There are so many games being produced today that going back to play something you’ve already experienced almost seems like a waste of time. In a way, replay value has become a less significant variable in judging whether or not a game is worth its sticker price. However, I try to make an effort to go back and play games I’ve already run through because one aspect of gaming I love is seeing how a title’s playability holds up over the years, understanding how a game can come and go but still have an impact on gaming culture.

I recently resumed playing Nidhogg – an indie title by Messhof – and I’m reminded it’s one of those timeless games you can pick up once a month for the rest of your life and always thoroughly enjoy.

The premise of Nidhogg is simple: Slay your opponent using a sword or snap their neck like a twig once you’ve beaten them to the ground. It sounds violent because it is violent, only it’s not in a gratuitous, gory way like, say, Mortal Kombat is.#

Nidhogg’s pace, controls, 8-bit graphic style, and even it’s music# elevate it to the level of something honorable, like Olympic fencing (only instead of getting a gold medal for besting your opponent, you get to live just a bit longer before getting devoured by the mythological Norse serpent Níðhöggr).# Nidhogg is pixel swordplay at its finest and an example of why video games, especially indie games, can be one the highest forms of art available to us today.

Or, maybe it’s just a way to settle a dispute with a friend or co-worker that will give you the satisfaction of ending their life with the thrust of a sword and a shower of pixelated blood.


You can pick up Nidhogg on Steam for Mac and PC or on the PlaySation Store for PS4 and PS Vita.

Nidhogg blood shower GIF shamefully stolen from: Artistry in Games (also a better article)