Not Tonight, an upcoming game from developer PanicBam and publisher No More Robots, is a post-Brexit management RPG with an incredibly clever premise.
In Not Tonight, you play a “bouncer” in an alternative (possibly) version of post-Brexit Britain where a maniacal government has come into power. In what is described as a “gig-based” economy, you travel between various, pubs, clubs, and festivals in order to help determine who is allowed in. As a bouncer, you’ll be responsible for checking IDs and following any other rules the location has regarding who is let in and who is not.
Do well enough, and you’ll be able to upgrade your apartment, your equipment, and even yourself. What’s the catch? Well…achieving personal success might just come at the expense of others who you must deny and potentially report.
The set-up might sound familiar to anyone who played the all-time indie classic, Papers, Please. Just as in that game, checking forms of identification becomes a kind of puzzle onto itself as you must be sure to adhere to any admission requirements. All the while, there is the lingering cloud hanging above your head that suggests that what you are doing for yourself is coming at the expense of others.
Unlike Papers, Please which took place in a fictional Eastern European country, Not Tonight tells an all-too-familiar story of what happens when those in power make a sweeping ruling on who is allowed in and who is not. Personifying that idea via the role of a bouncer is…well, it’s quite brilliant.
What remains to be seen is whether or not Not Tonight has the gameplay legs needed to carry it beyond the promise of its concept. If it can expand upon the basic Papers, Please concept and deliver something both clever and enjoyable, then you might just want to pick this title up when it releases in the summer of 2018 for PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.