Review: Nidhogg

Game: Nidhogg
Made by: Messhof
Published by: Messhof
Available for: PC, Mac, Playstation 4

Nidhogg is an incredibly simple and incredibly fun one-on-one party game. You and your opponent spawn in the middle of the screen and, with easy-to-learn controls, your goal is to vanquish your adversary and sprint to their side of the screen as quickly as possible. As you progress, your opponent will spawn again in your path in an attempt to stop you from proceeding to the edge of the screen. If they’re successful, it’s their turn to run the opposite direction until you can stop them. After a few screens, one of you will reach the end of the level and be triumphantly rewarded by being eaten by the giant, grotesque Nidhogg, the creature for which the game is named.

Again, Nidhogg is simple. The concept is simple, the graphics are simple, the game’s four levels are simple. All of that established, this game is fun with the right group of people. Nidhogg can absolutely be played with a two-player setup, but I’ve found the most fun is to get a group of people together and set up a tournament (which is an option in-game). In my experience, these tournaments are a lot of fun, with the last few games being an edge-of-your-seat-worthy ordeal.


Simple Controls: Nidhogg is designed to be played with a controller, and it works well with one. Use one analog stick to move and the other to position your blade. You can duck, jump, kick, stab, and throw your sword. A quick mashing of the buttons will teach you what’s what (or, if you’d prefer, the game will tell you in the options menu). After you’ve figured it out, each game is what you make for it. The skill ceiling isn’t too high, and each match is more about strategy than it is skillful understanding of the game’s controls.

Quick Matches: A game between two well-matched players may take a little longer, but each game of Nidhogg is generally a few minutes long at most. This short playtime is great for when you’ve got only a short amount of time to kill, but it’s great for group tournaments.

Couch Versus: Plug in two controllers and get ready to fight.

Online Versus: Through Steam, invite your friends for match or two.


Great Party Game: Nidhogg lends itself well to successful game nights and party play. With a good group of people, pull it up, easily set up a tournament, and let the entertaining take care of itself.

Fun to Watch: In accordance with the previous point, Nidhogg is an entertaining game for more than those playing. Often, when I’ve loaded it up in a group setting, I’ve found friends to be more entertained by the long matches between two rivals than by their own. The game’s tournament mode leads naturally to investment in how individual matches play out, and it’s always fun to watch.


Multiplayer-Focused: Nidhogg has a single-player mode, but the game was clearly designed with versus play in mind. If the game’s concept looks interesting but you don’t know whether or not you’d have people to play it with, consider waiting for a sale.

What You See is What You Get: Pull up a video of the game and ask yourself if you think it’d be fun to play with friends. If your answer is “yes”, you’ll have a good time. If not, there’s not much more to sell you on. There’s no hidden layers or additional gameplay. Nidhogg is Nidhogg.


If you’re looking for a fast-paced versus game to play with friends, Nidhogg is for you.


From Steamspy unless otherwise noted.

Average Playtime*: 3.5 hours
Average Cost per Hour**: $2.85

Median Playtime*: 1.75 hours
Median Cost per Hour**: $5.71

* Playtime rounded to the nearest quarter-hour
**Costs calculated using a price of $9.99

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