Gnog: Too cool for skull - Games Weekly

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Sunday, April 26, 2015

Gnog: Too cool for skull

Fine, we’ll admit it: the only way we could ever do a Rubik’s Cube was by pulling it to bits and then rebuilding it again. Unfortunately that’s just not possible in this 3D puzzler that cites the classic toy as one of its key influences. Strikingly colourful and unique, this is a game all about exploring giant heads. Rubik’s Cubes and enormous craniums? Yup, we’re just as confused as you.

“The heads of GNOG are all about playing with tactile-feeling toys and uncovering musical secrets,” explains producer Saleem Dabbous. “Each head has a room or little world inside of it, and each room is packed with a mix of things that all affect the environment in different ways. Each head is a ‘hypertoy’ that contains even more hidden heads within it, which in turn contain toys and other surprises (think Inception, but with heads instead).”

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Puzzling through these mysterious noggins means navigating in and out of them and working out what to do in order to progress and it’s quite unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. “I think the game is really unique, and a lot of the time we struggle with the design because there isn’t much out there that’s like it,” considers Dabbous. “We do have some great sources of inspiration though, games like Vectorpark’s Windosill and Metamorphabet for their tactile toy-like wonder, and Hohokum’s purely whimsical musical world. Games like Fez have helped guide us in terms of linking our heads together into a larger web or overworld and, more obviously, there’s a rotation mechanic that’s central to our game too!”

The team was also heavily influenced by the toys of our childhood that are probably banned as choking hazards now: Mighty Max and Polly Pocket. “Those toys inspire an incredible feeling of wonder and mystery in kids,” says Dabbous. “When you open your Polly Pocket for the first time and discover what’s inside of it, the joy of discovery, the world building happening in a kid’s mind those are the feelings we’re chasing. We want players to get excited about each new head because they’re going to discover a brand-new micro-world inside of each one.” Inception, Polly Pockets and Hohokum? Just the right amount of Red Bull and it looks like this could be an incredible, if surreal, experience. Consider this a heads-up.

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