The first time I tried None*, a new riddle game without images, sound, or animations, I had a lot of questions.
None* is intentionally mysterious, with the game’s description simply stating “nobody really knows what none* game is about.” So, I jumped into the first level without any idea of what the goal of the game was, how many levels there were, or even how you’re supposed to beat it.
I was greeted with a black screen and a lone clue printed in white text, the only tool in my arsenal a similarly white keyboard devoid of a space button.
The first level starts out simple, but while some clues appear to have a clear answer or approach — others turn into a twisting game of name association and guesses.
When you strip away the clever marketing, None* is basically a text-based puzzle game in the same realm as the 1980 computer game Zork, and that’s a good thing. Games like Zork and None* are simple, mysterious, and often have knack for sucking you into what boils down to a simple yet compelling experience.
None* creator Dimitris Chassapakis told Busines Insider the game is actually his second text-based puzzle game, but his first for mobile.
“I made a similar web game back in 2006, before social media and smartphones, and I though it was time to make a mobile version.”
Chassapakis told me there’s actually 50 levels in None*, but only 10% of players have managed to make it to the end. “This is the first episode and if you solve all 50 levels you can subscribe for the release of Episode 2 — probably this summer.”
At the end of my first playthrough, I had managed to make it to level 8.