GNOG is only available on PlayStation VR right now, but will be releasing on Steam later this year.
Immerse yourself in a world of bright colors while you try to solve each brain teasing puzzle that GNOG throws at you. Simple and fun gameplay, combined with amusing puzzles, will have you scratching your head and trying to figure out what you're doing wrong. With plenty of content to keep you busy and a low pricetag, GNOG is a blast for anyone who likes making their brain work overtime. Let's take a look at everything it has to offer!
Trippy and fantastic
The first thing that you notice when jumping into GNOG are just how fantastically trippy the graphics are. With plenty of rounded corners, bright colors, and motion in the background, you actually feel like you are in the middle of things. On more than one occasion I found myself swatting at rain, snowflakes, or other bits floating around me as though they were actually real. Instead of trying to go a semi-realistic route, GNOG aims to make you feel like you're in the middle of something entirely different.
Colors play a huge part in GNOG.
Each different level you encounter has a completely different feel and vibe to it. These range from a radio that must be adjusted, to an underwater submarine, to a giant frog creature, and plenty more. As you encounter each new experience, you're transported somewhere new and it's readily apparent just how much thought and planning went into each one. Initially, each level appears as a box that must be opened. Each one has a name like Purpl or Candy that gives you a clue as to what you'll be dealing with.
Color plays a huge part in GNOG as well. In each level there are a variety of different items that you can — and must — interact with. Generally these items are a different color scheme than the rest of what you're looking at, like giant yellow buttons on the face of the contraption, or beastie you are looking at. Music is a huge part of this as well. You'll hear tones when you interact with the pieces of a puzzle, and a full-on song will play if you succeed at your mission.
When you jump into each level, you are looking at a contraption or monster of some kind. Take the word "monster" with a grain of salt though. These beasties don't look particularly mean and once you've completed the puzzles for each one you'll see it burst into a little dance party. It's adorable and entirely worth the frustration you get trying to solve some of the puzzles. You see, you don't really have to move around to play GNOG. It's entirely played with the thumbsticks on your DualShock 4 controller and you can play while seated the entire time. This makes it a lot of fun for folks who get motion sickness easily, or if you're just getting started with VR.
Each level is a different monster of some sort, and each one will have specific tasks and puzzles that you need to complete. Generally there is one giant puzzle on the front of what you're looking at with several smaller puzzles you need to complete first in order to unlock the necessary parts to complete the main puzzle. These include unlocking the front of a monster, cooking dinner, syncing up audio equipment, and even feeding butterflies to a giant toad. Each one is a bit different, and while they may seem confusing at first glance, they're often ridiculously simple. On more than one occasion, when I realized I was overthinking the puzzles, I wanted to bang my head against a door to make myself feel better.
Lots of moving parts
Each level that you encounter has a front and a back. You can switch between them by pressing R2 or L2. During the course of each level, you will find yourself switching views several times. That's because of the sheer magnitude of what each level entails. On average, it took me about 15-20 minutes per level, including the time I spent scratching my head, trying to figure out what I was supposed to be doing.
Each level has at least three puzzles. There is the big puzzle, which you'll see at the front of the level, along with several smaller ones at the back. In order to complete the puzzle up front, you first have to finish the smaller ones. This is because those smaller puzzles hold requisite pieces for the big puzzle. The tricky part is that the game never out-and-out tells you what you need to do. Instead you have to work it out by pressing and pulling on the various levers and buttons all around you.
Each level also has hints to help you out, but you'll need to actually look for them in order to complete your tasks.
GNOG is an interactive puzzle game, and to that end there really isn't a tutorial. That's for good reason though. The only controls you'll ever use are your thumbsticks, the X button to select buttons, and L2 or R2 to rotate what you are looking at. There is a small reticule that will appear on the screen, letting you select the piece that you are trying to manipulate, and you move it using your thumbsticks. To manipulate an item you'll need to move your reticule and then press the X button to use it.
Each level includes some hints, but you have to actually look for them in order to complete your tasks. I spent the better part of 10 minutes trying to figure out why a puzzle wasn't working until I realized (spoiler alert) there was a small book above the oven that spelled out exactly what I was doing wrong. In order to fully complete a level, make sure to pay attention to everything it shows you, and take those clues to heart when they appear — and you find them!
Wrapping it up
GNOG has a simple premise; fun puzzles that will have you trying to figure out what you're doing wrong as you try to solve them. Combined with its quirky soundtrack and bright color scheme, this game is a fun and light-hearted journey that puts all of its muscle behind making you enjoy the fact that it's making your brain hurt. Available for just $14.99, this is a must-try for anyone who loves working their brain, or just wants an experience they can fall into for a few hours. It's short and sweet, but to be honest that's half of the reason I enjoyed it so much. If your kids have been begging for something fun that won't worry you — or break the bank — then GNOG is a great way to indulge.
- Fun, quirky graphics.
- Interactive soundtrack that lets you know when you're on the right track.
- Difficulty level increases gradually.
- Some puzzles are devilishly difficult to figure out.
- Only 9 levels.
- Replayability is low unless you forget how you solved a puzzle.
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