The gods are bored, and they have chosen you – a lowly human – to amuse them in the act of killing. Armed with only a lichtspeer, you’ll have to take on swaths of monstrous creatures in order to please the Lichtgods and earn yourself some sort of prize. This is the premise behind Lichtspeer: Double Speer Edition, and hopefully its motivation enough to get you in the killing mood. I say this only because this task of pleasing the gods is no walk in the park.
Thankfully, on the way to champion status you’ll earn LSD (aka; “spacemoney”) which you can use to upgrade your abilities at the Licht Shop. That said, when it comes to the bosses all you’ve got to take with you is pure skill. You had better be quick and accurate if you want to take on this game, ’cause it has no love for those who can’t keep up.
In the thick of the action you’ll be aiming with the left analog stick and firing with A, throwing your speer (yes, I’m spelling it janky like they do) in a parabolic arc towards your enemies. Headshots get you extra points and usually count towards any extra goals the level offers (of which you’ll have three), while body shots are good for the smaller enemies. Some need to be hit multiple times in the body to go down though, and others hide everything but their head, so you might as well aim for those always insta-kill headshots if you can get them.
It’s not all fun and games trying to hit these enemies though, as they’re not standing still – they advance towards you, some at a rather quick pace. Timing on your part becomes the rule of law, and either you fire those speers like crazy or you’re going to get killed. That’s just the way it is in this whacked out world where everything is trying to kill you, and you’re going to have to shape up or ship out (in a body bag).
In addition to that, progressing through each of the game’s thirteen levels will have you coming up against harder to beat enemies – be it harder to hit, or harder to take down – and you’ll likely have to up your skills or your abilities to survive. If only one of the enemies make it to you, you’re done. Keep that in mind!
Speaking of keeping things in mind, it’s important to up your accuracy as you play through using the tried and true methods – and not just relying on upgraded abilities. That’s because (as previously hinted at) when you come up against a boss you’ll be left without any help from those upgrades, and you’ll be cut back to skill alone. Trust me, you’ll want to have upped your skill by the end or you’re going to have a bad time with that final challenge. I know I did.
In regards to time, it’s clear to me that the game can be as long or as short as you make it. The best players can probably clear all the title’s levels in just a few hours, while those of us with less skill (like me) will probably take longer. I would bet I’m up near the ten hour mark, but since the Switch only counts in fives I can’t be entirely sure. It wasn’t as quick as it could’ve been, but I’m okay with that as I had fun along the way.
It certainly helped that the journey through the game was one where I was constantly wondering what they’d throw at me next. Things like the terrain tricks (like water with boats, inclines, etc) were very well done, and served to mix things up and add an extra layer of difficulty so you weren’t just perfecting your arc and sticking to an angle. While some would compare Lichtspeer to a mobile game, these touches (as well as the solid controls and excellent TV presentation) set it apart for me. It’s got its own unique flair, that’s for sure.
It’s at this point we should probably talk about the graphics, and it’s true that Lichtspeer appears rather simple – but at the same time the aesthetic is very much functional above all. Things are accurately and cleanly represented on the screen, and I didn’t find that I was running into frame rate issues or slowdowns when playing. I could see the enemy, throw a speer, and know that I’d be hitting my mark. In a game like this I ask for accuracy above all, and the style definitely owed to that idea.
As for the audio, it was fairly atmospheric and did a good job or both setting the mood and not distracting from the gameplay. In a game where you need to be pinpoint accurate, a good music pairing is key – and they’ve achieved that here for sure. In addition, the sound effects were quite solid as well. Different actions had clearly distinct sounds, and you could tell if you’d made a hit instantly instead of waiting for a reaction from the enemy. Really, the audio was one of the most solid aspects of a very solid game – and that’s saying something.
After my time with Lichtspeer: Double Speer Edition I’ve realized two things; I hate the final boss, and I quite like this game. Lichtspeer makes it fun to try and beat your previous scores, offers a hell of a challenge (so you won’t get bored because it’s too easy), and is designed such that you can take things on with a flare of your own once you get good enough at the basics. It’s the kind of game that I could definitely see myself going back to for a “no abilities” run, or even a jaunt through new game plus – just ’cause I can (and also because it can’t be as punishing as that last boss was).
If you’re remotely into hard games, or like games you can work at (or come back to here and there to beat your scores), then you need Lichtspeer. It’s a no brainer, and I’m not just saying that ’cause I’ve been speer-ed in the head. 😉