Nidhogg is a game of simple pleasures: running, jumping, and stabbing a rapier through your monocolored opponent's gut. Each one is enjoyable on its own, sure, but it's the way Nidhogg stitches these actions together that lends the game its kinetic, frenzied feel. In brief, this game is fast. On this 2D battlefield, life and death pass in an instant, and even the smallest actions--a missed stab, a single step backward--can have dire consequences.
The rules of the game are simple: you can move, jump, and attack. Combining these actions in different ways--such as holding up and pressing attack to throw your sword--produces different actions to help you get the upper hand on your opponent. All matches are one-on-one duels, but defeating your opponent isn't the objective. You and the other player can take turns stabbing and counter-stabbing each other until the cows come home and not make a bit of progress.
Scoring a kill is just a stepping stone to help you reach your main objective: the exit. Each character has to reach an exit located on the opposite side of the arena. However, only the character who scored the last kill can make progress toward his or her exit. Basically, you dispatch your opponent and then make a mad dash toward your exit. Your opponent will then respawn, thus blocking your path, and this life-or-death tug-of-war match begins anew. If you're up for the challenge, you can pick up Nidhogg through the official site or Steam.