goNNER is a single-player indie roguelike platformer that was developed by Art in Heart and published by Raw Fury. It has you running, jumping, and gunning your way through procedurally-generated levels in the hopes of getting better weapons and abilities so that you won’t die as quickly the next time.
It looks pretty crazy and you probably won’t be able to learn much about the game from screenshots or videos on account of how weird it is.
So is this weird-as-hell game any good?
- Plays like a dream
- Gorgeous minimalist visuals
- Rewarding gameplay
- Vague story
- Awkward procedural generation
The game could definitely give you more in terms of story. I believe it tries to imply what’s going on but it’s just in a way that’s too subtle for its own good. According to the game’s website, you play as Ikk, some type of creature who is trying to help out their friend Sally, a giant whale of sorts, with the help of Death.
The gameplay is far easier to understand than the story and far more engaging. There’s platforming, a bit of shooting, and roguelike elements. They’re are different weapons to unlock that become permanently available and a good variety of them. You’ll have a favourite weapon for a while until you unlock another one that’ll become not because of how effective it is but rather because of how awesome it feels to use.
Ikk controls exactly as you’d expect; neither agile not sluggish. However, I found that the procedural generation can sometimes lead to certain setups and layouts that put you at a massive disadvantage against your foes and at other times, situations where there are tonnes of enemies standing in a line waiting to be pummelled by bullets.
I’d picked up goNNER because I was drawn in by the visuals. The simplistic art style is fantastic and the animation brings it all to life. Screenshots and trailers drew me in and the game didn’t disappoint once I’d installed it on my Nintendo Switch.
The audio and music tie in with the simple visuals. With an ambient aural landscape, this game doesn’t have any tunes that will stick on your head, but they are a good accompaniment to what’s happening on screen.
goNNER is the type of game that makes me want to support indie games even more because it’s just so refreshing and different. It’s not perfect but its charming visuals, audio, and gameplay more than make up for its flaws.
Despite how simple it looks, it’s rather engaging. I’d recommend picking it up for the Switch, plugging your headphones in, and just forgetting about everything around you as you’re drawn into Ikk’s world.
It’s probably too difficult for some but if you like a challenge and don’t get too frustrated from dying a lot in games, then this is definitely worth picking up.