Reviewed by Josh Brant
Developed By: Woblyware
Published By: Ratalaika Games
Category: Action, Platformer
Release Date: February 22, 2019
The Nintendo Switch continues to receive an ever growing number of old-school platformers and it can be hard to know which ones are actually worth picking up. Daggerhood, from developer Woblyware and published by Ratalaika Games, is the newest addition to this genre and thankfully it happens to be one of the most fun experiences you’ll have on the console.
Daggerhood is a fun and challenging platformer where you’re playing as a thief named Vincent S. Daggerhood, trying to work his way through multiple worlds broken up into multiple levels each. Every level provides not only a challenge for completing it, but you’re also being timed and plenty of collectables are present as well.
Controls are simple and make performing a variety of jumps feel intuitive. You will need to be quick in each level in order to achieve a three star rating and you’ll be moving, jumping, double jumping, and firing out your dagger to get through each stage. Vincent himself has some weight to his movements, similar to Celeste, and while the platforming was fun, it never could quite reach the heights of the perfection the platforming in Celeste obtained.
The main draw and gimmick of Daggerhood though, is using the actual dagger. When you throw it out you can actually press the throw button again and you’ll teleport to wherever the dagger is. Eventually the dagger will evaporate or run into contact with an enemy or wall, and once it does so you won’t be able to use it to teleport. Just this idea and gimmick provided many possibilities for completing puzzles and speed running through a level.
If you are someone who likes speed running games a lot, Daggerhood provides a great opportunity for you to hone your skills and something you can continuously improve on in skill level. Learning to use the knife and teleporting in the right opportunities is part of the enjoyment of the title and the quick nature of getting right back into the action if you fail is seamless and not frustrating due to the short length of most levels. Learning where certain shortcuts were located and trying to collect all the collectables in the fastest time were some of the highlights I experienced while playing.
Throughout each level there are five collectable gems to find and even a secret fairy that disappears after a certain amount of time. The jewels are placed in areas where you’ll have to think about how to get there in the quickest manner possible and this is where the challenge comes in. You do not have to worry about the jewels disappearing before gathering them, but the fairy will end up disappearing if you aren’t fast enough with reaching her location.
As mentioned before, you are given a star rating for how quickly you complete a level. If you’re able to complete it within the time limit goal, you can get a three star rating and what’s great is that you don’t have to collect everything in order to obtain a higher star rating and perform a speed run successfully. You can play a level to get a three start rating, and then go back to replay it in order to gather all the jewels. Basically this makes Daggerhood have even more replayability for the 100 or levels you’ll be trying to complete.
Daggerhood features five worlds broken up into 20 levels for you to complete, and there’s also a boss encounter at the end of each world. While they added some differentiation to the gameplay, I never felt like they were fully fleshed out or fun to conquer. Instead, feeling more like an unnecessary hurdle for getting to the next world. Daggerhood is one of those games that may not look like something special, however, it was extremely fun to play from a gameplay standpoint and it’s easily a title that you can get addicted to playing.
Visually, Daggerhood utilizes a simple pixel-art style that looks like many other games on the Switch. One thing that did stick out were the animations were fluid and I could tell the developer took cues from Celeste in that regard. The music has your typical retro flair and represents the visuals well. No tracks really stood out for me, but it did not hinder the experience whatsoever.
Overall, Daggerhood is a fun and enjoyable retro inspired platformer that features great gameplay reminiscent of Celeste. It may look overly simple and not like anything special, but thankfully the platforming was challenging and intuitive enough to keep me interested for a few hours. At the very least, with the low price point you’ll definitely be getting your money’s worth, unless of course you just hate platformers.
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