Review: GoNNER for Nintendo Switch

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Review: GoNNER for Nintendo Switch

GoNNER for Nintendo Switch is a 2D platformer with roguelike elements. Don’t loose your head in this procedurally-generated game.

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After we reviewed TumbleSeed not too long ago, GoNNER for Nintendo Switch is the second game with roguelike elements to hit Nintendo’s newest console. The 2D platformer has been released for Windows, macOS and Linux in 2016; the Nintendo Switch is a timed console exclusive. Be prepared to die a lot.

Story: It’s all about love

Our protagonist Ikk is a misunderstood little guy whose sole interest is cheering up the huge whale Sally. With Death by his side, he always has access to different weapons, backpacks and heads — yes, you can swap your head.

GoNNER for Nintendo Switch Ikk and Sally
Ikk and Sally are inseparable
GoNNER for Nintendo Switch Ikk Sally love
Ikk and Sally seem to love each other

The places Ikk traverses are dark and filled with monsters waiting to chop his head off. But don’t be alarmed: You can just pick your head up and continue playing — if you don’t, another hit will kill you instantly. Don’t loose your head or pick it up quickly!

Gameplay: Keep on dyin’

Just a heads up: GoNNER for Nintendo Switch is a tough game by design. Don’t be easily frustrated — dying is part of this game.

GoNNER for Nintendo Switch Death
Visit Death when you die and pick new items

With that said, Deian had some trouble advancing in the game at first. You need to get used to shooting only sideways and climbing walls to kill as many enemies as possible, especially the ones up high.

GoNNER for Nintendo Switch exploding enemies
Some enemies explode and hurt you

GoNNER being a 2D platformer, you can jump on enemies and save some ammunition (if you don’t use the backpack which grants you ammo). Jumping on enemies and performing a double jump afterwards catapults you up high, which is sometimes necessary to find hidden secrets.

GoNNER for Nintendo Switch dying continue
If you have enough purple runes, you can continue after a death

Speaking of secrets: There are a few secret areas in the game and also a lot of unlockable items.

It’s crucial to try out all the different outfits and find the one you like the most. Our favourite is:

  • the big head which grants you three hearts
  • the laser gun
  • the backpack which gives you ammo
GoNNER for Nintendo Switch gamble

This guy lets you trade purple runes for a new item

Another fun head is the teddy bear, which allows you to perform double jumps and shoot down on enemies. This doesn’t work particularly well with the laser gun, though. It has some recoil and might send you into enemies. Other guns are more suited for this head — try them out!

Audiovisual presentation: Awesome music & great visuals

After you start playing GoNNER, you’ll notice the great sound right away. It is highly recommended to play GoNNER for Nintendo Switch with good headphones. Besides the cool music, there are sound cues in the game that announce hidden areas.

GoNNER for Nintendo Switch secret room
Instead of taking the normal exit, you should take the other one to get to a secret room

Visually, GoNNER for Nintendo Switch is minimalistic but still very beautiful. Enemies are easy to spot, killing them makes them explode gracefully and Ikk is also nicely animated. The attention to detail is remarkable, especially when you get hit and fall into pieces.

Another think we loved are the reactions the enemies present: Exclamation marks signal you that you have been spotted; if you hide, they turn into questions marks because the enemy has lost sight of you.

GoNNER for Nintendo Switch helper
Your little helper picks up your items and can carry weapons

All levels in GoNNER for Nintendo Switch are procedurally generated so you never get bored playing through the game again and again. Another interesting thing is that the levels are drawn around the character, which makes the art-style especially interesting.

Experimenting with different items

One thing that might be concerning is that GoNNER for Nintendo Switch never really tells you anything. You have no idea what a new item does until you try it out (and probably die a miserable death shortly after). This is probably by design but might discourage some players.

It is very important to experiment in this game, trying out new items, new tactics and even getting hit — this all is part of the game and what makes GoNNER for Nintendo Switch so interesting.

Final words about GoNNER for Nintendo Switch

GoNNER for Nintendo Switch is definitely not an easy game, but one that doesn’t seem unfair. It enforces the rule of experimenting with different items and play styles. Even if it’s not a very long game, it still has some replayability if you like to beat your high score. There are also daily challenges and a leaderboard, which should keep you coming back for more.

DeveloperArt in Heart
PublisherRaw Fury
ReleaseJune 27th (PAL, NA, JP)
GenreAction, Adventure, Platformer
Price€9.99, $9.99, ¥1,099
Undocked playtime3h1

  1. 85 % sound, 75 % brightness

The review copy of GoNNNER for Nintendo Switch was kindly provided by Raw Fury. In no way did it affect our professional view of the game.