Well, No. But Actually, Yes.
Everyone in their life has worked at least one job where no matter the nonsense that was piled your way, you had to accept and agree to it. Maybe you needed the job? Vying for a promotion? Like money enough to forgo common decency? We’ve all been down the road once. The word “No” can be a terrifying one, especially in situations where the consequences are unknown for your use of it. But every now and then, you’ve dreamt about just letting a fat “No” rip with no remorse.
Take this premise and add the spice of your own original character, and you’ve got the barebone foundations for Say No! More by Studio Fizbin. You’ll begin your journey choosing from a preset schmuck or doing the right thing and creating your own 9 to 5’er. Sporting an impressive amount of customization showcasing different jackets, pants, shoes, and tops: you can either make the most eccentric intern to grace the 16th floor carpet, or just do what I did and make yourself aged 10 years older. Say No! More gives your intern the power of “No” in over 15 languages with some absolute winners in the mix, but since I’m an unapologetic weeb I went with the solid Japanese 2.
Your freshly acquired intern arrives at their new job, a lunchbox made by your deadbeat roommate 8 months late on rent in tow, where near-hidden desks shaded by vending machines lay in wait away from the hustle and bustle of the office atmosphere. Interns at this printing company are bound to the word Yes, whether to change ink, grab coffee, file papers, pay parking tickets: the word “Īe,” is not allowed. After a tumultuous start to their job with the theft of your lunch by your supervisor, your desk is graced with a secret cassette tape jarred loose from its hiding spot above in the AC vent. This tape gives your shy demeanor the kick in the pants that’s needed to stand up for yourself and say “Nein” to the inane and often ridiculous requests from your co-workers.
And “Non” you shall say! On your on-rails tour throughout the 90 minute campaign you can spice up your refusal of tasks by saying it wacky or lazy, by laughing or pretending to agree beforehand, or my favorite: giving them the slow clap into a charged heated “A’ole” that’ll reverb throughout the building and launch your co-workers into the air with desks and papers following suit. While spamming your refusals will feel automatic, some co-workers will have requests that you can handle, like delivering a letter between would-be lovers, playing game prototypes, or becoming an Underground Staring Contest Champion. “Não”, really.
But when you want to say “Nie” with your chest, destroying your workplace and beyond in a world that looks like Katamari Damacy before everything gets rolled up is oh so satisfying and worth playing around your “Không”-Combos to combine your own humor with Say No! More’s own hysterical quips. Errant remarks from corporate bigwigs blown away by your vetoes and the speckles of emotional spice spread across co-workers are appeasing and fun to indulge in before using your vocal Hadoukens to forcefully move them to socially acceptable distances.
But hidden behind all that humor is a surprising amount of heart. Sure, the word “Nej” can be used to stop something bad happening, but Say No! More personifies the word into releasing self-doubt and anxiety-filled situations. “Nullum”: it’s okay for you to dance at your desk, so long as it doesn’t bother anyone. “Jo”: it’s completely understandable to tell your co-worker who is sick to go home. “Yox”: it’s okay to not take the wrong order even if it would be easier to just take the made lunch. Having the freedom to confidently express your feelings may not include the concerning backlash that comes with not agreeing with someone, and freely expressing yourself can make you a more approachable person, as well as lifting the burden of never saying “Dili” and doing everything yourself.
And while Say No! More doesn’t have much else after speaking its peace through its story, the journey through is such a visual and auditory treat that it’s absolutely worth running through multiple times to yell “Bù” ad-nauseum, and then maybe one or two more times down the road to relieve some real-world stress.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to clap at a few more people and yell “No” in Irish Gaelic. I won’t spoil it, but you gotta hear (and see) it to really enjoy it.
Reviewed on Steam.