For a long time Nidhogg was one of those indie game white whales, the sort of project that showed up at trade shows like PAX for years without a release date in sight. When it finally arrived in 2014 the world found maybe the most satisfying dueling game ever made. The design was simple: two primitive sprites locked in a tug-of-war sword fight across a side-scrolling map. You had three stances, a jab button, and the option to chuck your weapon with a hilarious overhead hurl.
All of that will return in Nidhogg 2, along with an updated art style (think more Sega Genesis than Atari 2600) and an expanded armory including a bow and arrow, a claymore, and a dagger. The gleeful mutilation has gotten more gorey with the added processing power, and yes, rounds still end with the victorious player getting consumed by a giant worm. I love Nidhogg. The combat is fun and sneakily technical, and developers Messhof seem to be playing with some light rock-paper-scissors strategy in the sequel. For instance, the claymore can knock the lesser sword out of your opponent’s hands. Messhof are already talking about releasing new maps and weapons after release, so maybe we’ll finally get that Nidhogg pro scene we’ve all dreamed about.