Give me a moment here, I want to make sure I don't miss any of these. Ahem:
• WINNER: Indiecade Game Design, 2013
• WINNER: IGF | GDC Nuovo Award, 2011
• WINNER: Eurogamer Expo, RPS Indie Game of the Show, 2010
• WINNER: Fantastic Arcade Excellence in Design, 2010
• WINNER: Fantastic Arcade Bloodsport of the Year: 2010
• FINALIST: IGF | GDG Excellence in Design, 2011
• FINALIST: IGF | GDC Grand Prize, 2011
Those are the nominations and awards the newly released indie fighter, Nidhogg
has listed on their home page. It was enough to make me pick it up without hesitation.
I don't often define the quality of a video game by how many awards it's won, but when I start losing the ability to count them on my hands, apparently I do. A good thing, too. Nidhogg is all kinds of awesome.A DUEL TO THE DEATH
The concept is remarkably simple: 2 players go head-to-head in a half duel/half race to the death, both equipped with fencing swords and capable of more than a few tricks to give an edge in battle.
You begin facing your opponent in the 'middle' of a map, with an opening battle. Battles are fast and furious beyond imagining, often ending within a few seconds, which ties into the gameplay mechanic wonderfully: upon killing your opponent they'll need to wait a moment to respawn, allowing you to press forward toward your 'goal'.
Win a battle and you're given the 'goal light' allowing you to move forward further; lose, and your opponent gains it instead. So long as you maintain the previous kill you can pass-by your opponent without engaging and edge closer to your goal - should they fail to stop your approach.
This 'tug-o-war' mechanic is the single most endearing indie game element I've felt in a while. It's relentless, and the feeling of achievement after finally managing to push an opponent back to the end, before summarily being eaten by Nidhogg, is one of much glory and admiration. Simple, sure. But so very, very rewarding. Easy to learn, too, and likely near-impossible to master.MATCH MADE IN HELL
Single-Player Mode consists of fighting steadily more challenging opponents, one after another, on one of 4 maps. So, naturally, if you want to be playing Nidhogg for more than a few hours, you're going to need to go multiplayer.
Sadly, the online matchmaking within Steam isn't great. Assuming you can actually find a game, there's a good chance one of you will be lagging horribly — and when you're playing the type of game that you can't
play with even the slightest amount of lag, matches can often lead to aggravating experiences.
Assuming you have a few friends playing, and you're all within the same global region, this won't be a huge problem. And if you're lucky enough to have more than a few friends playing, then Tournament Mode will likely give you the greatest experience of all. I know, personally, playing live on Twitch, that this feature will make for 99% of all my time playing. WORTH A BUY?
At $15~ I can only recommend a purchase here for players with friends planning to play with them - for now, at least. Which is largely a shame, as the gameplay offered in Nidhogg is truly exceptional.
Possible improvements include visual upgrades to characters to simulate some form of character progression; as it stands, every game is the same and with 4 maps there's limited variety. You'll be relying on your opponents to entertain you; if they do, you're going to love Nidhogg, if not, you're likely going to get very bored, very quick.ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Cody Hargreaves, better known as Excessive Profanity
, has been writing reviews and articles in the gaming industry for 7 years, across various websites and publications. Follow Cody on Twitter for updates. ABOUT CORSUAL
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