Phase 1: Collect Underpants –
Ported from WiiWare, 2 Fast 4 Gnomz is a twitch reaction runner, somewhat similar to the Bit.Trip series by comparison, which offers challenging gameplay in manageable bite sized chunks.
The goal is to guide an endlessly left-to-right running lawn gnome while avoid all sorts of one-hit kill death traps while collecting colored socks along the way. With each stage only lasting around a minute, gameplay is fast and based on reaction time and eventual memorization. The key aspect to mention here is that the gnome always runs forward; there is no option to stop and/or backtrack. This makes achieving that flawless 3-star run more rewarding but could test the patience of tempered gamers.
As progression is made new abilities and features become unlocked. For example, holding up on the circlepad causes the gnome to glide long distances using a pants parachute or pressing down avoids jumps, destroys obstacles in the way, and allows safe passage through tornados with the use of devil horns. But instead of making each cleverly designed stage easier, the introduction of new abilities just opens the door for the level designers to create something more dastardly. No one will be able to complete this game off reaction time alone as the overall difficulty is always high but thanks to quick respawn times, colorful Flash sprites, quirky music, and overall ridiculous gameplay, that “grrrr, I know I can do this, I just need one more try” mentality kicks in. With just a little tenacity, this game will grow on you.
Thanks to the short level design, this runner is ideally played in 5-10 minute increments. However, there are some negative points worth mentioning. Despite being a colorful game, sometimes the backgrounds feel like they are interactive which can cause an accidental death or two along the way; but this is somewhat remedied by turning up the 3D slider. Checkpoints can also sometimes feel a bit unfair and spaced out and initial load times are painfully long considering this is a smaller file sized downloadable title. Also, with a game like 2 Fast 4 Gnomz, cheap deaths are ineVitable but never really get to the point of wanting to turn your system off for good. And what is up with that hamper character guy thing? He just awkwardly greets you at the end of each stage by strolling along with his arms out; this character, like the rest of the game, sometimes is just weird for the sake of weird… but that is perfectly ok.
For a few bucks, 2 Fast 4 Gnomz is worth a consideration especially if you passed up the WiiWare version; it is better designed for a portable system anyway. Or in other words, it is the best gnome controlling sock collector on the 3DS eShop.
Also Check Out: South Park’s Underpants Gnomes
Phase 1: Collect underpants
Phase 3: Profit
By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief myGamer.com