Tech News on G4
GNOG good but not great
June 6, 2017
By Alexander Cattani - G4 Canada
Even after viewing several of trailers and reading several descriptions, I still didn’t exactly know what to make of KO_OP Mode's latest title, GNOG. Not knowing how exactly to comprehend a piece of art usually draws me closer to it and makes me want to find out what creators exact intent was. Upon loading up GNOG with this in mind, I was once again faced with the sobering realization that looks can be deceiving.
GNOG is an art-house puzzler rooted in psychedelia and unconventional game design. Right off the bat, gamers will be treated to a plethora of colours and sounds that result in a pleasant assault on the senses. Envision The Beetles’ Yellow Submarine film crossed with some slightly more modern sensibilities and you have GNOG's unique, colourful aesthetic. Beyond just its look, GNOG's soundtrack is artfully crafted. The minimalist, ambient tones of the varied levels serve as the perfect proverbial wallpaper to set the atmosphere. Presentation is top tier, and is easily the titles strongest point.
When it comes to gameplay, GNOG is a 3D puzzler that presents the player with little vignettes, also know as "Monster Heads". Each section has a myriad of bells and whistles that the player can manipulate but rather than just interaction for the sake of it, each level has a defined conclusion brought on by the player performing the correct sequence of actions.
My biggest gripe with GNOG's puzzles is that they're underwhelming. This came as a surprise, as the folks over at KO_OP Mode have proven in the past that competent puzzle design is in their wheelhouse. Most of the levels were easy enough to be completed on the first or second attempt. The puzzles toward the end of the title included slightly more nuanced but ended up feeling like just more steps were included to pad out the length. Since GNOG's style oozes with creativity, having such basic puzzles to compliment the wild aesthetic felt like a huge disconnect.
Some novel moments are still to be had in GNOG, just don't go in expecting to be perplexed and challenged. Instead, approaching GNOG as an interactive wallpaper instead of a videogame might be the way to go.
About G4 in Canada
G4 Canada (formerly TechTV Canada) launched in September 2001. G4 is the one and only television station that is plugged into every dimension of games, gear, gadgets and gigabytes. Owned Rogers Media Inc., the channel airs more than 24 original series. G4 is available on digital cable and satellite. For more information, see www.g4tv.ca.