Game Review – Lichtspeer (PS4)

One of the fun things about being a gamer, whether casual or hardcore, is coming across game that has a wild and whacky concept. This is definitely one of those games.  Lichstpeer is an odd game developed by Lichthund and published by Crunching Koalas. It’s described as an ‘action arcade lightspear-throwing simulator based in ‘ancient Germanic future’. Already, this sound like it could be an interesting gaming session.

I reviewed the PS4 version of what is a PS4/Vita cross-buy so you can transfer your progress from device to another. Ideal if you have to go to a pesky family event and need something to entertain yourself on the go. As much fun as this is on the PS4, this seems more likely to be suited to the Vita’s pick-up and play, hand-held style (see our review of the PS Vita version of Lichtspeer).

Within second of starting the game, I’m thrust into this crazy world where the Lichtgods demand entertainment and your protagonist has been chosen to provide this entertainment. Unfortunately for our hero, that entertainment involves much death and mayhem. What follows is an entertaining mash-up of old-school gameplay and modern art-styles.

Gameplay involves fending off wave after wave of surreal, nightmarish creatures armed only with a spear. Your character is rooted to the spot during these sieges and the aim is to….well, aim. Basically you select the arc on which you like to fling your death javelin and send it sailing through the sky toward your enemies.

Points are based on what you hit and where you hit it. Bonuses are awarded for head shots, long-shots, etc. This all adds to your score at the end of each level and therein lies the addictive nature. You’ll find yourself coming back to beat not just your own scores, but your friends scores in the online leader boards.

Each stage also has specific goals which grant you extra points at the end. These are given as Gold, Silver and Bronze awards and for things such as not dying or getting ‘x’ number of headshots. Again, things like this keep you coming back for more because you just want to get a personal best.

The art style is very simple and cartoonish but that works in its favour. It has a similar look to Tearaway on PS4 (albeit in 2D), or even an episode of South Park. Visually, it perfectly complements the absurdity of the games main premise.

Musically, Marcin Sonnenberg has created a soundtrack that meshes with the game perfectly both in style and execution. It’s got that retro-dance feel much like the soundtrack to Tron: Legacy. That’s praise, by the way, cos that soundtrack kicked ass.

The aiming lets it down a little. Sometimes it feels a little sensitive and takes tweaking to get it right, but perhaps that part of the challenge. And if a challenge is what you want, there is a ‘Rage-quit Mode’ that promises just that. Another feaure is the obligatory ‘New Game+’ mode for when you beat the game and want to replay with all of your upgrades.

Lichtspeer is an interesting, addictive, old-school arcade game. If you’re looking for depth, look elsewhere. It’s a very immediate and superficial gaming experience If you want bonkers fun where the aim is to impale a Viking Penguin among other things, you’ll get that here. I would recommend this purely on the basis that it’s a blast. You don’t have to think to hard about it. What makes it even better is the cross-save functionality for the Vita. If Lichthund want to give us some more games in this vein, I’d be happy to give them a go.

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