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.

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