Devil Daggers is brilliant, as Adam explained in his review. It’s a first-person arena shooter with shades of Quake. Part of its appeal is that it doesn’t explain anything about how it’s overlapping enemies and few systems work, meaning each life and death is a process of discovery. Another part of its appeal, however, is that you can press a button on its leaderboard and instantly be watching the replay of that person’s session.
That means you can watch stages of the game far beyond where you’ve reached. They feel a little like spoilers, but they’re also ways to learn and a big part of the reason why I’m enjoying the game. It’s exciting to watch excellent in action. Which is why I’ve recorded the replay of the best time in the world and embedded it below, for you to watch if you so choose.
I like the moments of calm, where player DraQu (who streams the game here) has successfully wiped the board clean and stands and shimmies before the chaos begins again. I love the look of the enemies that I have yet to face myself, which bring to mind not only Quake but Dark Souls for their dignified menace. I love that your weapon becomes immensely more powerful but that terrible panic of being overwhelmed never goes away. I love that DraQu is still top of the leaderboard now, days later, suggesting this is a significant accomplishment.
The video is great, sez I, but I’ve also uploaded it because I have a theory. Part of the appeal of Devil Daggers for me was being dropped into a game I didn’t understand and puzzling out how its enemies and gems worked over time, but that’s not its only appeal and the mystery is not essential. It survives to be interesting and fun after you understand it all. On top of that, I only tried Devil Daggers after being exposed to a full week’s chatter about it by Alice and Adam. Chances are that you don’t have an Adam and Alice in your life to talk about it quite that much, which means you may never play Devil Daggers at all. Maybe you’re more likely to give it a try if you see a bit more of it. 585.3344 seconds of it, even. Or maybe you’ll just understand a little more why this one-level game is exciting us so much.
Devil Daggers is out now via Steam and costs £4/$5.