Are you GONNER go my way?
GONNER2 began as and remains a big question mark, I’m not really sure what’s going on in this game. It wasn’t until I read the eShop page that I found any sort of context but that hasn’t changed anything in the game for me. The characters body parts and clothing are upgrades, and levels are randomly created in this arcade-action-platformer. I’m playing on the Nintendo Switch but the game is available on all major platforms and PC, this game was created by Art In Heart (Gonner) and published by Raw Fury (Atomicrops).
The protagonist squirts out of a tube as a droplet of some sort, locates a head, gun, and backpack then navigates areas that are created as the game moves along. Controls are twin-stick but can be played otherwise if desired. It’s an arcade platformer game with two-dimensional graphics and a sort of dark watercolour look to it. It’s very odd and there is no voiceover, story, instructions or anything. I didn’t play the first but I thought this game was essentially going to be built around BOSS BATTLES.
The arcade-style gameplay is geared towards obtaining a high score.
Oddly enough, each time I died the game said I had a new high score. It didn’t matter if I had 150 last run and this run my score is 2, high score. I’m not a fan of the world-building itself in front of me. Moving forward the stage is created as you go. Each area starts as our creature emerges from a green tube and ends going back into the head or mouth of the green tube. Moving around each stage could be jumping from blocks to platforms, swimming to the tube, or maybe shooting through brain bricks. Unfortunately, I did not have a chance to try the party co-op mode but it is available for up to four players.
Underwhelmed, I thought this game was going to be based around boss fights and weird stuff, but it’s mostly weird stuff. Music shifts from sombre lullabies to eerie and creepy. Enemies could be flying or bouncing, they’re mostly rounded or circular shapes. Some baddies will attack like homing missiles and our character Ikk will fall apart, back to the droplet. If this happens enough times a meter will appear calling for the player to button mash to bring Ikk back. New high score, points: 496.
I’ve played using the joy-con controller, but I prefer playing in handheld mode with my Switch Grip accessory as it helps with the twin-stick controls. I’ve lost again and restart in a previously discovered area, with a large bougie-coated fellow skeleton. Gather my body, head hanging from a tree, backpack and gun then jump into the tube’s mouth to try again. Usually what ends up happening is, I get hit from a swarm of enemies and lose my droplet in the process while it gets swarmed again. New high score, points: 1.
Have we reached Nirvana yet?
If the player can bounce enough times on an enemy or blast it to smithereens then a magenta colour orb will appear. Collect these precious items as they are currency, and if one is anything decent at this game unlike myself, they can be used at a shop prior to a boss fight. Purchase hearts, heads, and backpacks. What do the heads and backpacks do? I have no idea. I found some in the stages prior to the shop but nothing changed that I could see. Once I found a shot upgrade that made my bullets larger, that was nice. The boss I encountered was a large string of eyeballs and teeth, with a very 90’s grunge look, which I later found out I could skip entirely. During my fight, I shot and jumped on the eyeballs and then the boss omitted a screen full of shots that obliterated me and brought me back to Death’s lair.
It seems GONNER2 is a game of curiosity and finding out more with each run, I just wasn’t drawn in to continue to learn more. A quiet game that turns frantic with swarming enemies and then back to a sombre tune. I’m not sure the game is meant to have that “a-ha” moment of discovery that I was looking for. Watching videos of other people playing the game just made me more confused, asking myself “how did they figure that out”? This game just isn’t for me but it may be for you, so I would recommend watching our First Impressions video above to see what you think.
Review code provided
Platform: PC, Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo
Release Date: 22/10/2020
No. of Players: 1
Developer: Art in Heart
Publisher: Raw Fury
Download link: US eShop / UK eShop