Game Review #184: Daggerhood (Nintendo Switch)
Reviewer: Allan Jenks
Publisher: Ratalaika Games
Category: Action, Platformer, Arcade, Adventure, Speed-Runner
Release Date: 2.22.2019
Price (at time of review): $3.99
Purchase Daggerhood from the Nintendo eShop here.
Just Walk Away...
I seem to find myself in a recent stretch of incredibly difficult, yet equally as addictive games. With a couple of games, I had to step away for a few days before coming back for more punishment. Daggerhood had me on hiatus for a while too. I was so frustrated with one stage that I didn’t even want to play video games at all for a couple of days. Let’s talk about how that’s even possible!
So Much Rage Being Induced…
So I took a couple of days off from video games, and actually took a week off from Daggerhood. I had kind of given up and admitted defeat, but I decided to come back to it fresh, and I finally beat that stage, thus claiming victory over the final stage… of world 1.
Now, granted, there are 20 stages to beat in world 1, and I really had fun with the first 19 before level 1-20 came along and added a giant freaking spider that chases you through the whole stage, leaving nearly no room for a single misstep as you hurriedly traverse the various death traps, flying through narrow spike-lined passages via dagger-enabled teleporting. There’s a lot going on in this game, and speed-running is highly encouraged, but up until the first “Boss Level” is not really required.
In a nutshell, Daggerhood is a quick-moving platformer where you play the part of Vincent D. Daggerhood, the world’s most famous thief. You are finally caught, and sentenced to exile in the forsaken caverns, a place where the unwanted are thrown, and none have ever returned.
The Ways of Daggerhood
The controls are simple: A jumps, Y shoots your dagger, and the left stick or D-pad control the movement. If you hit Y while your dagger is still moving through the air—it has a decent range, but does disappear after a certain distance—then you will teleport to the current location of the dagger. This mechanic is very highly utilized throughout the game, so it’s a good idea to get familiar with your timing so that you can maximize the teleportation distances.
Every second counts in this game. You can take as much time as you want for most stages, but the game sets goal times for each of the stages, and the time it takes you to clear the stage determines how many stars you receive for that stage. There are also 5 different treasures placed throughout each stage that you can collect, but they are not required in order to complete the stage. In addition to the treasures, each stage also has a hidden fairy that you can collect, but the fairy disappears after a certain amount of time, so you have to be quick.
Once you beat a stage, you can either move on to the next stage, or replay the same stage to try and get a better time or collect all of the treasures and the fairy. I started out replaying every stage until I got a 3-star time, 5/5 treasures, and the fairy, but after a while, it got so brutal that I was just grateful to have even beaten the stage at all, and just started accepting 2-star, 1-star, and even 0-star times. After all, I wanted to see as many stages of the game as I could! All that being said, I have no idea how anyone could beat level 1-20 with a perfect time and treasure count… but I’m sure you’re out there, you freak…
Side note: I think I broke the game once on level 1-20. I was not able to reproduce the glitch, but I was running toward a brick wall piece that required a hammer power-up to break, which is a timed power-up that expired right as I fired my dagger at the brick that was directly in front of me. It did not break the brick, and I had the spider directly on me with nowhere to go. Right as the spider rammed into me, I jumped, and this sent me over the brick piece and into the black border above the stage. I was then able to run the rest of the way through the level without the spider being able to touch me. Unfortunately, I was stuck up there, and could not get back to the intended play area to walk through the doorway at the end of the stage, so this was not the secret breakthrough to beating this level that I was looking for. Let me know if you are able to reproduce this yourself, as I am curious!
So, keeping with the current trend, this game is what I have been calling a “modern retro” style. It is done up in beautiful 8-bit garb, with excellent level designs that are fun to traverse but also fun to look at. The soundtrack is well-done, and reminds me of a cross between Mega Man 2 and Maniac Mansion. Sometimes, the only sounds are your dagger and your jumps. It is done with thought and tact, and I very much appreciate that.
So, at the end of it all, I have still not beaten this game. World 2-1 turned out to be pretty difficult too. I got through it, but I’m still working on this game, and likely will be for a while. This game is fun! I can feel it wrinkling my brain as the muscle memory starts to form. I think all the super-challenging video games I’ve been playing lately have started improving my fine motor skills quite a bit. No joke. But if you like a good challenge, and have the wherewithal to make it through some rage-quitting without damaging your gear, then definitely pick this game up! It will put wrinkles in your brain!
Final Score: 8/10
Purchase Daggerhood from the Nintendo eShop here.
Follow Woblyware Games
Follow Ratalaika Games
*Review Code Provided by Ratalaika Games