Nongünz is a procedurally generated dungeoneering adventure with a confusing upgrade system, plenty of mysteries, and a difficulty curve that will crush your soul. If you’re into a game that doesn’t directly tell you the story or hand-hold at all, this STILL might be a little overkill. That being said, the levels are fantastic, interesting, and beautiful.
The game starts in a graveyard where everything is black and white. The game calls itself a nihilistic action platformer, and it is a very accurate way to describe this game. You adventure through a procedurally generated dungeon with a bunch of body horror themed enemies. There are upgrades, but, I don’t know what they do, and the game doesn’t care enough to tell me. I get points, they disappear when I die, or I can put them into a giant wall-mounted art-piece full of skulls and guns, which, totally sounds like a Duke Nukem air-humpingly bro-tastic time than a nihilistic black and white game about gore and violence, but, I promise, it’s classy.
The weirdest thing about this game’s graphics are that when I saw the trailer, I immediately thought, “Indie garbage, the controls are going to be terrible.” but, now that I’ve played for a bit, not only have the graphics grown on me, but I’ve been incredibly pleased with how the animation looks and feels. Nothing really feels out of place, the few colors thrown in are put in just the right spots. The game’s atmosphere is perfectly aligned with the concept.
The music is the same way. It’s just casual enough to be easy listening, but queues in important events, such as entering the tower.
The sound in general is nice. No enemies are annoyingly loud and the weapons all sound great. I really can’t complain about any of the audio.
One of the really interesting things about this game is the design. Enemies are either random horror movie type creatures, or human body parts. I haven’t figured out the mystery behind all of it yet, but, fighting a bunch of noses that shoot boogers is really cathartic. The enemies themselves are sometimes put into positions that feel impossible, or, rather improbable to defeat, but, learn their patterns and you’ll be fine. I suppose in that sense it’s sort of Megaman-like. Everything has a pattern and can be bested, though, unlike Megaman, with it’s hand-crafted master-class level design, this game is procedurally generated, which, isn’t a terrible thing, but you’ll never get levels on the same level as Megaman from a procedural engine. Honestly, it’s unfair to even compare the two in level design, as this is an indie company, and comparing them to something you could write a nearly 5,000 word thesis on for one level.
The controls are difficult, in the way that when you first start Dark Souls for the first time you feel like you’re actually controlling a dead guy. The character moves in a unique manner, though, it’s nothing like Dark Souls in that regard, just in the difficulty it takes to understand how to control him. The slide and dodge moves are incredibly difficult to time, though, I imagine that has more to do with my old-man reflexes and lack of brainpower than anything to do with the controls. I’ve made some incredible jumps and survived in places that I certainly thought I should be dead, and that’s because the game’s controls are crisp. (even if my abilities themselves are not.)
The enemies are fun to figure out. Certain enemies are a huge hassle, probably moreso than the developer intended, such as the flies, but, there are ways to beat them. It’s just difficult to figure out a tried and true system. Once you’ve mastered the enemies, there are bosses to handle, and they aren’t a joke either. They are definitely inspired my Megaman, not in their design, but, in the patterned attacks and the ways to avoid being damaged by them.
As time goes on, you end up collecting worshippers that give you points every second or so, like an idle game. This little diversion is important, because it helps inform the nihilism present in the rest of the game. What’s the point of continuing? I can just sit here and get powerful by not doing anything. There are other people you can pick up, they do things like operate a slot machine, set up a store, and, once you have enough, you really don’t have to go into the dungeon anymore at all. Of course, that takes forever, and we all know that time is important. I’d rather not waste my gaming time by idling. But, as far as the nihilism angle goes, this game’s got it covered. Shit’s pointless, bro!
You collect items that turn into cards, and those cards do things. The big confusing thing is that when you collect cards, you can only really guess what they do. I have no idea what the numbers mean, and, I don’t think I’m supposed to know. It’s all part of the mystery of the game.
It’s not for everyone, that’s for sure. Everything feels like a weird art-project. So, if that’s not something you’re interested in, steer clear of Nongünz. If you’re into games like Hollow Knight this might be up your alley, albeit a much different experience.
This is an interesting game. I was worried at first about the quality of the graphics, but, after playing it for a bit, I find that they are rather amusing. The whole game has that feel of something you have to actually play to appreciate. It’s not something you can turn on for five minutes and understand. The world has rules, and once you start to understand them, you fully realize how cool the whole thing is. Well, if you’re into that artsy-fartsy shoot a bunch of fingers and noses kinda art. When you try to close the game (Which, will take forever to figure out, btw) You don’t just… close the game, another character gets up from his computer and there’s a bunch of stuff in the room, before you lay down on your bed to actually close the game. It’s interesting, but again, super artsy. The game will be released for $6.99, and, I can’t think of a reason this game deserves any less. I would have personally priced it at about $10.00. Check it out!
Disclosure: We received a copy of this game for free.
Developed by: The Brainwash Gang
Published by: Sindiecate Arts
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