The weirdo, roguelike, side-scrolling indie title GoNNER has arrived on the Nintendo Switch, one year after making its debut on Steam. Developed by Art in Heart, it’s a procedurally-generated title like the recent Dead Cells, where no playthrough is ever the same. What… they can do such a thing these days?!
Apparently so! Thusly, it’s been developed to be as “tough as hell” (as described on its official website), it boasts a distinctive art style, and, wouldn’t you know it, it’s fantabulous! It’s one we missed on Steam, so with its launch on the Switch we decided to fork out the £8.99 and delve into its weird world, thanks largely to the critical acclaim it’s received.
“Tough as hell” you state, Art in Heart? Yeah, that’s one way of putting it. This is one difficult video game. From what we can tell, the story is about this thing called Ikk who has a landbound friend (a whale) called Sally who he decides to get a present for. Thusly, he and Sally invade what appears to be Hell to obtain this gift, although Hell’s inhabitants react to their arrival with considerable hostility.
As with many indie games, the idea of a “story” is usually thrown out of the window – this is a good idea as video games so rarely convey a story without it coming across as a petulant teenager writing a love letter to his lust interest, beginning with “i wuv u bae” on each new paragraph. Instead, we have a bare bones assault on your senses, with 2D side scrolling elements mixed with a regular habit of getting killed.
You will die a lot. You won’t even really know what the Hell is going on a lot of the time, but this doesn’t detract from the addictiveness of GoNNER. Sure, it’s weird, but it’s inventive as well and it draws you back into its bleak, yet colourful, world time and time again. It’s no classic, but it is a rollicking (we’ve not used that word on Professional Moron before – it just felt right to get to it now) romp along at a super cheap price. Why not add it to your collection? We have been a wee bit smitten with it.
In case you wanted to know, this genre has been around since the ’80s, with games such as Diablo II using them as inspiration. More recently, the advent of the indie game scene has propelled roguelikes back into the gaming conscience, particularly thanks to the success of the Binding of Isaac.
This is one game we’re not overly fussed about, though, but we’ll cover it briefly today as we’ll never be reviewing it on this site. However, we’re aware it’s been popular, so you might want to know it’s a thing. The roguelike genre hasn’t impressed us much until recently, thanks to Dead Cells and GoNNER, so we might be paying more attention to it in the future.