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Lichtspeer Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . Technical issues aside, Lichtspeer is an intoxicatingly crazy action game with a lot of style and charm. What could have been a simple time-waster has been elevated to an outrageously fun adventure game full of silly enemies, cool locations and exciting boss fights. And more than anything else, it's just fun to throw the lightspear. I'm still not sure that's a good enough reason to bring somebody back from the dead, but I appreciate that the Lichtgods went to the trouble. Rating: 64%
Lichtspeer
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  • Review Score:

  • B-
If you're going to raise the dead, then you better have a damn good reason. It makes sense if you're trying to bring a family pet back or annoy Ryu Hayabusa, but you can't just resurrect people for your own sick pleasure. I think we can all agree that it's selfish and certainly not fair to the dead.

Apparently the Lichtgods didn't get the memo, because they've decided to bring an ancient germanoid warrior back to life to throw lightspears at an army of undead monsters. I'm talking about zombies, penguin vikings and even hipster ice giants. It's a heavily stylized action game set in a mythical space world full of memorable enemies and epic backgrounds.


The goal is pretty simple: Stand in place and throw lightspears at the onslaught of bad guys. But it's not enough to simply kill the army of bizarre baddies, the Lichtgods want you to have a little style. You'll earn more points for headshots and chain combos, as well as bonuses for long and tricky shots. This sounds simple until you realize that three misses and you'll be penalized for a few crucial seconds, which can be the difference between life and death.

At first I worried that the simple gameplay might be a little too basic. It has a deceptive look that made me think it was going to be the type of shallow nonsense you normally find on mobile phones. But that wasn't the case at all. What I found was a fun and involving adventure with a lot of variety and plenty of upgrades to buy. It doesn't feel like the kind of bite-sized game you only play for a few minutes at a time, and I spent most of the game so engaged that I didn't want to put it down.

Lichtspeer (PlayStation 4)Click For the Full Picture Archive

It helps that the developers are constantly coming up with new ways to make your life harder. Sometimes you'll need to take on enemies coming from both sides, while other times you'll be on a challenging slope. There are levels where you need to take out bad guys in boats, in air balloons, in gun turrets and even a few hiding behind their large shields. The game hopes you'll get so used to spear tossing that it will become second nature and you'll barely need to aim. The scoring possibilities really open up once you get the hang of it, and the game is good about throwing new challenges at our undead hero.

And it's not just the types of levels and enemies that change, you'll also spend a bunch of spacebucks to buy new powers and upgrade the ones you have. These abilities will allow our hero to play a bit more defensively, giving us a protective shield and even a secondary attack that kills everybody in the area. These power-ups will become invaluable as the difficulty ramps up, and you may even think about replaying some of the stages to earn extra spacebucks to make life a little easier.

Lichtspeer (PlayStation 4)Click For the Full Picture Archive

Visually, Lichtspeer looks a lot like Guacamelee from DrinkBox Studios. The graphics are simple but effective, showing off a wide range of locations without becoming too detailed. It fits the bizarre retro-future space aesthetic the developers are going for and looks sharp on my television. It often looks like the characters are created entirely out of construction paper, with some pretty amazing results. I was especially impressed with the epic boss fights. There's a lot to like about Lichtspeer's presentation.

Unfortunately, I wasn't as thrilled with some of the bugs I encountered. My enjoyment was rudely interrupted when I ran into a game-breaking error that made me start over from the beginning. About halfway through my playthrough, the game suddenly informed me that it couldn't save due to a corrupt file. This persisted until the final stages, when Lichtspeer suddenly crashed and refused to load my save. I ended up having to delete the entire file just to start a new game, a frustrating setback that left a bad taste in my mouth.

Technical issues aside, Lichtspeer is an intoxicatingly crazy action game with a lot of style and charm. What could have been a simple time-waster has been elevated to an outrageously fun adventure game full of silly enemies, cool locations and exciting boss fights. And more than anything else, it's just fun to throw the lightspear. I'm still not sure that's a good enough reason to bring somebody back from the dead, but I appreciate that the Lichtgods went to the trouble.
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