Lichtspeer, the laser spear-throwing horde battler from Polish developer Lichthund, has recently found a new home on Nintendo Switch.
I use the expression “new home” simply due to the fact that I can’t imagine experiencing its hyper absurdity and flashy style elsewhere, thanks in part to an ingenious new addition. Subtitled “Double Speer Edition”, Lichtspeer on Switch packs in the same addictive wave-based fun the game has become known for, with the exception that you can now do so co-operatively with a friend.
This seems to be a reoccurring theme for many previously-released latecomer titles now hoping to capitalise on the hybrid console’s dual functionality, with Rayman Legends recently adding in a Tournament mode, and even Nintendo’s own Splatoon 2 introducing us to Salmon Run. Where Lichtspeer differs however, is in just how seamless it integrates its drop in/drop out multiplayer.
Having a buddy join you on your mission to please the gods in an ancient Germanic future is as easy as clicking the plus or minus button whenever the game is paused. Doing so sees player 2 take on the appropriately Lichtspeer role of a flying Dachshund, primed to assist whenever the action gets heated. Lichtspeer makes its presence known as being a challenging game anyway, and while I had the impression that the enemies do scale a little when playing with a friend, the extra help is much appreciated, laying the foundation for much couch co-op hilarity.
Of course, breaking off both of the Switch’s joy-cons in order to fiddle about with tiny buttons is never an ideal solution when playing a game that requires such a degree of precision, but it works. Hurling two spears of pure light makes it a tad chaotic, especially in later levels. But while it may initially appear easy due to the helping hand, actually it has the opposite effect, at least if trying to rack up the highest score.
When entering co-operative mode, all of the game’s 12 levels (broken up in 5 sections each) is given a separate scoreboard from the solo campaign, tempting you to ratchet up the numbers as much as possible. This means landing head shots on enemies and completing every stage’s three specific objectives, but most importantly communicating. Anyone can hit a penguin Viking in the chest before he bombs you, but to nail that perfect shot takes patience, precision and teamwork.
Sharing the Lichtspeer experience with another won’t change your opinion of the game, but it does bode the potential to enhance it ever so slightly. The Nintendo Switch continues to be a truly versatile platform not just from a practical standpoint, but also in the sense that the games featured are rife with many subtle additions that helps to add a bit more bang for your buck. Lichtspeer continues this trend via a seamless to access 2-player couch co-op mode that’s reminiscent of the good old days, when one could share the same game screen with others.