Review: Lichtspeer: Double Speer Edition

If the words “piranha-wielding penguin vikings” don’t scare you off, click here!

By Marc Deschamps. Posted 10/12/2017 19:00 Comment on this     ShareThis
The Final Grade
grade/score info
1-Up Mushroom for...
Crazy style; tough, but mostly fair, gameplay; great sense of humor
Poison Mushroom for...
High difficulty level and absurd style won't be for everyone

The wonderful thing about the rise of indie gaming is that it has given the industry a wealth of titles that dare to be different from the mainstream. Thanks to smaller budget constraints, developers can make products that are a bit more on the unusual side. That’s a blessing, because it gives us games like Lichtspeer: Double Speer Edition, which is unusual in all the best ways.

Lichtspeer is a stationary shooter in which players have to kill an onslaught of foes in order to appease vengeful gods. Lichtspeer separates itself from similar shooters through the game’s titular weapon. Rather than guns, players hurl the Lichtspeer at oncoming foes. If they catch up, it’s level over. Different foes have different speeds, however, giving players a need to prioritize targets. Will the piranha-wielding penguin viking get to you first, or will it be the hipster ice giant, or the skater walrus? Learning and accurately judging each enemy-type’s speed and movement patterns makes all the difference in Lichtspeer, and the title consistently adds new opponents as the game progresses.

Lichtspeer could have gotten dull quickly had developer Lichthund not made great strides to keep introducing new elements throughout the game. Later levels add enemies that require greater accuracy, and items that make your opponents move faster. It’s not just different enemies the game adds, however, there are also new variables that come into play, as well. Some levels feature enemies that run downhill or uphill, causing players to rethink the slope and incline of each throw of the Lichtspeer. Some have enemies coming from darkened corners, giving the player less room for error. Players can try to increase the speed with which they throw the Lichtspeer at their opponents, but the gods punish players after multiple missed throws, so accuracy can mean life or death. The game also awards bonus points for different attack maneuvers, and those points can be turned in at the shop for different special attack upgrades. On top of that, boss battles offer very different attack patterns, giving the game even more variety.

From the game’s start, players are warned that death will come quickly and frequently in Lichtspeer, and that warning is completely accurate. It’s very easy to misjudge one enemy’s speed over another and find yourself overtaken, and the difficulty level only ramps up as the game goes on. Lichtspeer greatly benefits, however, from a difficulty level that never feels artificially inflated. As a result, death typically comes across as a minor inconvenience in the game, rather than a major one. Levels reload quickly after each death, and each stage is also short enough that it rarely becomes a source of great frustration. In one 15-minute play session, I died nearly 27 times, and I never would have realized it if the game hadn’t informed me after the level was cleared. The difficulty can be taxing at times, but without any need to worry about extra lives or continues, players can keep their focus and enjoy the gameplay.

If there’s one word I’d use to describe Lichtspeer: Double Speer Edition‘s presentation, it’s BANANAS. The title screams style with flashy colors, Germanic influences and the oddest collection of villains ever seen in a video game. It’s also over-the-top, cartoonishly gory. Blood rains everywhere as playable characters are reduced to skeletons, the field amasses piles of bodies and Lichtspeers to the head are rewarded with headshot bonuses. The resulting style looks like a mashup of Adventure Time and Adult Swim, and I found it incredibly charming.

That said, Lichtspeer‘s greatest strengths can also be considered its greatest potential turnoffs. Though many gamers will see the art style and difficulty level as a plus, this won’t be a game for everyone. While I found myself continuing to press on, others might get frustrated dying 51 times in a five-stage level. The same can be said for the art style, which I found endearing, but some may end up baffled by its absurdity. From a technical standpoint, Lichtspeer is a great title, but it’s hard to deny that it’s a particularly niche game.

Lichtspeer: Double Speer Edition is a fine addition to the Switch eShop. Its presentation is stunning and its gameplay will leave players feeling completely spent after each play session. There were nights playing the title where my nerves were completely fried but I felt the need to clear one more level before bed. That sort of difficulty level can be a huge turnoff for some, but the game feels far more rewarding than unfair. Lichtspeer is definitely an unusual title, but that’s all part of its charm. It’s certainly not a game for everyone, but if a game with hipster ice giants and buckets of blood sounds up your alley, you’ll love Lichtspeer.

Nintendojo was provided a copy of this game for review by a third party, though that does not affect our recommendation. For every review, Nintendojo uses a standard criteria.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Log In 0 points Log in or register to grow your Ninja Score while interacting with our site.
Nintendojo's RSS Feeds

All Updates Podcast
News Comments
Like and follow usFacebookTwitter Friend Code Exchange + Game with Us Join the Team!