hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts


Foiled is another head game fueled by fencing

11:30 AM on 02.21.2014 // Conrad Zimmerman

Thrust and rush

Last weekend, I dropped in on IndieCade East to have a look at some of the new games being shown off. Foiled is one such game and I can't get it out of my mind. Designed by first-time developer Gabe Cuzzillo, it puts two players in a single-screen arena, each controlling a fencer, with the aim of stealing the other's soul.

Like many multiplayer arena combat games, Foiled is both physically and psychologically demanding. Moments of quick action punctuate contemplative strategy. Good offense provides more offensive opportunities, while good defense provides the chance to stop a swelling tide cold. Foiled exploits both to force players into uncomfortable decisions with aplomb.

Helping to keep the game streamlined and fast are the stripped down fencing mechanics. Foils stick out directly in front of the characters at almost all times, making thrust and parry techniques passive activity on the horizontal plane. If the tip of your sword hits the opponent's body, it kills them. If it hits their sword, it parries. That's the simple bit.

When things get vertical is when they get interesting. Fencers can jump and use their ever-pointing foil to perform wall jumps off of environmental objects, then come crashing down on their opponent with a dive. This can be dodged or parried with the game's only other command, a quick upward slash which requires precise timing but can be used both defensively and offensively when mastered. And, of course, both maneuvers temporarily open a combatant up to taking a sword in the side by sacrificing that constant, passive defense in the forward-facing direction.

Just killing your opponent isn't enough to win. Once someone has died, their soul is released and the killer now has ten seconds to carry it into a scoring area in one of the arena's upper corners before it disintegrates. The slain player then respawns close to the scoring area, giving them an opportunity to defend from a positional advantage while creating an obstacle for the player trying to score. Failing to score before a soul dies means having to secure another soul, placing pressure on the offensive player to either stay on the offensive or lose their advantage, while the defending player need only keep their opponent at bay long enough to level the playing field again.

This creates tension of a most wonderful sort. While you can draw clear comparisons to recently released Nidhogg, as they do share several common mechanics and both package them in the style of a fencing duel, Foiled can be much more heartbreaking to lose as victory never seems far out of reach. A truly great player could chain together one kill after another and score the three points necessary to be a round's victor in a very short fashion, but the ease with which a player can defend -- owing to the passive manner in which all movement both attacks and defends in the direction the player faces -- makes even a novice threatening to overly aggressive strategy.

You don't just have to take my word for it. Grab a friend (and a couple of controllers; keyboard support exists but is not recommended), go download the game for free from the official Foiled site and get to stabbing. As a first attempt at game development, Foiled suggests that Cuzzillo is a designer worth watching.

Conrad Zimmerman, Moustache
 Follow Blog + disclosure ConradZimmerman Tips
An avid player of tabletop and video games throughout his life, Conrad has a passion for unique design mechanics and is a nut for gaming history. He can be heard on the comedy podcast () and str... more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

JuliaViolin avatarJuliaViolin
Inspired by SKYRIM: Fantasy Symphony No.1 "Dragonborn" - album release Kickstarter
Shinta avatarShinta
Shinta avatarShinta
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
It's 2am and I'm watching this emulator whiz play Xenia (360 emilator) on PC albeit glitchy This video is hilarious
Shinta avatarShinta
Fuzunga avatarFuzunga
The Undertale review section on its Steam page is hilarious! [img][/img]
n0signal avatarn0signal
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
A Nintendo rep gave this to me today because she likes talking to me. I do have lots of the Old AC eReader cards I guess I could put in it... [img][/img]
GoofierBrute avatarGoofierBrute
I'm still trying to figure out how to do it, but for the most part I like what I've seen of the new blog editor. My first blog post using it should go up tomorrow.
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
The demon threat is real.[img][/img]
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
Daily VGM #20 (Bonus) - Valak Mountain Night (Xenoblade Chronicles) [youtube][/youtube] This theme perfectly captures the essence of Valak Mountain. It feel serene and calm, as well as mountain-esque (lol).
Lawman avatarLawman
What does one do when MGS V has lost its luster and Persona 4: DAN is growing stale? Listen to Queens of the Stone Age, of course. And wonder; is Steins;Gate worth the asking price? I want it, but not sure if I $30 - $40 want it...
Terry 309 avatarTerry 309
Been trying to get Tales Of Phantasia finished before Zestiria comes out... How i'm going to get through that game I have no clue... especially when Exist Archive comes out in December and I have to play that too... also i've still yet to finish Grandia 2
TheLimoMaker avatarTheLimoMaker
Been in a bit of a rut this week and as such haven't really been satisfied with any of my games. Therefore, I'm going to start Destiny again on my new PS+ account. Any tips given the amount of updates it's had?
Bardley avatarBardley
Bought a used knockoff game console called the Power Kracker 2013, which claimed to have 76,000 games. The AC adapter was missing and someone had crammed an off-brand GameCube controller inside the box. I don't know what I expected.
Firuzi Gafrindashvili avatarFiruzi Gafrindashvili
Resident Evil: Revelations 2
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
I actually love the quests in Novigrad where you write a play. It's a fun and lighthearted break from the tragedy of Baron and horror of Velen and the Crones.
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
I preordered Tales of Zestria and Disgaea 5 because they were £10 cheaper that way, WHO WANTS TO FIGHT ME HUH?
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Man, plague of shadows is gooood. It really fleshes out plague knight and the world by extension, and it has some fun story stuff. Plus plague knight plays differently enough to shovel knight to make whats old feel new again. Deep customization too.
more quickposts


destructoid's previous coverage:

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!


Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -