The original Nidhogg is a modern classic. It’s pixel art, simple gameplay, and amazing multiplayer support won the hearts of gamers, many who still enjoy the game to this day. The object of the game was simple, make your way to the opponent’s side of the screen. You and your opponent would fence, and a kill would allow you a certain amount of time to run.
Nidhogg II takes the original and gives it a complete graphical overhaul, adds more weapons, and a ton more deadly obstacles in the level design. It builds off the quirkiness of the pixelated “wurm” that would devour the winning player in Nidhogg.
The goal of Nidhogg II is still the same as the first game. Make your way to your opponent’s gate by killing them repeatedly and running as far as you can before they respawn. You can hold your weapon high, medium, or low, throw it, or fight barehanded.
Nidhogg II kicks things up a notch with more weapons. Now along with the rapier, you can also use a long sword, bow and arrow, and knife. Each has their own strengths and weaknesses and works in a rock/paper/scissors kind of fashion against other weapons. The game also includes many more multiplayer options, including the ability to alter up to 10 different gameplay variables for a match.
Nidhogg II’s gameplay didn’t just get beefed up but the whole look & feel of the game did, too. Gone is the retro pixel art, it’s replacement a cartoony, and frankly ugly, “upgrade.” The game lets you customize your own multicolored, bug-eyed character before tossing you into a bloody and disgusting world filled to the brim with freakish wurms.
The soundtrack is pretty good.
The original Nidhogg was a gem of an indie game with plenty of great gameplay and charm. Nidhogg II gets points for trying to take what worked so well in the original and improving it…and falls flat on its face. The once quirky bit in the first game about being eaten by the wurm when you win is now completely overdone as the game is filled with the overly disgusting beasts. The addition of new weapons seems a bit cool at first but just ends up feeling more chaotic and random than anything else with combat feeling a bit more “loose” than its predecessor.
To be completely honest, Nidhogg II
I’m sure there are people out there who loved the original and are going to love its sequel. I’m not one of those people. Nidhogg II feels more like a defilement of the original than a successor.
A PS4 key for Nidhogg II
Media personality Rob Kalajian has been a staple in the board game world for many years. As a former writer for Purple Pawn and the owner of A Pawn’s Perspective, Rob focuses on board game reviews, events, and news. A self-proclaimed geek, Rob loves all things toys and games and even helps raise his four kids in his spare time.