GoNNER Review

"GoNNER" is a rogue-like 2d platformer developed by Art in Heart in which you play as a thing named Ikk as you explore some place to cheer up its friend Sally, who is a large whale. Also, you have death as a helper as he gets items for you to use in your journey.

"GoNNER" is a very bare-bones game compared to other rogue-like games, which is a positive in some aspects and a negative in other aspects. The platforming is ultimately what shines with this game. The game has simple controls, simple mechanics, simple and small levels, and simple enemies. These simplicities allowed the game to be fun and tightly packed while also be challenging. For example, you can only really shoot in the direction you are facing and you cannot aim up or down. Having that instead of shooting wherever you want gave the game a challenge and felt more like a classic platformer instead of a modern platformer. The simple levels allowed me to seamlessly go from one level to the next, unlike some other rogue-likes where I get lost in a labyrinth and have to annoyingly navigate my way back to the exit. But what added onto the simple levels well were the visuals, which were also simple. What completed the levels was the fact that the ground and the walls didn't appear until you were near it. While it wasn't game-changing, it still added a unique twist to the level as for you don't know what is the whole level. Sadly, that is where the good parts of simplicity end with the game and where the bad parts come into play. While the controls were simple, the lack of being able to change or even see the controls didn't help. The controls were easy to learn and stick in your head well, but I still did what to change around the controls, and not being able to sucked. But something that might not stick into your head as well are the different items you collect and the enemies you fight. This game has no words in it, which means that their are no descriptions on items or enemies. Every time I got back into the game, I would have to look up what each item did what each new item does, and that annoyed me a lot. Also, their are not a lot of items in the game, which I guess helps when it comes to the fact that I have to memorize all of the items. But I still would've liked more items in the game. Overall, I would say its simplicity hurts the game more than it helps the game.

The gameplay consists of going from level to level killing bad guys and moving on. After three or four levels, you eventually reach the shopkeep that only sells you items you already discovered and move onto the boss fight. After completing the boss fight, you go and meet Sally the whale and move on to the next level, which has new enemies to fight, but you are still doing the same thing. The gameplay does get a little stale after awhile, and having the shopkeep only sell discovered items suck, but some things do save the day with that. For starters, their is a good amount of different enemies in the game, which spices things up. Also, their is a killstreak meter in which getting five kills in rapid succession gives you a purple glyph, which can be used to shop or bring you back from the dead(if you have enough.) Having that kill meter makes the gamplay fast and forces you to be quick on your feet, which made the gameplay fun.

The kill meter in the game. Get five and win a prize!

The kill meter in the game. Get five and win a prize!

There are other things you can do in the game, but are rather weak compared to the main game. Just like any other rogue-like, their is a daily challenge mode. While it is fun going through all of the assortment of enemies using a random loadout of items you may or may not have unlocked, their were some flaws I found with it. While I thought it was cool that you can go back to the daily challenge, I thought changing the map around each time would have been a lot better than keeping it the same. Every day, the loadout and map structure changes in daily challenge, but don't change each time you play in that day. In my opinion, I thought keeping the class while changing the map would have been better. Also, the daily challenge high score is the same as the normal game high score, which I thought the game should've separated. But same high score or different high score, the game still doesn't have their leaderboards up yet. As of this review, the game has been available for one month and yet their are still no leaderboards.

The verdict: "GoNNER" is a fun platformer rogue-like but has a lot of flaws surrounding it. It's simplicity is both its savior and executioner, and its meh daily challenges and lack of leaderboards doesn't help its case. This game is appropriately priced at ten USD, but I would still recommend other rogue-likes before this one. I didn't have much to say about the game, but that is because their isn't much too the game, and that ultimately made me feel like I have played the entire game in about thirty minutes.