Nongunz: Doppelganger Edition | Review | Nintendo Switch

  • Developer: Brainwash Gang
  • Publisher: Digerati
  • Release Date: 05/5/2021
  • Price: £13.49 / $14.99
  • Review code provided by Digerati

Introducing: Nongunz: Doppelganger Edition Review

Nongunz: Doppelganger Edition is certainly best described as a fast paced 2D action platformer. When I first saw the trailer I fell in love with the aesthetic for the game. I was even more excited to hear we were asked to review it and here we are. Jump through this dungeon, blasting everything in our way with me, as we review Nongunz: Doppelganger Edition.

Where is the Narrative

After a short little tutorial, you are thrown right into the game. There is no dialogue and it appears not really any story to be found. While I don’t mind games without a story as much, I feel these types of games work better with a strong narrative. So, since the decision was made to put no story here, how about we check out the game play?

Blasting Our Way Through

In Nongunz: Doppelganger Edition you play as a skeleton, who has no head but we will get to that, climbing a castle-like structure filled with demons. This game is a Rogue-like however, so every time you enter this structure the game generates a new set of rooms for you to explore. I am not sure how advanced the generation is however as I did see some rooms with the same configuration from my previous runs, even down to the monster composition. Your primary way to kill these demons is, you guessed it, various kinds of guns. There are a few melee weapons, but I didn’t find them really helpful since most of the time you would get hit trying to use them. 

Let’s Gather Some Points

Killing enemies fast will chain your kills together granting you extra points. There are two uses for these points in Nongunz: Doppelganger Edition. The first would be to purchase healing items from a merchant that just looks like Death himself within the dungeon. Though that is not the best use of your points.

The better use of your points is to feed them into a giant mural of different weapons and skulls that you can equip. How many points you need exactly for different things however is not clearly stated. One aspect I liked of this game was that you could flee the dungeon through windows to visit that wall and then re-enter. Basically allowing you to start runs fully equipped from head to toe. However, this game has more for you than just a dungeon crawl.

Castle or Church

Instead of running through to climb the castle and defeat bosses you can visit the church. Within the church you can take on a challenge room against waves of enemies. With each wave defeated you hit a button on the floor and the room morphs with the next challenge. Every few waves completed also reward healing items. You can start this as a fresh option as well, but some rooms do seem built with specific skulls in mind. Also, you can’t leave this room until you complete it, which seems off compared to the dungeon runs you can leave mid-way through.

Let’s Talk Death Options

Yeah, that is certainly a weird heading for sure. There is a mausoleum in which you can store items you either find or buy with your points, such as weapons and different skulls. These items are sort of a bonus equipment stash as you lose all of your items on death. 

Also, when you respawn from death you enter a white room with some platforms and two doors. Instead of having to jump up the platforms to start your next run, you can just walk towards the castle of church from this room and the game will warp you to your next run. I loved this feature because it made the game feel more continuous with little to no loss in the flow of combat.

The Aesthetic of Death

As I said, the original thing that drew me to Nongunz: Doppelganger Edition was the art work. I loved the Gothic aesthetic to the environment. While I have had games in the past in which these art choices made it hard to see ledges and doors. I didn’t feel that here. I was able to clearly see the doors I needed to hit as well as what ledges I could jump on. The music was actually pretty nice too. I didn’t find it distracting and the gun sound effects were pretty sharp as well.

The Bad with the Good

Unfortunately I cannot review a game without talking about the issues I encountered while playing it. First, the game froze while trying to generate a dungeon the one time. I am not sure what actually caused this, but I also lost no progress due to the auto saving feature. However, I had this one room spawn in that spawned like 20 of these enemies that fill the screen with bullets. The game just slogged while I attempted to lower that. Overall, I had no issues that truly hurt my experience with the game as it controlled really well and felt solid.

Final Run

Overall, I really enjoyed my time doing the Nongunz: Doppelganger Edition review, The game just felt really solid. Has a great pick-up and play feel to it as the runs are not super long and the game play is so fast paced that you could lose track of time. The goth aesthetic just had me in love from the moment I hit go here. Though I did feel sometimes the game just generated rooms that I couldn’t do with the items I found in my run.

Pros

  • Short playtime, pick-up and play kind of style 
  • Beautiful art and music

Cons

  • Lack of a narrative
  • Algorithm generating some rooms that require specific builds

Verdict

Nongunz: Doppelganger Edition will have you bursting through the castle and blasting your way to the boss with a variety of weapons and abilities. But ultimately does nothing to stand out in a crowded marketplace.

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