You have to hand it to games that are actually unique. Lichtspeer has you throw arcing spears at oncoming hordes of odd enemies but is it enough fun to appease the gods? Strap a seal to a skateboard and let's find out.
You play Lichtspeer as either a male or female warrior who basically just throws spears at enemies in order to make the gods happy. You do so by holding a button, adjusting your aim, then letting go in the hopes that it lands in a monster's head. Enemies come in different varieties and as you get accustomed to how each type moves, you'll be well suited to take them out effectively. In addition to just throwing spears, you can purchase, upgrade, and equip three different skills that are best unleashed in sticky situations. These include abilities such as splitting the spear into three and deploying a shield or small blast to destroy nearby foes. This simple gameplay setup is actually quite fun at first as it's easy to pick up and play and there's a sense of satisfaction to sticking monsters and oddballs with spears and watching them bleed everywhere. However, is it worth hanging around for longer than a few stages?
Before I get into that, I should discuss the visuals. As you progress through the campaign's 13 stages, you'll find yourself in a handful of different themed continents such as a winter forest, a snow-covered plain, and a sandy desert. These offer some unique scenarios such as having to throw spears on slopes but they don't change up the gameplay substantially. The enemies are very wacky such as a fish that bites your head off and seals that glide down slopes on skateboards. Everyone is animated as if they're from a browser game but at least the graphics are clear enough so you can know what's going on. The soundtrack is composed of goofy '80s-style tunes while the sound effects are similarly strange. This may not be the most visually or aurally pleasing game but it all adds up to one crazy world.
Unfortunately, the extremely basic gameplay gets tiresome after only a few minutes. Fighting off hordes of enemies just isn't that fun when you're simply standing still and throwing spears. On the plus side, the bosses are somewhat nifty as they provide some needed variety to the equation. That being said, you basically have to fight them at least a few times to fully understand how to effectively overcome them. Anyway, I wish there was more than just throwing spears and using the odd ability but that's all there is to it.
Not only does the gameplay fall flat, there is only one mode to enjoy it within. Its only redeeming aspect is the leaderboards which gives those who enjoy getting high scores the opportunity to compare their skills with the world. Besides that, you just finish stages, earn currency, and spend it. I wish there was a multiplayer component as cooperating with a friend would make it so much more fun.
Finally, one aspect turns Lichtspeer from a rather fun game into a frustrating mess. Even the most relentlessly difficult arcade games have one thing in common: they allow gamers to regularly have a break in order to collect their thoughts. However, the waves in Lichtspeer can last up to a few minutes where all kinds of enemies persistently rush towards you. It's too much and just isn't fun. If these massive waves were split up into smaller chunks as to allow the player to catch a breath once in a while then it would be just as challenging but not as infuriating. It's ridiculous to expect gamers to throw every single spear as quickly as possible with perfect precision in order to not die. Not only that; if you get hit with some magic or miss a shot, you're stunned for a short period of time which will more often than not be enough for an enemy to end your life. It's brutal, irritating, and most importantly; not fun in the slightest.
At its core, Lichtspeer works as a simplistic arcade experience. Unfortunately, its blatant disregard for the average (and even the hardcore) gamer's enjoyment makes it a very difficult game to recommend.
- + Simple gameplay that's quite fun at first
- + Goofy visuals and sound
- + Boss fights are pretty cool
- - Basic gameplay quickly becomes tedious
- - Little replay value and slim on content
- - Enemy hordes get far too relentless and don't even give you a chance to breathe