Publisher: Ratalaika Games
Released: 06/03/19 – Out now
Price: £3.99 / $4.99
PlayStation page: https://www.playstation.com/en-us/games/daggerhood-ps4/
I came across this and the pixel art style looked interesting to me so, I read up on the game some more and it was described it as a tough platformer game and my interest was piqued enough to pick the game up. I then saw the small price of £3.99 and thought it was a no-brainer, I must try it! So here we are.
So, before I go into my review, I’ll start with the little back story that is attached to the start of the game. You are Vincent S. Daggerhood and you are a thief, a very good one until you are finally caught and thrown in the deep caverns as imprisonment. However, freedom is on Vincent’s mind still and you must traipse through each level armed with his trusty dagger to escape.
Now here’s the rub, it’s not just any dagger, no, the dagger when thrown can transport him to different points in the level. I know, interesting right? I’ll touch more on this shortly.
Gameplay and pixel art qualities
The core of the gameplay is relatively simple in which you run, jump, double jump or jump off walls and you have three main objectives in each level: collect the five pieces of treasure, collect the fairy that is only visible for a limited time and finish the level under the set time. If you complete all three objectives, you will get three out of three stars for that level. However, you don’t have to worry about doing it all in one run, you can replay a level and a lot of times it is impossible to do all three tasks so it is necessary to have the replays available.
There are 100 levels to contend with but it isn’t as daunting as it sounds. Each level approximately has a set limit of twenty or twenty-five seconds to complete it so, you can knock off a few levels in a matter of minutes. It has a big focus on speed running and there is a lot of trial and error involved as you try to complete the levels with precise speed. It can be frustrating but there is a great sense of achievement once you get three stars.
So, more about that dagger and I believe this is what makes this game a little different. Despite a lot of similarities to a great game released last year named Celeste – No offence but Daggerhood is not as good as Celeste – the dagger and teleportation ability gives it a uniqueness. If it wasn’t for that then it would just be another pixel art platformer added to the ever growing pile that is currently being released. However, it isn’t and the dagger certainly adds to it and helps make the game a little more memorable. I think it is a great little idea that when you need to teleport to a small block above a pit of spikes, it is no problem, just throw your dagger with precision by pressing square and then square again once above the block. Simple!
I must admit, despite a lot of pixel art retro games getting released month after month, I am a sucker for them. I don’t know whether it’s because I’m a child from the ’80s and I remember these sort of graphics were top notch back in the day so perhaps it is nostalgic rose-tinted glasses I’m using but nonetheless, I like them still and I do get drawn to the games that perhaps remind me of simpler times. Who knows.
Ratalaika Games are known for their easy achievements and this is no exception, there are sixteen trophies to collect in all and you don’t even have to finish the game to get them all. You only have to get as far as level twelve making sure to collect all treasure, all fairies and completing the level under the set time on ten of the twelve levels. Once done, you will get your sixteenth trophy which will be the platinum trophy. All in all, it can be done within thirty minutes or so. Easy!
A break from the norm?
To try and save the repetitive nature, there is things that will break this up and possibly keep you interested. In the later levels, there will be power-ups available which transform your dagger into a hammer or flower in order to get past new obstacles, for example, you will have to break blocks with your hammer but they are only temporarily so it doesn’t change the overall core gameplay.
Another thing is that there are bosses to contend with who you have to fight every twenty levels so there will be five in all.
Despite the efforts, the repetition is still there and as levels do get considerably more difficult, I can see people getting frustrated and giving up long before the 100 levels are completed. Add in the fact that you can get all achievements by level twelve, there isn’t much more incentive to carry on playing except for pride and self-satisfaction.
Check out below for the trailer of Daggerhood: