Top Critic Average
A brilliant marriage of mechanics, level design and music that will be played and talked about for years to come.
Besides, there are worse things in life than being encouraged to get your money's worth from Nidhogg; to put the TV somewhere everyone can see it, to get some pads linked up and throw a local multiplayer party. Rounds of Starwhal: Just the Tip and Samurai Gunn, leading up to a Nidhogg tournament? That evening would be priceless.
Nidhogg's sword-fighting is exhilarating and exquisitely balanced. Against friends, its appeal is perhaps limitless.
Regardless of all that, Nidhogg stands as one of the true kings of competitive gameplay, and that doesn't need to be patched one bit.
To put it plainly, Nidhogg is incredibly fun. If you can appreciate the game's style for what it is and you don't have an ego as fragile as glass, you'll delight in testing your mettle against another's. And even if you lose, at least you didn't get eaten by some horrible beast.
One of the best local multiplayer games I've played in years.
Nidhogg is yet more proof that a simple concept with a simple goal can work, and work well. In a way, it reminds me of a Super Smash Brothers Melee tournament; simple combat and pure competition, that's what makes Nidhogg so amazing.
Expressed in modest trappings, Nidhogg quietly aims to recast the mold of a competitive fighting game. A deliberate lo-fi aesthetic and input limited to the absolute basics cleverly mask engagement as hardcore and contemplative as any of its peers. By opening its boundaries past the usual static fighting arena, Nidhogg transforms from another one-on-one fighter into something more akin to a goal-oriented sport. It's a fighting game simplified without feeling dumb, a multi-staged combat arena with no particular advantages, and as much a battle of wits as an all-out brawler. Nidhogg is an almost-perfect competitive game.
So what we have here is a future-classic, old-school indie title for individuals and like-minded folk alike. The visuals are retro but work, the soundtrack by Daedelus is dynamic and ever-changing in tune with the onscreen action. The code is so precise the fighting is always balanced and true to your inputs - whether that is a disarm, throw of your knife and preference for fisticuffs, or a straight thrust to the chest (with a little wiggle up and down for that achievement) - that the result is always joy, whether you win or lose. Some might question the idea of paying for a game that's been available free in one form or another for a few years. The riposte to that is that the game is worth it. The developer deserves to be rewarded and this is the best version of the game you could ask for - tournament mode on the living room TV with joypads is, well, quite exquisite.
Once you play either [Nidhogg or Samurai Gunn] for two minutes, you're going to want as wide a library as possible of games in a similar style, and you can believe that's the sincerest compliment my brain contains.