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...
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?
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.