No Thing was an out-and-out impulse buy for me. It was available on the store to preorder for just over £1 because I had previously purchased a game from the same publisher.
It tells the story of an office clerk who is sent with an important message to give to the Queen of Ice. No Thing is a minimalistic, surreal action game set in a totalitarian regime of the future… that future being 1994. It apparently provides radical gameplay that is migraine-inducing, with a weird storyline, retro surrealistic full 3D graphics, full voiceover and speech synthesis, chiptune sounds and simple controls whilst being easy to play but hard to master.
Now that’s the off the box info out of the way, what we really get is a super stylised monochromatic trippy 3D remake of the old mobile game Snake. There is a strange story but for me, it’s just not needed, I’m happy to progress through the levels or try the endless mode. It throws you straight into the action, simply giving a brief overview of the controls via a synthesised voiceover as you slowly start your journey through the sideless maze.
The game controls are basic and only require you to use left or right to turn, yes really that’s it! You do get the choice between using the analogue stick, broken d-pad or triggers so you can use whatever system is the most comfortable for you. This becomes increasingly important as you progress through the maze.
The soundtrack is funky and in sync with the visuals, a retro 80’s midi medley of NES styled theme tunes. The development team, Evil Indie Games, have even released the soundtrack as a standalone download. The voiceover is creepy yet usually helpful, occasionally reminding me to watch my steps.
As you progress through each section the game speeds up meaning that you need to give it your undivided attention. Falling off the edge is an instant death which can be heartbreaking if you are near to completing a level, you know this from the tracker at the bottom of the screen giving a percentage score. It also gives off the most violent vibration from the joy-cons causing the whole machine to judder when in handheld mode, I should really see if there is an option to change this.
The difficulty spike is what makes the game, it’s insanely hard and that frustrating you always have to just ‘give it one more go’. I’m not that far into the game because of this but I’m by no means at the point of giving up. This is the sort of game I will keep coming back to and then suddenly one day completing it within 30 minutes, thinking to myself what have I been doing for the previous six months.
For the price, you can’t really go wrong as it’s unique, quirky and gives a pickup and play blast of entertainment. Its difficulty will either keep you coming back for more or leave you never wanting to touch it again, like Marmite, there is no middle ground.
Beard Score: 5.5/10
Publisher: Forever Entertainment
Format: Steam, Nintendo Switch