-willed boss or one that acts like everyone is family and he’s just like everyone else with a horrible office… except he’s not. And the coworkers, who find you inspirational and want to follow in your footsteps in saying “NO”. And you can’t forget the motivational “NO” coach which his tapes are just gold. Just like last year’s Going Under (which by the way, is a good roguelike), this satirizes the workplace wonderfully. And best of all, the humor here never stops bringing at least a smile to your face.
In terms of replayability, there’s some, but not a lot. If you haven’t let everyone talk out all of their lines, you can replay it either as a silent employee that only bursts out when needed or one that does it at the last possible second. If you said “NO” to some certain requests that didn’t seem like they were trying to take advantage, you can go and say nothing as these do give you some extra scenes. Like there’s a coworker early on that asks you to take a look at their new game and it turns out to be a Pokemon parody. Or that other coworker that asks you to deliver a letter and you learn that it’s actually a love letter. There’s even a kind-of cult that challenges you to staring contests. You’d have to rewatch all the cutscenes again at the moment, but with the game being at most two and a half hours, it doesn’t take too long. And you do have the option to go to a specific chapter once you finish it.
How does it play on the Switch? Pretty great! Though there was some slowdown in the beginning of one of the later levels, but even that didn’t mess with gameplay as it’s during a section when you’re walking ahead. It’s honestly really nice playing this game anywhere, like snuggling in bed ready to absorb and dream about what was learned in Say NO! More.
While this is going to be too short for some to pick up without a discount and there’s really no reason to switch up your No’s and using your confidence-breaking techniques other than when you want to, Say NO! More is a wonderful game that I can’t say no to (sorry Mr NO Motivational Speaker). The story, the humor, and the superb voice acting for sure makes this game. And the ending? Ties the game in a neat and heartwarming bow as you see the influence you had and saying one last goodbye to this game and the motivational tape that started this whole thing. I for sure recommend picking this up if you’re down for something that gives you freedom to express yourself and want to play through a hilarious NPG (N0!-Playing Game).