Pistols At Dawn: Free Local Multiplayer Duelling In Duel42

Bang bang.

Hey, here’s a local multiplayer game I’ve just invented: call a pal over to your computer, open Notepad, then whoever is the first to type their name correctly in one uninterrupted block wins. My design philosophy, you might guess, is heavy on shoving.

Far more civil and certainly prettier than my silly idea is Duel42 [official site], a free two-player competitive game which sees two players fight a pistol duel on the same keyboard. Their keys to pace, duck, aim, and shoot are selected at random, leading to a whole lot of confusion and scrabbling and, at the very least, jostling.

Two gentlemen are intending to shoot each other to defend their honour or something equally daft. Who even knows why? Perhaps one took soup with the wrong spoon at a dinner party, or shot a crafty wink at the other’s sister. I don’t know. The duelling crowd really were a bunch of buffoons.

The point is, they have guns, and guns are cool, and you get to make them shoot guns. Well. You can try to. The goal is to take five paces away from your opponent, turn, aim, and shoot them full of bullets until they’re dead. Oh, if only it were so simple! Each action uses a random key, so you’re reaching all over the keyboard, your opponent is reaching all over the keyboard, and if you happen to block their finger from touching their shoot key or you even press some of their keys, well, accidents will happen!

NB: do not play this game with me. I will bruise you.

Duel42 is made by Jonas Hansen. You can play it in a browser through the Unity plugin or download it from Itch.io for Windows, Mac, and Linux.


  1. Anthile says:

    Interestingly, especially in later times it was considered very rude to actually kill your opponent in a duel. Doing so could potentially end with a murder charge, as well as social ostracization. Andrew Jackson is perhaps the most famous person to get away with it.

    • Goat.of.Space says:

      I thought dueling was lawful till a certain point of time? I do remember reading about this unfortunate French gentleman who dueled in UK (?) when it had been outlawed and pleaded in his defence that it was legal to duel in France and he was not aware that he was doing anything unlawful. The defence did not succeed. I read it in connection with ignorance of law being no excuse.

  2. Kollega says:

    This is the closest thing we’ll probably ever have to an Alexander Pushkin simulator.

  3. Pockets says:

    Nerf Drew Wade and Jon Ng, Alice. On behalf of all us people with absurdly long names I demand a balance patch!

  4. Excelle says:

    I am instantly reminded of the old Amiga game ‘Gunfighter’. Although that was literally 1 key each.

    link to hol.abime.net

    Still great though!