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Quick Impressions: Lichtspeer

Spear Mint

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A trajectory-based spear-flinging side-scrolling action game, with graphics like Guacamelee and fabulous music. Yes please. That’s Lichtspeer [official site].

Cor, it’s good.

It is, in one sense, incredibly simple. Your character stands still on the left side of the screen, and like a million classic arcade games, the enemies come toward you while you try to fend them off. In this case with a thrown spear. It is in every other sense superbly detailed. And silly.

The mighty Lichtgod is bored, and as such decides to recruit you, a silly human, to entertain him. He wants you to fight a lot, but only with a spear, and he really flipping doesn’t want you to miss. He doesn’t like it when you miss.

The rest is fairly predictable – a range of enemy types that move at different speeds, have different weaknesses, take varying numbers of hits to kill, and so on. It becomes about management of the inexorable rush as well as the core task of aiming and hitting. If an enemy reaches you, that’s instant death, and you start that stage again. Miss too many times in a row (read: spam the attack) and Lichtgod himself will pop up and take your abilities away from you for a few seconds, furious about it, ensuring you can’t cheat that way.

As you progress you gain points, which can be spent at the shop betwixt levels. Here you can upgrade your spear with new abilities, on top of the split-into-three option it gives you for free. A useful defence is tower of power that kills enemies immediately next to you with a single tap, but of course has an enormous cool-down timer. You can add other tweaks and tricks, as well as boost your defences.

And, well, that’s it! And it’s plenty! The graphics are lovely, if heavily similar to Drinkbox’s, and the music is completely stupendous. And it’s extremely compelling. Failure offers an instantaneous restart on that stage, so you’re never frustrated for long (instead you’re frustrated an enormous amount in a fraction of a second – it’s a sort of titrated frustration that drives you forward).

It’s very funny, very sharp, and most importantly, a lot of frenzied fun. I wish there were more enemy types more quickly – it over-uses the same ones, and redresses them for later levels – but that’s my only significant gripe. And you get to die an awful lot.

Lichtspeer is out on Steam for £7/$10, or available directly from developers Lichthund for $9.

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