The RPS Summer Games: Devil Daggers

The last of the high-score events on the RPS Summer Games schedule is Devil Daggers [official site]. A glorious first person arena shooter with a graphical style determined to catapult us back into the nineties. I admired it from afar when it came out, but around half the staff got really competitive, sneaking off for “email” breaks which coincided with a “so-and-so is playing Devil Daggers Steam notification. Now it’s time to see if those snatched minutes of training have paid dividends…


  • You can have as many turns as you like but can only submit one score for the competition
  • Results:


    Adam says: The 100m sprint of the RPS Summer Games. It’s the marquee event and in Alice we have, I suspect, our very own Usain Bolt. I reckon I could be a close contender for second place and am going to claim, with no evidence, that my high score is 78 seconds. I can’t check because, as you can see on the screenshot below, my internet connection has perished. And I’m about to go and catch a flight to Cologne for Gamescom.

    This is the pain of the international video athlete’s life. I’m needed elsewhere, for ambassadorial work and research into future-sports, so I can’t devote my body and mind to entertaining the masses right now. I’m a very important person, with limited time to dagger devils.

    What I’m trying to say is that I tried just once this morning in between packing my bags and…well. 60.6992. Killed by the distraction of giant ticks.


    Alec says: My main handicap with Devil Daggers is that I think the thing’s so damned beautiful that I’m always trying to take a closer look at its wonderful pixel-horrors or grab a well-framed screenshot that I end getting bashed in the back of the head by a skull or spiderling or whatever. I’d love to play this in god mode, not to cheat a high score but just to sit back and admire it in full, gothic bloom. Anyway, 69 seconds isn’t bad going for me – I’m normally splatted by the 50s point. I’d have tried for more if it hadn’t been for the sure knowledge that Alice and Adam were already locked in fearsome competition for scores I could never even dream of reaching.


    Alice says: I was once RPS’s strongest Devil Daggers player but while that does give me confidence, I also have something to lose. I do fear what Adam might achieve. I certainly can’t rest on former glories either, as after the update‘s leaderboard reset I can’t use my old personal best. This here isn’t a good time or a good performance but I hope it’s good enough.

    I must confess that I did abuse a performance-enhancing cocktail I call Satan’s Stiletto – a glass of Shiraz to calm the nerves then Irn Bru for pep.


    Brendy says: This was the last thing I saw before I died in one of my Devil Daggers runs. I probably croaked it because I was panicking to find the screenshot key more often than I died of “normal” circumstances. The time I finally settled with was 66 seconds. I am frightened of Devil Daggers and I don’t understand why. It is a distillation of every videogame in history: There are lots of things and you have to kill the things before the things kill you. How can I not handle this?


    Graham says: I love this game, and I dedicated many a work minute when I should have been doing something else to getting to a point where playing Devil Daggers took almost two work minutes. Since then the game has been updated, new monsters have been added, and my times have been wiped from the leaderboard.

    These are my excuses for why my submitted time is less than a minute. I don’t know what the olympic equivalent of this kind of whining is. “Oh, where I train normally the pole I leap over is a different colour.”

    Still, Devil Daggers is good, isn’t it? I regret not having more time to dedicate to beating Alice’s time, which I surely could if only everything wasn’t different and against me and also maybe Adam was in control of time.


    John says: Okay, I’m writing this before I start. I’ve played Devil Daggers before, so I know how astonishingly terrible I am at it. I’ve also seen Alice’s bragging about how she’s already got a score about a million times higher than I’ll ever get. So I’m feeling oddly competitive, despite knowing Alice is a squillion times better at this game than me. This is going to end in disappointment.

    Right, well, I know I haven’t come close to beating Alice who I think plays this game every day on a professional level, but I did better than I ever have before! Good grief, this game is so damned good. I am more proud of 67 seconds than I can tell you, and my hands are literally shaking as I type this.


    Pip says: 183.1159! At last! Something I’m genuinely good at! Man, I absolutely destroyed those devils with my daggers! No wonder people rave about this game so much. I truly am the greatest at this game on staff at RPS. Definitely better than Alice and-

    Alice: You are aware that I am also Steam Friends with the ringer whose high score you borrowed, aren’t you? Their name is usually a lot less definitely-Pippish, isn’t it?

    Pip: Goddamnit!

    Alice: So what was your real score then?

    Pip: I don’t even have Devil Daggers installed.


    Pip: Ugh. Wait here.

    Pip: I honestly don’t understand how anyone gets away with cheating. There’s so much to consider. It’s on a par with getting good at the game in terms of difficulty.



    1. Alice O'Connor says:

      Look, I realise this may seem like showboating but I take Devil Daggers personally and want to concede that my run here was really sloppy and show you a much better one I’ve managed since: link to

      • Jeremy says:

        I feel like I should really give this a shot… I love the competitive nature of games like this. The only problem for me is that this looks more like Quake reflexes, and I am very much a Counter-Strike guy. Hopefully that will translate!

      • Muralee says:

        I got 440.3198 seconds once.

      • Muralee says:

        And 342.2438 seconds in the new version.

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        particlese says:

        Sloppy? :) Much better after winning the show? Yep.

        Both really fun to watch. Thanks for sharing!

    2. Alec Meer says:

      I genuinely cannot believe I medalled in this, let alone silver.

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        Philippa Warr says:

        And I’m almost as good as Graham, despite only having 24 minutes on record compared with his MILLIONS :D

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          Graham Smith says:

          I only had two goes on the day because I was busy! I can do much better!

          (On the other go I got 11 seconds because I fell off the level.)

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      johannsebastianbach says:

      Impressive, my dearest Alice, impressive.
      I gotta mention I’m impressed. In a deep way.

    4. oWn4g3 says:

      Managed to work my way back up to 190 seconds after the update but I really need to spend some more time on Daggers again.

    5. Haplo says:

      Alice is CRUSHING IT.

    6. Demon Beaver says:

      It’s lovely how the arbitrary rules you set out at the beginning of the games assure now that whoever wins the Fan Art contest wins it all (:

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        Philippa Warr says:

        Yes, and I definitely didn’t change the number of points you get for winning the fan vote from 10 to 12 so I was still in with a shot at gold having calculated the results and realised how badly I was doing and then just relied on no-one on staff calling me on it which UNBELIEVABLY has actually worked.

      • CMaster says:

        As soon as I saw the scoring criteria, I immediately assumed that was the intention (that the games are largely irrelevant compared to the fanart section)

      • DelrueOfDetroit says:

        Sounds like Quidditch.

    7. Gomer_Pyle says:

      Man, these summer games are really great!

    8. Synesthesia says:

      GO ALICE! Woot woot!

    9. Stevostin says:

      I just made a huge progress, going from 220s to 280s thanks to an answer I found about the exact behaviour pattern of the giant snakes (they dive when you go below them, if you wanna know. Go use that.) The boost has been so big, or maybe it’s because I reached the top 1000 than it showed my a golden dagger screen I had never seen before.

      I am pretty sure I can beat that. I died pretty ridiculously by falling off the cliff after a poorly timed strafe jump.

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      particlese says:

      Yay! I really can’t get enough of Devil Daggers (unless I play it for about 30 minutes), and it’s always fun to read/hear what other people make of it. For anyone interested, there’s another update coming, and it will add, among other things, a top-down mode for replays. Also: check out the key bindings menu under Options. I just found out recently that you can change the in-game playback speed of recordings, and it’s awesome.

      I am completely inept at recording decent video of games, but here’s the best I could muster at 30fps anyway. (Thanks, Windows 10 thing!) It’s my current personal best at 330 seconds, and I’m darned pleased with it, except for the — walking…off the side…thing.

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        particlese says:

        To be more sporting, I recorded a new run. It’s pretty messy early on, but at 301 seconds, it somehow became my best run since that personal best. I sorta…paraphrased Alice’s technique: chugged a glass of water for hydration and pep, and stayed up late to calm the nerves. Those were also the conditions for my last few personal bests, so I can only conclude that it is a good idea to play Devil Daggers right before bed.