In Lichtspeer your one and only job is to throw lightspears to fend off oncoming waves of enemies. It’s simple, easy to understand, and continues to build off it with interesting power ups and a decent range of humorous enemies from Hipster Ice Giants to Penguin Vikings.
At its very basics Lichtspeer places you on one side of the screen while enemies move in from the other. Your lightspears can easily dispatch enemies with a single shot to the head, or multiple shots to the body if your aim isn’t quite up to snuff. In the early stages, enemies can sustain damage from any location, but as you progress through the game the Hipster Ice Giants will wise up and come dressed in armor, some enemies will hide behind their shields, and Penguin Vikings will fly in on protected air ships. On top of the extra protection, deeper into the game you’ll find yourself in situations where enemies come marching in from both sides of the screen, automated laser guns will need to be continually dealt with, flying dog-like creatures will swoop in from above, and rockets can easily deliver an instant KO if you’re not paying attention.
Lichtspeer is tough, not only do you need to be precise, but the sheer number of enemies flooding into view at any given moment can be downright overwhelming. It’s easy to completely miss the presence of enemies firing rockets at you, for one, and having to manage ground and air based enemies coming from both sides means that you also have to be very quick to react. When you get through a particularly difficult wave, it can be exhilarating, it’s just equally frustrating when you find yourself dying to the same section again and again.
Between levels you can purchase special abilities that are equipped to one of three active slots. Each ability can be upgraded to Level 3 and help to fend off some of the more overwhelming sections in later stages. There’s a pretty good variety of abilities to choose from, but the progression seems to lend itself better if you focus solely on upgrading three specific abilities, rather than attempting to master them all. I chose the hammer, which explodes on impact, the laser, which fires a straight line and decimates any immediate ground enemies, and a shield for some of the stickier situations I’d find myself in. These worked really well to round out my options in battle and the cool-downs on them are just long enough so that I never felt too overpowered. They’re also unavailable during boss fights, leaving each boss entirely up to you and your lightspear.
The boss fights in Lichtspeer are creative, some are as simple as hitting specific weak points, while others introduce completely new mechanics to the game that make for some really interesting scenarios. Some bosses, for instance, feature portals that allow your character to move around the screen to dodge attacks or to get a better angle at any given weak-point. Each fight makes for a good change of pace in a game that starts to get a bit repetitive into the later stages.
With the end in sight Lichtspeer will literally turn rooms upside down, introduce pillars that’ll obscure large portions of the screen, and do just about anything else to make the game that much harder in the final stages. It’s around that point where I stopped enjoying the game, and, while not impossible, some of the late game challenges just felt like too much and became far more frustrating than fun. The sheer number of enemies gets to be so overwhelming that it’s difficult to focus on automated laser guns and incoming rockets, while also staying precise with each and every throw.
That said, Lichtspeer has a pretty great sense of humor and sticks proudly to its weird concoction of Germanic x Futuristic x LSD influence. It makes a strong first impression that unfortunately doesn’t carry through to the end. Aside from boss fights, things get pretty repetitive about midway through and, for me, never really picked up. I still had a decent time with the game, and I absolutely love its presentation, it just doesn’t really do enough to keep me wanting to come back.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes. For more info on our review policy click here.
What I Like:
- Germanic x Futuristic x LSD presentation
- Boss fights
- Penguin Vikings and other unexpected/funny enemy designs
What I Dislike:
- Can sometimes be a bit too overwhelming, leading to a challenge that's more frustrating than fun
- Fast moving one-hit-kill rockets that can be very easy to miss
- Gets a bit repetitive