Publisher/developer Messhof Format PC, PS4, Vita
The beats pound and so does our heart, even as our eyes water and throb. We will not be the first to blink. A flash of white, and then another and another. Suddenly, the tension is replaced by elation as a neon fencer slumps before our unblemished white blade and the ‘Go’ arrow hops to our side of the screen. The whole exchange took maybe two seconds, but our hindbrain wastes no time in obeying the imperative. We run.
Nidhogg does with simplicity in two-second bursts what other games fail to achieve with complexity in hours, dissolving away the screen that separates game world from reality, conscious thought from reflex, ludic systems from raw emotional responses. It is resolutely a game for two players in the same room, a renaissance for local multiplayer. To play it with a friend is to be consumed by it – a wonderful parallel to the beast that awaits the victor of every match.