A New Angle On Nidhogg: Swordy

A good sword swing should at least hold the possibility of ending in a calamitous pratfall. If you’re going to wave a chunk of metal around, no matter how finely wrought, rune-etched and gem-encrusted it might be, then I expect your momentum to spin you in a full circle and land you in a heap whenever you fail to make contact with whoever you might be aiming your blade at. Swordy, from New Zealand’s Frogshark, caters to my desires. A local multiplayer sword ’em up for up to four players, it’s top-down battles appear to be physics-driven dances of death, during which players spin to slice and scurry to stab. It’s a colourful game as well, reminding me of Magicka but with flails instead of flames.

I guess there are flames as well as flails.

Inevitably, writing about an upcoming local multiplayer game makes me a bit grumpy because I’ve been sitting, staring at Gang Beasts in my Steam library all weekend while attempting to summon three willing participants to play with. I’m considering sculpting some human-sized gelatin chums – I’ll even pop hats on them for customisation purposes – and bringing them to life using a combination of wot I’ve learned from reading Lovecraft and a half bottle of electrified Jif.

Grumpiness aside, Swordy looks splendid. There’s no confirmed release date but hopefully by the time it does come out, I’ll have hooked my computer up to my TV. Finally. Gang Beasts every night. How hard can it be?


  1. ohminus says:

    If your momentum carries you out and about, you’re not doing it right. But then, that’s for actual swords. Not lantern poles….

    • kor says:

      The Swordy characters are definitely not expert fighters xD

      Just a bit of fun.

  2. InternetBatman says:

    It looks like Hammerfight.

    • Crafter says:

      That was my first thought as well, Hammerfight without the gravity.

      • Phasma Felis says:

        Also it looks to have separate control of your movement and your weapon. But still, yeah, I thought of Hammerfight. That’s a good thing!

        • kor says:

          Thank you :D

          There is also a “stab” action (for sharp weapons… punch for fists, lift for hammers etc) using the triggers. Its completely analog so your stab is the speed you pull the trigger, and it stabs toward where your aiming with the right stick.

          We have tried to focus on as much analog input as possible as opposed to binary button presses. It sort of lets personality and nuance shine through in the character’s movement and actions. That is the goal anyway.

  3. Cinek says:

    It looks fun. Though this game really needs an option to zoom out. You can see barely anything beyond the length of your sword.

  4. rebb says:

    This makes me want to play Die By The Sword again.

    *schwing schwing*

  5. Antlia says:

    In a way reminds me of Hammerfight. Actually I really want that game to come back in some new expanded form, even if this looks like a good option too.

  6. Bugamn says:

    It reminds me of an old click’n’play game that I played from a collection with hundreds of games. You were an evil guy with a skull and had to kill dozens of little guys moving your sword (or axe, or mace) to the sides a bit like this, but without momentum.

  7. Zankmam says:

    Why should I or anyone else care if it is only Local MP?

    Thankfully Gang Beasts will get Online.

    • SuicideKing says:

      Why should I or anyone else care if it is only Online?

      Thankfully Swordy will get Local MP.

      • aldrenean says:

        Oh good, this argument again.

        Local MP is great and all but if online MP can be added it would obviously be a good thing. I understand that there are costs associated with that, and that lag is a factor, but I am sick of this idea that online play is somehow killing local MP. There’s literally no reason that they can’t coexist beyond cost.

        • cpt_freakout says:

          Don’t underestimate the power of idiotic internet arguments :P

    • Phasma Felis says:

      It depresses me how many modern gamers appear to have zero real-life friends and think this is normal and expected. Fight the stereotype, guys!

      • LionsPhil says:

        It depresses me how many people don’t seem to realise that you can have friends outside of practical frequent visting range, or who can’t all crash on the same couch for various reasons, such as having to be home with their small children, but could spare a few minutes to punch me in the face over the Internet.

        • Behrditz says:

          Seriuously. As a kid, all your friends are nearby because thats how school districts work. As an adult, friends come from all over the place if you meet them at work or from college.

        • kor says:

          We would love to be able to punch each other in the face over the internet with Swordy.

          We are going to do our best, but at this point its not looking too promising for a couple of reasons:

          I’d never say “never” but all signs are pointing toward “no” for the fore-see-able future. The reasons for this are
          similar to Towerfall in regard to the extremely fast paced action. The other added complexity for networking is our complete reliance on physics. The third major nail in the coffin here is that our small team of three has next to zero real-time game networking experience.

          I’d personally REALLY REALLY love to have it and I expect we are going to get some disappointed potential fans because of this decision.

          Open to options if they come up!

  8. kor says:

    Hey! I’m one of the devs on Swordy :D

    Thanks so much for the interest!

    A small note is that technically we COULD support up to ten players… but we need to work out what actually works in practice xD
    We have six players displayed at the start of the trailer.

    Feel free to ask any questions!

    • Secundus says:


      • kor says:

        Our next major milestone after PAX AUS is going to be a “Horde mode” which will allow us to focus on AI.

        This mode will be able to be played co-cooperatively or single player :D

    • Synesthesia says:

      This looks wonderful. Congratulations! These sort of multiplayer games are quickly becoming my go to games when i’ve got friends over and a boardgame is not the best idea.

      Do you have different modes in mind, other than what looks like deathmatch?

      In anyu case, it looks great, and it looks i’ll be definitely getting it. Good days to have a couch and in home streaming.

      • kor says:

        Thank you! Same here: Nidhogg, Starwal, Gang Beasts, TowerFall, Hammerwatch! Need more!

        Yeah definitely. Can’t confirm anything at this point, but our next major milestone after PAX AUS is going to be a “Horde mode” which will allow us to focus on AI. This will be able to be played co-op or single player. After playing hundreds of hours killing each other, we kind of want to be able to work together fighting monsters and things :D

        We have a plan for a “Variety” party mode too, fast paced rounds full of randomness. One point given to the winner of each short round, then straight into the next scenario. Hope it fits in, should be crazy fun.

        Ultimately we would love to do a co-operative adventure mode too, but that is in the distance…

  9. sekullbe says:

    Brings back ancient, ancient memories of Bilestoad, which is a very good thing.

  10. KristopherPeterson says:

    I created a prototype with a similar mechanic where you swing around a ball and chain.

    link to explosivegames.net

    • Phasma Felis says:

      I’d like to give this a try, but I get a “can’t load” error in Chrome, and it just never starts in Firefox.

    • kor says:


      Same as Phasma Felis, I can’t get it to load.

      Would love to give it a try.