Gonner is Tim Burtons Super Meat Boy

first_imgStay on target If you have a Nintendo Switch, chances are you also have The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The new Zelda is a massive, phenomenal game that you can and should play for dozens of hours. But eventually, you’re going to want to play something new on your Nintendo console/handheld hybrid. Switch Games That Aren’t Zelda is a new column highlighting cool, smaller Switch games to check out once you’ve saved Hyrule.Oh boy, here I go covering a roguelike again! But you know what? This odyssey into the indie games on Nintendo Switch That Aren’t Zelda but are roguelikes hasn’t been nearly as painful as I would’ve have expected given my apathy for the genre. In fact, I just don’t tolerate Gonner, I really like it. This is mostly because its roguelike elements are relatively sidelined and elegantly woven into a genre I actually enjoy: a tight 2D platformer.Gonner is a tough game with procedurally generated environments. So you’ll be looking at similar things pretty frequently. Fortunately, the game’s art style, while lacking in variety, is striking from the start and stays that way throughout repeated playthroughs. You play as a cute little sketchy skeleton jumping his way through a dark, scratchy, minimalist hellscape to reunite with your whale friend. It’s a kind of macabre adorable that Tim Burton used to excel at, or a shadowy somber counterpoint to the bright and hyperactive Super Meat Boy.The Super Meat Boy comparisons extend to the gameplay as well. Being a roguelike, Gonner is brutally difficult, with overwhelming enemies and bosses to learn and overcome. But the controls feel pitch-perfect, making mistakes your fault. The jumps and double-jumps and sliding wall jumps are super smooth. Jumping off one enemy’s head and shooting another with a shotgun in one fluid motion (kind of like Downwell, too) is a regular, satisfying occurrence.The levels assemble themselves into mildly different labyrinths on the fly, another cool aesthetic trick, so you can only see so much of the layout at a time. Gonner is more about mastering the controls so you can handle any situation you suddenly find yourself in. Aside from set daily challenges, memorizing levels isn’t the point. Fortunately, the controls are rich enough to be worth trying to master.The real key to getting the most out of Gonner is engaging with the combo system. While the game is hard, it’s not too hard if you carefully, slowly work your way through each stage fighting enemies when you know you’ll be safe. But you won’t earn any points that way. If you quickly kill five enemies in a row, you’ll earn a glyph that starts multiplying your score. Mowing down foes as fast as you can is already fun. The prize just adds another incentive. But if you’re too slow the combo resets, so there’s pressure as well. Pressure can either push you to dynamically think fast and instinctively perform at your best or cause you to recklessly screw up. The tense test of reflexes is utterly addictive in either short portable bursts or marathon “just one more run” sessions.Glyphs also serve as currency, adding to the risk-reward element of gathering them. In-between runs, you can visit Death itself to buy new items, and praise the sun because unlike in most roguelikes you keep the weapons you buy after you die. Who knew real progression was a good thing? Items are fairly balanced, offering some enticing new power at the expense of something else.One skull head keeps your body together, so you don’t fall apart after each hit or recollect yourself before proceeding. But its base health is lower. One backpack may give you rapid-fire shooting, but reloading is tougher. And a shotgun may take down enemies with one blast, but the smaller clip may limit your combo potential from further distances. I stuck with some loadouts more than others, but you’ll always want to buy and try new things, or search for them in secret rooms outside the shop.To me, Gonner is just a slight but really stylish, sort of endless 2D platformer with an awesome shoot ‘em up kind of combo system. It’s got roguelike elements for sure, but it has enough persistence and consistently enjoyable mechanics to mitigate most of my issues with the genre. This is the kind of death I could live for.Want to learn more? Here’s everything you need to know about the Nintendo Switch.Buy it now!The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the WindNintendo SwitchEssential Nintendo Switch AccessoriesView as: One Page Slides1/51. Gonner is a punishing, procedurally generated 2D platformer with roguelike elements.2. Purchase weapons (and keep them after death!) to make your journey more manageable. 3. Going through Hell is totally worth if it means reuniting with your nice whale friend.4. Stomp, shoot, and kill enemies as quickly as possible to earn glyphs and multiply your score. 5. You’ll die a lot, but that’s okay. You and Death are tight.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. ‘Star Wars Pinball’ Has Your Favorite Brand in Ball FormSNES Games Officially Come to Nintendo Switch last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *