Nidhogg is a bit old. Not as old as it looks – its elaborate 2D swordfighting animations and unforgiving, fill-coloured palette make it look like a contemporary of the original Prince of Persia and the BBC Micro respectively. But it is old enough to have been winning awards in 2010.
Since then, it’s become one of those infuriatingly ethereal games which tours events and stuns journalists but never quite stops to let its public play. All in the name of polish, of course, but Nidhogg is now followed by a smug cloud of unintentional hipsterism as a result, and deserves better. Which is why it’s a good thing that it’s coming to Steam in a week or so.
Nidhogg is a competitive, two-player game about sprinting towards an opponent and stopping dead at their feet to clash blades. With only the position of your sword to prevent your innards from discolouring the floor, it’s the twitchiest of twitch games. Tekken for the impatient.
Between its pace, that oddball art minimalism and a Kavinsky-weird Daedelus soundtrack, the new trailer is fever dream stuff:
A playable build of Nidhogg made a stop at last year’s Evo fighting game championship to showcase several new abilities, some of which you’ve just seen – dive kicks, wall jumps, rolling, crawling, and creepy neck snaps.
The rise of indiedom has brought with it all the ideas we can eat – but the price of those ideas is very often a dramatically long incubation period. Have you forgotten about Nidhogg long enough to return to it with new interest?