Lichtspeer ($3.99) by Lichthund and published by Noodlecake Studios is an action game that's packed full of retro neon lights, futuristic yet ancient German mythology, and plenty of lightspear-throwing fun. If you like physics-based action games, kind of like Dandara, then you'll get a kick out of Lichtspeer.
Ever since the rise (and fall) of Angry Birds, there was an upsurge in physics-based games that utilize the slingshot aiming method that the franchise made popular. While there haven't been as many of these games out lately compared to years ago, they're still fun, especially when you have something like Bowmasters. I tried Bowmasters for a while, but the constant ad shoving in your face bothered me. I had also seen Lichtspeer on the Nintendo Switch eShop several months ago, and while I didn't buy it on the platform, I found it incredibly intriguing. Now that it's on iOS, I had no excuse to not check it out. Boy, this one does not disappoint.
App Feels Like
App Feels Like
Lichtspeer's graphics are visually impressive as a whole. The game features a minimalistic aesthetic with the 2D, low-poly art style. The various environments also feature unique backdrops that look great, and have a kind of Alto's Odyssey look and feel to them. Despite the low-poly style, the character models for your warrior and various enemies, including the Hipster Ice Giants, are detailed and can be easily separated from the rest. The colors in Lichtspeer range from bold and vibrant brights to muted, earthier tones, and then there are the bright neon lights of your lichtspear weapon and pyramid lasers. Animations are smooth and fluid, with no issues of lag on my iPhone 8 Plus.
The game's music is just as unique as the game itself. Players will find an upbeat and quirky EDM soundtrack that plays in the background, and the sound effects are nicely done. So whether you hit your target or miss, the game wants to make sure you know.
Lichtspeer has several different areas on the world map, and each one has a handful of levels to get through. But on top of it all, each level is broken up into several stages, and you must clear one stage to move on to the next part. Once you finish them all, then your total score gets tallied up as LSD, which stands for Lichtspeer Standard Denomination. You'll have to complete the first world to get access to the shop, where you can purchase and upgrade your Lichtpowers.
With the scoring system, Lichtspeer follows an arcade formula. You get points based on the number of enemies you killed, but you earn bonuses for headshots, consecutive hit and kill combos for multipliers, and not using up a continue. Plus, there are set goals for each level that you'll want to strive for, so it keeps things fresh.
The goal in Lichtspeer is simple: you're a lone warrior who holds the Lichtspeer, and must use it to clear out the waves of enemies coming at you. Defeat them all, and then you can move on. There are also boss battles that present a true challenge, and are not for the faint-of-heart. Despite the simple premise, Lichtspeer is a hard game. Prepare to die — a lot.
The controls are simple and seem made for touch screens, though I have yet to play it on the Switch. To aim your Lichtspeer, just drag your finger on the right side of the screen. You'll see the trajectory line for your Lichtspeer. Release your finger to throw it, and hope you aimed well. Then rinse and repeat for every enemy on the battlefield.
Your starting Lichtpower is the Trispear, which splits your single spear into three when you tap the screen with two fingers (left and right side). You may want to spend your LSD earned from each level (all stages) to upgrade it to become more effective (eventually splitting into five spears) and reduce the cooldown timer. Other powers may be purchased as well, such as the Licht Hammer, Lichtray, Das Shield, and more. There's a total of 10 powers that you can have, and they prove to be quite useful in battle. Getting enough LSD for all of them, on the other hand, may take some time.
Toss spears at all kinds of crazy creatures in ancient Germanic future.
Lichtspeer is an amazing physics-based arcade game that everyone should play. The visual style is unique and looks fantastic on Retina screens, and the sound is top notch. The controls work out well enough, so it's pretty simple and intuitive overall. There's a lot of variety in terms of environments and enemy types (Hipster Ice Giants and Penguin Vikings, hello?), so you'll never not have a good time here. The humor is excellently done too, and the Lichtpowers kick things up a notch.
The game can be a bit unforgiving, because if you even let one enemy get through to you, then you've failed. When this happens, you have to start that section over from the beginning, which can get pretty tedious if you died a good way through the wave. I wish that there was a life system instead, making it a tad easier, but I suppose that would defeat the purpose of the game, which is to be challenging. After all, it is a simulator where you're a warrior facing off against hordes of enemies.
While I'm still fairly early on in Lichtspeer (it's pretty hard, alright), I'm enjoying it a lot and find it hard to put down once you get the hang of things. I've died plenty of times now, but if you pay attention to the attack patterns of the waves, you'll notice when and who you should strike first. It takes some time and practice, but it gets easier once you recognize the sequences. Plus the graphics are beautiful, the music and sound is quirky and delightful, and the controls feel natural. It's a bit unforgiving, but pushes you to get better.
Lichtspeer is available on the App Store as a universal download for your iPhone and iPad for $3.99. There are no in-app purchases.