Devil Daggers‘ brilliance is undeniable, but not everyone is going to “get” it.
Devil Daggers is simple to explain, but maddening to play: You have an infinite supply of daggers that you can either shoot in a rapid-fire stream or in concentrated blasts, and a never-ending swarm of demons to shoot down. Some of them drop gems, and picking up enough of them lets you shoot even faster. If you let an enemy touch you even once, it’s game over and you have to start again. Every second of play is precious, so you have to think fast and move faster. Though the structure of the game is more akin to an arcade game or an endless runner game than a classic FPS, old-school Quake fiends will feel right at home blasting and bunny-hopping their way around the arena.
The game takes its visual inspiration from the Playstation era, and captures this vibe perfectly with low-resolution visuals and jittery polygons that make everything just slightly more creepy and off-kilter. This alone gives the game its hellish flavor, but the sound design steals the show. Even without any background music, Devil Daggers is a delight to listen to, with every enemy having their own creepy sound effects that let you figure out where everything is even without looking.
Every added second of survival bumps you up a few places on the leaderboards, begging you to come back later and beat your own high scores. As a result, Devil Daggers is one of those games that will have you playing a dozen rounds after you promised you’d stop after “one more round”. Better still, you can download and watch replays from the top players right in the game, letting you see for yourself how the pros do it.
Many are going to be disappointed that Devil Daggers doesn’t have a more substantial campaign on offer, and the actual amount of content in the game is undeniably slim. However, what is there is wonderfully executed, and the game is modestly priced at €5. If you let Devil Daggers get its hooks in you, that initial investment can stretch into hours and hours of play, 40-80 seconds at a time.
Developer / Publisher: Sorath
Release date: February 18th, 2016
Available on Steam.