Developer Mattis Dittrich, otherwise known as Ditto, turned to me while playing GoNNER and said that this upcoming roguelike platformer was made after an irrepressibly cold, dark winter in Sweden. That explains a lot.
Inspired by other tough-as-nails games like Nuclear Throne, Spelunky, and Super Meat Boy, GoNNER follows the rough escapade of the blue amorphous Ikk, who just wants to cheer up his friend Sally the Whale, by finding her a present. And he's going to do that by heading through the underground and blasting every hellish creature he finds. Please don't hate him, guys! He's just misunderstood.
Well, what can you expect by a disciple of Death himself? He just can't kelp killing to get what he wants. Of course, it's not going to easy. In fact, Dittrich firmly told me that the level design is meant to "fuck with players." In his own words, Diitrich isn't that great when it comes to platformers, so to his mind, if he was able to complete a level, he needed to make it harder. And harder. And harder. Until the creator could not defeat his own creation.
First off, like any roguelike worth its salt, dying in GoNNER means having to restart all over from the beginning. So as much as you may want to speed through levels, bopping enemies on their heads and firing one of many guns at enemies, you'll need to be careful to avoid damage. Getting hit will make Ikk lose his head, which grants him a boost when he has it on, and you'll need to grab it before heading to the next level or you'll lose the head entirely.
After watching Ditrich and one of his colleagues struggle, I absorbed the information from all their deaths and took the controller. At the death hub, I chose to use the standard head with the laser rifle, a reloadable gun that could blast any enemies in a straight line across the entire screen. By the end of the first stage, I knew I made the right choice, as I chose to take out almost every adversary. Then after about four stages, i reached the final boss of the first area, a series of bats along with three giant ones that could charge at Ikk like a homing missile at any time. But luckily I managed to hang on and completed the level without dying once, all to the surprise of the small crowd.
I was pleased of course to show off my
beginner's luck ninja skills, though I could detect a glint in the back of Dittrich's eye that read "I guess I'll need to make this harder." That said, the demo essentially finished after the first boss, and there are four worlds in total in GoNNER. The number of heads in the final release is not known yet, but Dittrich believes there will be seven or eight weapons to choose from, including a super-secret poop gun. Completing the game on normal difficult will unlock a hardcore mode, and given that this game is candy for speedrunners, you can expect it to be in some Games Done Quick marathon after its release.
GoNNER, published by Raw Fury and developed by Art in Heart, is slated to release in Late Summer 2016 for PC and Mac with controller support.