BADGP Reviews: Nidhogg
Released: January 13, 2014
February 15, 2013
Nidhogg is a 2d fighting game. Nidhogg has been an extremely anticipated game among certain video game circles for years now. It first started getting some buzz when it won the 2011 Independent Games Festival’s Nuovo Award, and it was first announced in 2010. I first came across the game when researching the game “Divekick”. When discussing the deconstruction of the fighting game genre, Nidhogg always seemed to be mentioned in the same sentence. After doing some research I began to get quite excited for the game as well. After almost 3 years of fine-tuning and development, the game is out. It is absolutely incredible.
Nidhogg is a 2d sword fighting game. The graphics are simple and at first do look quite basic. The game is deep, but is very easy to get into. The goal of the game is much different than any other fighter I have played. The goal is not just to kill the other player. When you kill the other player, a flashing “go” arrow appears for the victorious player. This is reminiscent of classic side-scrolling games. When you have the arrow flashing you are free to run towards your goal. The other player will almost instantly respawn and try to stop you. If they succeed then the screen is locked again until someone dies again. You both start in the middle of the map. One player tries to get all the way to the left hand side of the map, while the other player tries to go all the way to the right.
It is worth noting again how fluid Nidhogg plays. It truly feels like a reenactment of the best sword fights you’ve ever seen. You can hold your sword in 3 different positions. There are the high, middle, and low positions. If your sword is at the same position as the other players, then you just parry them. If your sword is below theirs and then you quickly move yours up, then they become disarmed and are pretty much a goner. If they are running away, you also have the option to throw your sword at them, but I do not usually recommend this. You can also divekick enemies and snap their neck while they are on the ground.
There is no real story mode to speak of. The game is tailor-made for local multiplayer. It does have online, but it seems to be just a bit laggy which is a huge problem in such a precise game. There are 4 maps available, which doesn’t seem like much. But each has multiple rooms and plays much differently. There are also many different modifiers for the game such as low gravity, hyperspeed, no swords, and many, many more! There is also a robust tournament mode to set up with friends.
Overall, Nidhogg is a phenomenal game. I have enjoyed every moment of the game. I have introduced it to multiple people and each time it was a blast. It never took long for people to understand how to play and it was always immediately competitive. The game may be just a little light on content, but when the core gameplay is so enjoyable, it is easily forgiven. Due to the tug-of-war type of gameplay, each match is very intense. Some matches were over in less than a minute, while some of my most engaging matches were 10 minutes or more. At its core, Nighogg is one of the best fighting game experiences ever. So if you have group of people to play with locally, I can whole-heartedly recommend Nidhogg. If you do not, it is still an incredible fighting game that you should experience, but maybe just not for $15.