There are a lot of puzzle games kicking around on mobile that will test your ability to reason and solve things, and the vast majority of them cater to people of all skill levels But what if you are a glutton for punishment? What if you want to end the day rolled in a ball, weeping because you're not as clever as you thought? If this is the case, welcome to Not Not.
In the beginning stages, it starts fairly easy with a tutorial. You are only a cube, and you must follow the instructions; go up, go left, and go right. Simple stuff. Then it throws the 'not' at you, so not left becomes any other direction. Or the 'nothing' instruction, stand still, not nothing, move. They are a little tricky when they come at you in rapid fire, especially given the time limit for each move, but you will get through it and find yourself thinking, oh, is that all there is to it?
The game's premise makes it sound like it will be a walk in the park, you are just following instructions, and we do that every day. Even when it's a not statement, we are used to that. For example, how many times have we seen the obvious path to continue and thought nope, there is treasure in the other direction? Not Not starts simple enough, but almost instantly, after one or two levels, it all goes out the window, and you will lose a lot.
As you progress through the different cubes, you begin to get more and more instructions to follow. With the directions, the nothings and the not nothings, you now have the not not nothings or the not not left, which, of course, means do nothing or move left. You can read that easily enough here, but when you have a left, followed by left, then not left, then not not right, your brain slowly begins to melt at the hectic nature of the inputs, and boy, are we just getting started. It's even trickier to read and understand, isn't it??
Colours start to get introduced in later levels, so you have three green and a red, and need to find the green and not not right, or you could have a cube with three doors, and you need to go through the left door, but there is no door, so if you try, you fail. And then you get the then statements, where you follow the first step and have to remember what the second step was because it does not show up, but you are doing this after figuring out what not not right left up triangle slide to the left meant just a moment ago.
There will be a time when you get 38 steps into a 40-step puzzle and fail on the not not not green left, then up nothing or blue no gate stage where you will fail, and be understandably frustrated, but luckily, developer Alt Shift is not that evil and did implement a life system. When you fail, you can use one of these to continue from your current step and try again.
When you finish the first stage, you get given three lives, and there are a few ways to get more. You can watch an ad to get one, or throw money at the problem. 50 is £0.99, 200 is £2.99, or you can spend 4.99 for unlimited lives. It is not a number to cough at, but unfortunately, it does feel somewhat like a mandatory purchase if you plan to play for a long time. You can play for free, but will struggle as the game gets harder.