At its core Lichtspeer is a wave after wave zombie hoard game designed to keep you rooted to one spot per area of the level and throw the titular Lichtspeers to kill oncoming zombies by way of impalement. While initially the idea of this game sounds potentially stress inducing (including “how fast am I going to be overrun with zombies if all I have is a spear?”) it actually falls into a great rhythm once you get used to timing your throws and using the trajectory to your advantage. I personally found myself enjoying this aspect because you can pick off the zombies quickly or slowly, in multiples or even with some fancy headshots. It is actually a very relaxing experience because you can easily take advantage of your starting position and not have to worry about running around like a headless zombie.
Set in what the game describes as an “Ancient Germanic future” the impression is given to the player from the get go that this game isn’t here to take itself seriously and will instead do everything it can to make terrible jokes and puns to get you to laugh along with it. Das is funny. Because of this choice of dialogue, the game itself is instantly approachable for newcomers and veterans of the zombie hoard genre. Even at the opening screen where you select between Fräulein and Herr there is a range of typical German names to choose from for your character. Ever wanted to lob spears at an enemy as a chap called Gustav? Or a lady called Anke? Well now you can, so that is pretty fantastisch. There is no impact on the game whatsoever by these character choices but it adds depth to that aforementioned humour which certainly kept a smile on my face during my time with the game. Upgrading your weapons? No worries, spend some LSD (as the in-game points are called) in the Licht Shop for some extra giggles.
But what else sets this game apart on the Nintendo Switch I hear you ask? Well good question, and the answer is there is a co-op mode available for the Switch version. Co-op mode lets you grab your trusty spear-wielding friends and take on the game side by side as hero and flying dog companion. The co-operative gameplay works really well as it makes you think again about your strategy against each wave. Will one of you take care of aerial enemies and one focus on the ground or will it just be a free for all to see who gets the highest score? Of course, that isn’t all there is to the co-op mode either. Because there is a second warrior involved now the game rewards you by cranking up the difficulty to keep you on your toes. No longer is this a simple throwing contest of headshots and harpoons, now you must strategise to deal with larger waves of zombies and a more frequent pace. You haven’t really enjoyed life until you find yourself yelling “Hit that flying penguin” to each other as you and your canine companion throw spears at all angles.
Overall, the game has a wonderful style of both design and humour which instantly drew me in and kept me going on to play “one more level”. Having the option to play the game co-cooperatively with my girlfriend added an extra layer of playability to the game that doesn’t feel like most other games available. We even stopped to have a silly dance along with the music that plays in the background because it just fits together so fluidly. Now all I need is an online leaderboard to check my scores against every so often to see just how bad my aim is. Lichtspeer to me is an 8/10 game and something I would recommend to any Nintendo Switch owner.
Lichtspeer: Double Speer Edition launches on the Nintendo eShop on 07/09/2017 at 9AM PDT / 2pm BST. This game was provided to us by a PR for review and this has no impact on the writing whatsoever.