Just your average knife throwing, teleporting, side scrolling platformer
How cool would it be if you could throw a knife and then teleport to its location a la Nightcrawler. The morning commute would go a hell of a lot faster although some geniuses would still mess it up and end up stuck in the ground. Anyway, circus acts are a discussion for another time. Brought to you by Woblyware and published by Ratalaika Games S.L., Daggerhood tells the story of a thief, Vincent S. Daggerhood, who was caught and imprisoned for his crimes. The player takes control of the titular character and his dagger which allows him to instantly teleport to the location it is thrown.
After the brief story introduction, a world map is shown which contains five areas but you only have access to the first one. Each area contains twenty levels and the subsequent areas only open up upon clearing the preceding area. The levels are clearly designed to make use of the dagger and its teleporting properties but the player can also jump (holding the button will jump higher), double jump and wall climb through the level. Upon completion of each level, the player is awarded anywhere from one to three stars. If you get to the exit quicker than the target time, three stars are awarded. Just missing grants two stars and longer than that nets just one measly star. There are also five treasures to collect which are scattered about the level and there is a fairy that only appears briefly before vanishing. The end of level recap will show how many stars were earned, how many treasures collected and if fairy was found (by found, it means caught). On the large map, one can view the progression of every stage in one screen.
Following the first few levels, it would seem that the level design is rather basic and even too simple. Fear not, the difficulty does gradually increase. Platforms begin to disappear or move and you may be required to double jump over a set of spikes and throw your knife at the last second to reach safe ground. Is that it? NOPE. You finally land that tricky jump and throw/teleport only to be crushed by a block you had no idea would be falling. Luckily, on both the Vita and PS4 versions, the game reloads almost instantly and you can try it all again. The game continually adds new elements and obstacles for you to utilize and overcome to clear the stage. At one point, I picked up a hammer power-up which was needed to break up blocks blocking the path. Seems easy until you realize it is only a timed power-up that requires you to make sure you have a clear shot before it expires. These added mechanics keep the player engaged as you progress through the 100 available levels. There are even boss fights at the end of each area. Instead of your typical fight where you attack the boss, Daggerhood has you running away from the boss to the exit. There are spikes on the ground to jump over, there are spikes on the ceiling that you have to walk under and then, there are spikes on the floor and ceiling requiring a dagger throw to teleport. All of this while being chased by some creature that will one-shot you if caught. Frustration is almost guaranteed but something about the design makes you want to try it one more time. Just one more time. I promise, this is the last time…
For the trophy hunters out there, the Platinum Trophy can be obtained in 15-20 minutes, maybe even less for you professional platformers out there. All that is required is completing 12 levels, collecting all treasures on 10 levels, collecting 10 fairies, getting 3 stars on 10 levels and your standard “you’re bound to get these trophies just by starting the game” trophies. See the below video for a full Platinum walkthrough.
While the Platinum Trophy is extremely easy (and stackable to boot), it ultimately may cause a certain percentage of the player base to miss out on some of the best parts of the game. Similar to a fine wine, Daggerhood gets better the longer you play the game. The Platinum Trophy can be achieved as quick as Level 12. This really is a shame and probably the first time I wished a PlayStation game did not have trophies at all. I hear my Switch calling my name as I type this up.
Platformer fans will surely enjoy this game. Simple controls and increasingly difficulty level design make Daggerhood a joy to play. Trophy hunters will definitely flock towards the game as it is a quick and easy playthrough (I implore you to continue playing even after the Platinum Trophy pops). To top it all off, you cannot beat the low price point. With games like Devious Dungeon, Omega Strike and League of Evil, it does not surprise me at all that Daggerhood is a great game.
I tell Dad jokes much to my wife’s chagrin. Sometimes, I write movie reviews. I love all video games. I am really bad at fighting games. I co-host Nerds Gone Platinum every Tuesday night at 9PM EST on https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChL_c9NSP_WtWydh3L7rQKQ. You can e-mail the show at firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet us at NG_Platinum or call into the show at (929) 333-5762. I can be found on PSN, Twitter and Instagram at Gimpyjayy and emailed at email@example.com.