Nidhogg is a side-scrolling two-player fighting video game by Mark “Messhof” Essen. Players duel with swords in a pixelated environment. The game was commissioned for the New York University Game Center’s annual multiplayer show, and was revised and demoed at private events over the next four years before its final release.
The simple 2D side scrolling format and minimal controls makes it a very accessible game. While it is an easy game to get to grips with, there are layers of hidden complexity and strategy that underpin the battles. Matches can be over in seconds or can be drawn out for over 10 minutes, depending on how well matched you are with your opponent. How you position yourself and anticipate your foe’s next move is key – one wrong move and the floor will be painted with your psychedelic innards.
Nidhogg won Indiecade 2013’s Game Design award and the 2011 Independent Games Festival’s Nuovo award. It was released for Microsoft Windows on January 13, 2014, and later ported to OS X,PlayStation 4, and PlayStation Vita. Critics praised the feel of the gameplay and its balance, but considered the single-player mode to be unsatisfying.