Nidhogg is a simple but enjoyable premise that can swing between offence and defence at the drop of a hat — or sword, in this case…
Nidhogg is a frantic game of tug and war that rewards wit, cunning and swordplay rather than brute strength. The concept is simple — two would-be champions face off against one another in an attempt to reach the opposite ends of the screen. This can be achieved either by engaging and killing the opposing player or by fleeing while they desperately hunt you down. It’s a simple but enjoyable premise that can swing between offence and defence at the drop of a hat — or sword, in this case.
While the gameplay is fun, the retro graphics and the simplistic controls may not be to everyone’s taste. Nidhogg only features a few stages, emphasising that the focus is very much on the combat. For some, this won’t be enough to justify the price tag, but others will revel in the purity of a genuinely compelling fighting game. It takes only minutes for the game to reveal its charms, but those who fall in love can lose hours in an endless toil for mastery.
The game features a single-player mode against AI-controlled bots, although the local and online multiplayer modes are a must for anyone looking to experience Nidhogg in its intended format. Gameplay variants such as low gravity and throws only modes offer a little spice to the concept, but are little more than padding in a game trying to be nothing more than an arcade fighter.