GNOG (pronounced “nog”) is a gorgeous puzzle game by KO-OP and supported by Double Fine Studios in which you spin knobs and flip levers to see what will happen. Discovering the objective is part of the puzzle. And these puzzles are hard.
GNOG is all about discovering the secrets hidden in various floating monster heads (called “gnoggins”). The entire experience was extremely serene and beautiful, not unlike Ustwo’s mobile puzzle game Monument Valley. Honestly, playing GNOG felt like playing with a beautiful baby’s toy. There was a purity about it that was extraordinarily delightful.
In order to discover solutions, I often had to simplify my thinking. If I approached the puzzles with “What do I do to win?” in my mind, I usually failed. If I came at them simply looking to find everything I could, this curiosity would guide me very naturally toward the solution.
It took me a few minutes to embrace this way of thinking, and even then I usually had no idea what I was doing or where I was going. But that was kind of the awesome thing about GNOG. While I’m sure that it might make some gamers frustrated or impatient, I found that once I was able to clear my mind, I was happy to stay in that floaty monster-head world for as long as I was allowed.
GNOG achieves an equilibrium of difficulty and simplicity that really excites me. It’s single-player, but Saleem Dabbous of KO-OP told me that he’s seen a lot of duos work together to solve the puzzles. I think that, like Monument Valley, it will be a wonderful game for non-gamers to try out—as long as they are patient.
GNOG is coming out on PlayStation 4 in 2016, and I am thrilled to report that it will have Project Morpheus support. It will also be released on Steam and iOS some time later. You can keep up to date with the game by signing up for their email list.