It brings a nice little twinkle to my eye when I see a developer try to do something different with their games. Sometimes it could be something as subtle as not following a cookie cutter design for the story. Sometimes it could be something to do with the mechanics of the game though, and that is the direction that Woblyware went with Daggerhood.
Daggerhood is a 2D side-scrolling platformer about a bloke named Vincent S. Daggerhood, a thief who was finally caught and rather than having a proper and fair trial, is thrown into the caverns to be forgotten as they figured he would die. Little did they know that you have a trick up your sleeve and a way to escape.
You see, Vincent has the ability to use his knife as a weapon against all the baddies he encounters, but more importantly as a means of travel! When Vincent throws his knife, he can teleport to its location with the simple press of a button. Of course, I am certain that gamers will see where this is going. At the beginning of the game, moving around is fairly simple, but as you move through the 100 levels, the game gets to be more difficult as you will be throwing your knife into tight corridors that you wouldn’t normally be able to travel through.
Each level is very straightforward. You start at a crumbled door and you must make your way to the door at the end of each level. Sounds simple right? Depending on how you want to play the game, sure it could be very easy, or if you are a completionist it will be a bit more work as well as a few handfuls of headache medicine. For you see each level can be completed fairly quickly, under a minute! If you decide to 100% them, you need to pick up all 5 pieces of treasure, find the hidden fairy which disappears after a very brief time frame and complete the level in a short enough time frame to get a 3-star rating. For the first few levels, this will be easily done however as you get progress, you will quickly discover that this simply will not happen. Thankfully, levels are short enough that replaying, for one thing, takes very little time.
Every 20 levels, you will fight a boss that comes as a nice breakup in the quest to level 100. Although with them also comes more frustration. I felt that the boss levels were a bit on the tough side, but as long as you keep focused, even those can be beaten in little time.
The last bit I want to mention is that I feel like this game suffers from such an easy trophy list. Of course, Xbox owners share the same requirements for Achievements. I feel like most people will stick around long enough to get the Platinum trophy and then bail. Depending on how fast and proficient you are, the platinum can be achieved in around 30 minutes or less. I am a trophy hunter and even this bothers me as it is too simple in my mind.
I thought that Daggerhood was neat for trying to think outside of the box for a genre that has already been milked to the point of almost being dry. Although, outside of the dagger throwing, the game feels somewhat uninspired. Perhaps it is the lacklustre soundtrack. Maybe it is because the teleporting is the one original idea. I can’t quite put my finger on it. At the end of the day, I don’t see where many people will go beyond level 12 after they get their Platinum trophy.
*Code kindly provided by the publisher for review*