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One of the really fun things about video games is how they’re allowed to be weird. It’s expected of them, honestly. Basically anything goes in terms of art style, gameplay, music, and storytelling, and that can lead to some incredibly cool (and strange) experiences you really can’t find in any other medium. GONNER 2 definitely falls into this cool and weird category.
GONNER 2, like its predecessor, is a charming and weird little platformer-shooter hybrid with an unusual presentation that changes every time you play. Join selfless hero Ikk as he works to rid Death’s Lair of a strange and dark presence. Equipt with a head, gun, and backpack, Ikk must run through chaotic mazes, battling monsters to find his way to the lair and take down the darkness within it.
As I said before, GONNER2 is a platformer-shooter game. You’ll run through levels that are generated on the fly, shooting monsters and trying to survive. You’ll start out with a basic gun, skull head, and backpack that will allow you extra lives and the ability to blast enemies. As you go further into the mazes, you’ll find a number of power-ups, heads, and guns that will make you more powerful and increase your odds against the presence in Death’s Lair.
Levels are non-linear. If you do a little exploring, you’ll find quite a few alternate paths that change the order of the levels. This gives you the opportunity to poke around and find all sorts of mysteries and secrets. The one very important thing to remember as you progress, however, is to not lose your head – literally. Losing the particular head you’re wearing means you’ll lose all your lives.
This is where the rogue-like elements of the game come in. Run out and you’re sent back to square one to start again. Just make sure to keep an eye on those hearts – and on your enemy – to make it through!
There’s also a co-op option to play with friends locally. This feature is really fun, and takes a bit of the stress off. The game is easier when two or more people are blasting through the levels, but it can also turn into a heated competition to see who can kill the most monsters – or a race to see how quickly your group can beat the game together. Regardless, playing together is a fun mix of collaboration and competition that’s bound to keep you and your friends entertained.
One of the best things about GONNER 2 are the visuals. They’re fantastic and funky, with tons of color and personality. The monsters all look unique and chaotic, and the design for Death is wonderful. Your path forward is procedurally-generated, i.e. random, meaning it appears as you move forward, and every maze is full of little details like vases and organs that really tie together the spooky vibe of the game. The pitchy, electronic soundtrack also adds to this eerie feeling.
GONNER 2 is a unique platformer with fun gameplay, funky graphics, and an interesting story uncovered by small details and imagery instead of words. By mixing in rogue-like elements, the game creates a good challenge and an opportunity to try multiple routes and weapons, as well as to explore. Bringing a (local) friend along for the journey only makes it better, but a piece of good advice before you start your adventure: don’t lose your head, and you’ll be just fine.