REVIEW – 2 Fast 4 Gnomz (3DS eShop)

A Game Review by Greg Dabkey

Game2 Fast 4 Gnomz
Developer/Publisher: QubicGames
Version: eShop (3DS)
Release date: 11/1/2012
Price: $4.99
Acquired: Review Copy courtesy of QubicGames

“4 Gnomz go on an adventure, and they don’t even know where they are going.”   This quote was taken right how Nintendo’s website for this game’s description and this couldn’t be more true to describe how you feel when you play this game.   This is an action packed, runner type of game that will keep you on your heels as your Gnome races through the levels by gliding, charging, sprinting or going back in time (slightly).

Gameplay & Controls:

This game is one of those runner like games similar to Temple Run or Samurai G.  But where this game succeeds is that the levels have an endpoint or a destination that the runner must reach.  The Gnome moves automatically, and the player must jump, glide, charge, sprint or rewind time their way through each level.  Your initial Gnome will not have all of those abilities, but as you clear each world (a collection of 10 themed levels) then you unlock another Gnome and a new ability.  Your initial Gnome can only glide, by pressing and holding up on the directional pad.  The player simply presses A to jump then can activate the glide mid-air and hold it for the desired length of time.  They can also release and re-apply to drop in height and continue gliding, making this a tricky maneuver in some of the more difficult levels.  Along the way, the player must help the Gnome collect brightly colored socks.  The game does not explain why socks, but it’s to add to the craziness.

Each level (except the Nightmare courses) has check points where the player re-spawns if they die.  This makes it easy to resume somewhat near where you were last and allows you to grab each and every sock.  When the level completes, the player is graded in two initial and eventually three categories.  First the player’s total socks collected are totaled and receives a star, 2 stars or 3 stars based on a preset ratio of socks acquired or times died.  3 stars is only if you hit perfection and grab each and every one.   Next the player is graded on the number of times they die.  It does not count if you restart, or redo the level, but only when you are on the level or resuming mid-level.  Eventually in World III, the player gets graded on time, when they gain the ability to sprint, forcing you to beat the clock.  Each level has 9 stars available to acquire, and thankfully you don’t have to complete all 3 categories on a single run.  The player can do a deathless run, collection run and a timed run and it will save all 9 stars on that level.

On the touch screen, it tracks your deaths, total socks collected and time.  In the second world, the player gains the ability to charge.  This is applied by pressing (and holding) down on the directional pad.  This allows you to drop quickly from a jump, charge through trees, or stay planted on the ground through a world wind storm.  In world III, the player gains the ability to sprint, by holding right on the directional pad, and finally in world IV, the player can rewind time a little by using left.  The player can only rewind time at specified clocks placed within the level.

The game is pretty enjoyable, as players will have to figure out the patterns of moves to advance through each and every level.  The player may need to land quickly and break through a tree, then immediately jump and activate the glider to sail up through the water sprout, and then land into charge mode again.  Each level is set, so it never changes between each play through.  Once the player completes world IV, world V unlocks with 5 Nightmare courses.  Each Nightmare course requires 80 of the 90 stars from the previous 4 worlds and the 5th Nightmare course requiring 24 of the 36 Nightmare stars.  Let me tell you the Nightmare courses are nuts and there are no check points as the player must do the entire course in a single run.

Graphics & Sound:

You can get a pretty good feel for the graphics from the screen shots.  The backgrounds, elements, characters while playing are pretty crisp.  The animations from the cut scenes are a little poor.  The 3D slider adds a little depth to the background elements, but it is not required to play nor does it really enhancement the experience.  The music is probably the weakest part of this game as it is a basic track that is on repeat.  When you die it reloads the song again so you could get stuck listening to the same portion of the song over and over again.  The map music is about a 10-20 second clip that also repeats frequently.  The sound effects are mostly basic but add a nice feel to the game, particular when you get squished or fall into the endless pit.

Final Score: 8 out of 10

Overall, this game is pretty solid.  The courses are well designed and are definitely challenging.  This game’s difficulty level of increase can be compared to Fractured Soul, where you are just a few levels in and then you feel the difficulty spike all of a sudden.  On average I would die around 2-5 times in world I, but that jumped up to 15 in world 2 since it has you alternating up and down on the control pad within a very short period of time.  Besides the lacking in the music and cut scene graphics areas, there is also no form of leaderboards or multiplayer.  The leader boards would be nice to compare best runs, and/or also track the worst run, but is only a minor recommendation.  I would recommend this game to those that enjoy runner type games jam-packed with action and a little adventure.

Screens:

 

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About the author:

Greg’s gaming hobby started with the NES when his grandma purchased it for Christmas one year. He started with Super Mario Brothers with Duck Hunt set and Super Mario would become the first game he beat. From there he continued gaming with the SNES, Game Boy Pocket, Game Boy Color, Nintendo 64, Game Boy Advance, Game Cube, Nintendo DS (original, Lite, DSi), and then was a first week Wii owner. Most recently he games on the Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo Wii U. His favorite series include Mariokart, Legend of Zelda and Metroid. His genres of choice are action/adventure, RPG, puzzle/strategy and platforming. His life long goal of going to E3 was achieved in June 2013 and hopes to return in the future.

Greg has been blogging for NintendoFuse since November 2011. He started off as a knowledgeable contestant for the Ambassador Tournament, and was asked to jump on the team. Currently, he enjoys writing game reviews and occasionally sharing news with the fans and readers. You will also find him on the forums as the Event Moderator.

Greg – who has written posts on NintendoFuse.


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  • http://coffeewithgames.com/ coffeewithgames

    The lack of leaderboards is mentioned quite often, but I really don’t think it’s the developers here. There are several 3DS games (Mutant Mudds another) that have leaderboards on the PC, but not on the 3DS. I really think this is on Nintendo’s side…when free iOS games have leaderboards/high score rankings, and the 3DS doesn’t…there is a serious problem somewhere.

    That being said, I have played the WiiWare demo of this, and thought it was crazy! The backgrounds, art style, and speed of movement made me think I might have a seizure…but I finished the demo and had fun with it. It was definitely challenging.

    • http://www.wiinintendo.net Jeremy Hardin

      I didn’t have the time to review this game when they sent us the code so Greg took it. I thought it looked cool and was interested in playing it but didn’t have the funds for it right now. Anyways, I ended up winning a free copy from Qubic Games on Facebook and I really like it!

      On a side note, there is an Official Dev thread on our forums created by QubicGames —>http://forums.wiinintendo.net/viewtopic.php?f=170&t=10871

      I hope you’ll join the forums Scott and throw the devs some questions….in particular, about the lack of leaderboards =D.

    • http://www.wiinintendo.net Jeremy Hardin

      If you check out the forums, the devs have been responding. They also addressed the lack of leaderboards.

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