No Body is an old-school title that is filled with wit and crass one-liners. Moreover, it has a plethora of weird and colourful characters and a strange and surreal world to explore. Accordingly, it is oddly oppressive and uncomfortable to play. However, once you get past the oddities, you’ll enjoy a deep title that covers a range of taboo subjects.
This action-turn-based RPG hybrid is developed and published by Ghost Coast Games. What’s more, this dreamy title will make you chuckle at the childish humour and familiar friendly banter. However, it is the heavy themes and the depiction of desperation and suicide that make this stand out. Consequently, this won’t be a game for everyone and the graphic depiction of mental illness, torture, and physical abuse makes this horribly uncomfortable to experience.
No Body takes you on a twisted adventure.
No Body chucks you into the action with no context at all. This confusing opener was disheartening and frustrating. Yet, if you muddle through the initial weirdness, you “enjoy” a game that somehow grows on you. Additionally, the strange but straightforward combat adds another layer to this surreal adventure title.
You play the part of Clownface. This bizarre protagonist must team up with his friends to destroy anomalies in a place known as “The WELL”. This oppressive location is filled with cruel creatures, treasure, and puzzles. Subsequently, the team must work together to fight large creatures or slash minor minions where they stand. On top of this, there are simple problems to solve, plenty of treasure chests to open, and an array of minor dungeons to explore.
Turn-based action with a twist.
The action flits between turn-based combat and real-time Zelda-like slashing. The latter option requires minimal skill and a chimp could execute this portion of the gameplay. However, turn-based moments require more finesse and a good memory.
Each of the unusual creatures belongs to a particular category. What’s more, they have a weakness that must be uncovered by the team. Whenever you encounter a foul monster, you must use your senses to identify its weakness. Whether you taste, touch, listen, smell, or look, it will alter the course of each encounter. If you pick the wrong sense, you give your opponent the upper hand. However, if you choose wisely, you will weaken your enemy and eventually, they will enter a state called “No Body”.
“No Body” allows your team to manipulate the creature and kill them. Yet, though this element is vital, it was frustrating to identify which sense to use correctly. Fortunately, there were written clues to help you on your way, but most were cryptic and this made the hint too ambiguous for my liking.
Visual novel elements.
The fighting and exploration were great. Yet, it was the intriguing lore and excellent story writing that impressed me the most. The slower portion of the gameplay flows like a visual novel. Each character has a key part to play, and it was the bond between the group that made this portion tick.
I adored the blend of familiar characters. Clownface, The Witch, Marked, Angel, and TOB-13 were sly and sarcastic, but loving towards each other. It was this love/hate relationship that worked wonderfully against the surreal backdrop. Furthermore, though the story wasn’t always clear, the excellent protagonists and their bonds were fascinating to explore.
No Body is rough and dated.
I love a pixelated game. However, I think No Body could have been more polished. The odd stage design and unique character models leave a lot to be desired. As such, only nostalgia-fuelled gamers will appreciate the crass colour scheme and the confined and semi-open-world-level design.
Though the overworld and exploration elements left you wanting, I enjoyed the excellent combat elements. The detailed character models and basic UI were distinctly old-school. As such, I liked the roughness and the often unexpected twists.
The audio focused on annoying sound bites! This was an underwhelming decision that quickly grates on you. However, if you can somehow ignore this element, you’ll enjoy the exciting and dramatic soundtrack. Additionally, the sound effects were basic, but they worked perfectly with the overall aesthetic.
The controls are basic but suitable.
I liked the developer’s desire to create a simple-to-understand title. Consequently, the control system is rudimentary but serviceable. However, I disliked the input timings as you repeatedly made mistakes whenever you flitted through the menus. This issue could easily be resolved by a confirm action button. Instead, you may inadvertently select the wrong course of action and your team will suffer as a result.
Though the controls frustrated me, I could have slowed down to advert this issue. What wasn’t a problem, however, was the amount of replay value and longevity. Thankfully, there are 3 endings to enjoy and plenty of side quests to undertake. On top of this, No Body oozes lore and learning the finer elements of this strange world was fascinating.
No Body doesn’t shy away from its responsibilities.
Using taboo themes can lead to tasteless and clichéd ideas. Thankfully, No Body avoids this problem, as it doesn’t shy away from its responsibilities. Though the tough-to-swallow themes are overwhelming, they are wonderfully depicted without being OTT or patronising. As such, you can empathise with the protagonists and enjoy the surreal nature of the plot at the same time. Accordingly, I enjoyed this excellent title and I recommend that you wishlist it here! Can you escape The WELL? Study your opponents’ weaknesses, solve puzzles, and find a way out of your newfound nightmare.