Devil Daggers

Devil Daggers is a relatively unsung little indie darling of enjoyable game design, and well worth taking a look at. The gameplay loop is simple - players simply spawn in the middle of a deceptively small floating arena (with no guard rail) armed with only a magic dagger which can inexplicably fire projectiles in either a rapid-fire stream or in a close-ranged shotgun-like spread. 

The need for the weaponry is the thread posed by the hordes of angry, floating skulls, giant spiders, and other ghoulish monstrosities which will quickly begin spawning in by the dozens every second unless the player is able to in any way stem the ever-growing tide of one-touch-and-they-kill-you enemies which all enjoy rapidly zooming directly at you with little regard as to your desires on the matter. 

It’s a highly engaging formula, enough so that one might end up hooked despite your first thirty games lasting not even a minute apiece before you were inevitably overrun by the hordes. Therein lies Devil Daggers’ only stated goal or measure of success - how long the player holds out, with the game’s sole Steam Achievement available to the rare player who managed to last five-hundred uninterrupted seconds. 

Tens of thousands of Steam users have attempted the challenge, and all their best scores are all ranked on a comprehensive leaderboard which can be read between games, with an improvement in PB of only a few milliseconds often enough to advance you up several dozen places given the highly competitive and contested nature of this game’s community. 

Said fanbase is continually seeking new and exciting ways to add fractions of a second to their best time, and in my experience, is always looking to welcome new players. This games runs surprisingly well too on older hardware, probably thanks to its small map and simple polygonal enemy artstyle - not that you’ll have much time to stop and ogle the enemies anyway to notice - so give this hidden gem a go, and you might just find a nice little game to come back to or a new addiction, either way, I recommend Devil Daggers highly.