Publisher: Raw Fury
Developer: Raw Fury
Rated: E 10+
Release Date: June 29th, 2017
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC
With only having been out for a few months, the Switch has already received and will be receiving a slew of indie gems. The latest such title is one of the more bizarre games we’ve played, GoNNER. From a gameplay standpoint, it’s actually not that far from the norm, a tough as hell, 2D run and gun shooter. We’ve seen and played this before. Add in a trippy graphics, multiple heads, Death, and a space whale named Sally, now we have something unlike anything else out there.
The graphics are really what pulled us in from the start. The level walls are made from colorful, scratchy lines that draw themselves the closer you get to them. The enemies are tiny little red caricatures that you will shoot with your yellow bullets and make explode. The game looks basic and insane at the same time. Actually going through the game, you will take your tiny little character, grab a head, grab a gun, and grab a power up to start making your way through procedurally generated level after level.
Occasionally you will find new heads with new abilities, new guns, and new power ups. Occasionally you’ll meet up with your space whale friend Sally and give her a kiss to gain back a heart for your health. You’re probably going to die quite a lot, but when you die and start from the beginning, all of the extra heads, guns, and power ups you’ve previously found will be available to choose from the start. The whole point of the game is beating your high score and posting to the leader board (which at launch is unavailable), so every time you will slowly get better and find new things to make you last longer and score higher.
The game gets addicting fast. Every time we thought we’d put it down for awhile, we decided to go through another play through with the new laser we found. Every time we got a little further and beat our old score, we’d decide to jump back in just one more time. You can see where this is going. On the downside, the game hardly explains anything from the start. Your first hour will be filled with trial and error just trying to figure out the basics of the game. If you wouldn’t read the description of the game, you wouldn’t even know who your character is or why there is a space whale who pops up sometimes. The longevity of the title is also open-ended. It will keep you interested as long as you want to beat your last score. Otherwise there isn’t much else, beyond a Daily Challenge mode that gives everyone the same load out and levels to go through each day in an effort to post the high score. It at least is on the cheaper end of the spectrum, releasing as a budget title, and has already hooked us for hours.
While there is little presentation in any type of story in any type of form, the charm of the artistic approach to the graphics goes a long way to make up for it. It makes the game something extra special as you make things go dead with your arsenal of weapons you come across. It’s not going to be easy and it will frustrate the hell out of you at times, but it’s another solid indie title for the Switch that will have you chasing your next high score again and again.