When taking a look at Lichtspeer, on first glance it just made no sense. Based loosely on a Germanic myth with a futuristic style, mixing in a kind of retro visual, I just could not get my head around it. Understanding the mechanic of the game and the end goal being very straight forward, I thought I would give it a try to see what it is all about, playing it on the PC as the mouse is pretty much the best way you could play a game like this. Although within minutes of this game I became very pleased that I gave this game a chance.
The way Lichtspeer works could not be any simpler. You are a character that has raised the interest of a Germanic God that is bored and to entertain themselves presents you with a spear to battle hordes of enemies. The player has to last until all the enemies within the level have been killed. The way that this is done that as the player holds down the left mouse button, the game creates a visual trajectory so that a path for the spear is visible and can be used to aid in hitting the enemies that are running at you. If an enemy either makes direct contact with you or hits you with projectile, the level ends and the player dies. There are 5 stages to each level, the final stage ending with a boss fight
As you carry on through the levels, the difficulty factor of this game increases dramatically. If you haven’t got the hang of the way the game plays within the first thirty seconds then I wish you luck as your personal level of patience is about to be put to the test. Combating against enemies that use shield to cover 95% of their body, being shot at by a harpoon turret and having super speed minions charge at you all at the same time while trying to work out a strategic way of killing them all without dying. This is only the second level! What makes it worse is this game is very addictive and keeps you pushing to defeat these creatures that just really want to ruin your day.
The only way to effectively start defending yourself it to earn as many points as possible through the small stages of each level. It works pretty clearly, killing an enemy normally with give you 100 points. For Each headshot you get it increases the normal kill reward by 10 points and stacks up to 10 times. Meaning you can earn 200 points for each standard kill you get, and if you get any headshots after this point you are rewarded an additional 100 points. Knowing this is important as this is your “currency” in the game known as LSD, pretty clever name considering the game itself. You are able to purchase attacking powers, defensive powers and then a couple of huge powers that are great in a tight spot.
The game graphics are very basic. The raw, sharp design of everything around you, including your character do give it a little style, working well with the theme that surrounds the obscure and slight wackiness that the game provides. The bright colours that are used do encourage a futuristic feeling and help point out where enemies are coming from. With the fast pace of the game I feel that the right choice was made to stick with a basic style as you are not going to get time to sit and admire the players surroundings. I quite enjoyed the floating masks that represented different characters, such as the store, reminding me a lot of the mask from Crash Bandicoot, making me feel a little nostalgic.
The sound effects used in the game are as basic as the graphics but do what they need to. They let you know you have hit or killed your enemy and when you have thrown the spear. They fall into the background quite easily, and stand out from the game’s music. The music does confuse me a little, feeling like the plan was to have something work around it being born from a myth but at the same time, undecided if putting techno would take the futurism a little far. I did find myself muting the game after around 10 minutes as this didn’t really seem great for me.
You are offered a huge amount of replayability as the instadeath factor just keeps you coming back with more frustration and determination. There are also quite a variety of skills to choose from, so you get the opportunity to come back again and purchase a different set to see if it helps you conquer the hordes more effectively than the last. Finally the game presents an Uber difficulty which, if you are feeling up to the challenge, will really test you on what skills you have picked up along the way through the first lot of play throughs and the first thousand continues.
I quite liked this game, little things niggled at me but after I started delving into the pit of frustration, they passed by and didn’t come up to bother me again. I had to concentrate far too much to have time to worry about small factors. The sporadic difficulty change was great fun, leaving me determined to beat the game and work towards a point where rather than focus on my line of trajectory I could just watch the enemies rolling in and pick them off more efficiently. I could see myself getting some more enjoyment out of this game in the near future and would recommend to anyone that enjoys a challenge that spares you no room for error.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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