Game review by
Michael Lafferty, Common Sense Media
GONNER2 Game Poster Image
Addictive 2D action game tests player's skills.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

There's no positive messages expressed, other than having to try and try again to succeed and pass levels in the game.

Positive Role Models

The characters don't have any significant character development, and there doesn't seem like there's a lot of info about why they're doing what they're doing.

Ease of Play

The control scheme is kept relatively simple, but this is a roguelite game, which means that each level is randomly created and constantly changing. While there's no difficulty settings, the further you go, the harder the game gets. 


If you die, you simply restart. The violence is very light and monsters will simply blow apart without blood or gore. This is very cartoonish. Your character uses rifles and ammo packs found on the levels to shoot at enemies or other players. 


There's some crude humor, like characters emerging from the butt of a snake-like creature.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that GONNER2 is a downloadable action game for Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Windows PCs. There's a storyline, although nothing's ever said and there's no sound to the game. But play contains crude humor, with the playable creature deposited onto the map from the butt of a snake-like or worm-like creature. The idea is to traverse the level and return to the safety of the snake/worm's mouth. The violence is very mild, and the field is procedurally created -- meaning that this roguelite title creates new maps with every play. It does have elements of a platform-style arcade game (jumping and shooting monsters), and some of the maps take place in water so players can swim across them.

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What's it about?

Ikk is back and in GONNER2, the erstwhile hero is helping Death rid her lair of a mysterious presence. Ikk will have to journey through a variety of places, battling bosses  and other creatures that get in your path. You'll journey your way through deep dark places awash with color, bosses, and mini-bosses in a variety of sizes and forms, picking up a rifle and useingthe ammo you find on the levels to take them down. Bosses can kill Ikk with one shot, so planning and being agile is key. And while the story may have been discussed on the Internet, there's actually no reference to it in game. In fact, the game just drops Ikk off in a level and expects him to find and fight his way through. 

Is it any good?

Colorful, somewhat addictive, and ever-changing maps give the game it's charm, and the difficulty ramps up and beckons players back. GONNER2 has a story and promptly doesn't bother to tell the player what it is, or even what really needs to be done. The hero, Ikk, is pooped out on a map, picks up a rifle and ammo, and tries to avoid or kill bosses and mini-bosses to get to the other end to be swallowed back up by the worm-like creature that dropped him off to begin with. The game has no sound, and has a cooperative mode that allows up to four others to jump in. But since this is a 2D side-scrolling affair, the point of view and map tends to be centered on the first player. Die and you start back near the beginning, which can be frustrating if you're trying to make progress and are repeatedly unlucky.

Where the game succeeds, though is in the ease of play, the brightly colored maps and the procedurally drawn maps that make no two play sessions feel the same. Honestly, GONNER2's strength is in its game mechanics, which are rock solid. Keeping the focus on the game's controls puts an emphasis on strategically working through the levels. Plus, some luck can play a role in making your way through a stage, and reflexive elements are also involved to test your skill. GONNER2 builds off the original game, offers more in terms of multiplayer, ramps up the challenge and is nice little drop-in-and-play game that would be a good introduction to the roguelite genre for younger gamers.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the elements that make for a good video-game session. Do arcade games hold attention? What about graphic elements - how realistic or fantastic do they need to be to appeal to the younger players? Does the story really matter?

  • What do you like about cooperative play? What makes it less enjoyable especially if playing on the same system?

Game details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love action

Themes & Topics

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