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Pistols At Dawn: Free Local Multiplayer Duelling In Duel42


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.

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About the Author
Alice O'Connor avatar

Alice O'Connor

Associate Editor

Alice has been playing video games since SkiFree and writing about them since 2009, with nine years at RPS. She enjoys immersive sims, roguelikelikes, chunky revolvers, weird little spooky indies, mods, walking simulators, and finding joy in details. Alice lives, swims, and cycles in Scotland.

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