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First Impressions: Gnomz (WiiWare)

Posted by James Newton

WiiWare gets weirder

QubicGames' Gnomz isn't much like other fighting games. There are no punches, no blocks and no health bars — instead it has gnomes, rainbow socks and reindeer with lights on. We recently grappled with a preview version of the game and came out (mostly) mentally unscathed.

Played with the Wii Remote sideways, Gnomz is a single-screen platformer/fighting game that owes as much to Mario Bros. as it does Super Smash Bros. Brawl. The only 'attack' is your jump, with the aim being to stomp on your opponents' heads to dispatch them and score a point. They soon respawn though, and whoever has the most points at the end of the match is declared the winner. It's simple, instantly intuitive and — with up to eight characters on-screen — totally chaotic.

Smash Match is the standard mode where up to four human players and four CPU characters brawl on one of 25 stages, each trying to stomp the others. With no teams it's every gnome for itself, and the almost instant respawn means nobody's out of the action for more than a second or two. The stages each lend themselves to differing strategies: it's not always advantageous to claim the high ground as the stage 'ceiling' extends beyond the edge of the screen, letting others float over you for a well-aimed stomp, so quick movements become the key. Some will notice similarities to fan game Super Mario War, but Gnomz is executed with no little panache and plenty of its own style.

There's also a few handy power-ups (disguised as socks) to help you put away the other porcelain pugilists: a white sock summons a familiar to take out nearby opponents, a brown sock turns you into an unstoppable viking and a rainbow sock unleashes a giant rainbow of enormous destructive force. All of this is wrapped up in some very crisp and charming 2D artwork and suitably bizarre sound effects.

Gnomz isn't far off release on WiiWare and, if the price is right, could prove to be an enjoyable romp for anyone after a simple and speedy battle.

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User Comments (11)

shinesprite

#1

shinesprite said:

The background art for this game looks rich, but the sprites themselves seem washed and simplistic. :|

WiiLovePeace

#3

WiiLovePeace said:

Wow, I wasn't going to pay attention to this game at all just because the name is wierd. More Super Mario War? Sounds great! That game is a blast to play :D

Kid_A

#4

Kid_A said:

This game looks and sounds AWESOME! Why are there not more comments on this article? I demand an answer!

Xkhaoz

#5

Xkhaoz said:

@Kid_A probably since there are three promoted articles taking up the front page, some people won't see it since they don't take the time to scroll down and check for new articles

Omega

#6

Omega said:

@Kid_A: Because most are too excited to post something. And the others play Super Mario War.

JayArr

#7

JayArr said:

This game does look spectacular.

I think the problem is its on WiiWare and most people turned their backs to the Wii's E-shop when Nintendo abandoned Wii VC.

Olorin

#8

Olorin said:

Looks like it would be very easy to lose track of which gnom you are with the tiny characters and seemingly lack of color-coding. Also a shame that it's not an 8 player game, even though there can be 8 onscreen characters.
Still looks like it could be fun, so I'll keep my eye on it.

SKTTR

#9

SKTTR said:

Still waiting for impressions on the single player mode. What about a story, progress, achievements, unlockables?

I know this game is made for frantic simple multiplayer fun and party sessions, but will I have something to do when I'm just playing alone? I hope there's more than just basic singleplayer matches against up to 7 CPU-Gnömz.

With 25 stages and different items this has potential for a short but neat solo experience as well. A single player story mode would be great, or at least a mission mode.

Virus

#10

Virus said:

Looks fun, but this game reeks a little too much of Eduardo the Samurai Toaster. I was stupid to buy that game on concept alone; I'll be damned if I fall for the same thing again. Call me cautious, but I'll need a lot of convincing before putting my bucks down for this one.

jkshaz

#11

jkshaz said:

Well I will say that this game has caught my eye. I'm cautiously intrigued by it, but I've never played this style of game before so maybe I'll go check out SM War.

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