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August 7, 2014

Demo Review 14: 2 Fast 4 Gnomz

This odd game begins in a dancing castle in which lives a happy mustachioed king (as says the intro) who looks like a white Grandpa Pac-Man. He tells a young (or is he?) bearded gnome to find a princess and... collect socks. The young gnome gets kicked out of the castle and embarks on his quest.

After this hilarious intro (which contains very cheap English), the demo starts. With a concept eerily similar to BIT.TRIP RUNNER... The gnome has to jump to go up the platforms and collect socks on the way. He can jump, but he can also use a parachute of sorts to cross large gaps. Each level contains a few checkpoints so you don't have to start everything over. Trust me, having to restart every level from the beginning would be torture.

The game requires very precise timing for everything. Some levels contain moments where it's almost impossible not to lose a life... or a few lives, in fact. Thank God there are save points. Some mechanics are fun and add challenge, such as the blowing winds that send a parachuting gnome higher. You need patience and great reflexes, though if you want to reach even the end of the demo. Some parts are VERY tricky. In comparison to RUNNER, where you had to remember what to do with each obstacle (and only sometimes really having to check how close to the obstacle you had to be before pressing the button), here it's more a case of “when is the best moment to press the button” and “when is the best moment to release the button” (in the case of the parachuting gnome). Either way, it is a difficult game. Luckily it doesn't use a set number of lives that decreases when you die; instead, it keeps track of how many lives you lost, calculating it as a score of sorts. The music is very catchy, too, though it doesn't change, so you might get annoyed after a bit. Finally, the gnome dies as soon as he hits an obstacle; and when he falls in a pit, you can hear him scream for a few seconds. Wow. Brutal.

After a few levels, the demo ends. The gnome reaches a castle, sees a frog on the throne and kisses it... but instead of turning into a princess, the frog turns into a donkey. Wearing a dress. The gnome runs away and back to his quest...

Hilarious game, I'll give it that. Add to this some funny cutscenes and you get a game that could keep you interested. It's not quite for me, but I admit the demo was fun while it lasted. Try the demo, see if you're good, and if you are, try the full game!