A lover’s guide to space travel.
Someone once said “All you need is love. Love is all you need”; wise words indeed. But what if there was a machine that was able to spread love across the universe; would that lead to peace amongst all planets? Well yes, it would actually. But all good things must come to an end and that is the premise behind Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime, a cute indie action platformer.
The first thing that stands out about Lovers is its style. I was thrust in to a bright neon world, with a toe-tapping beat to go along with it. The simple, but striking visual style makes the game stand out from the crowd. The only thing I can think to compare it to is Geometry Wars but that is doing this game a disservice. Lovers is far more complex in its design and gameplay.
Price I’d pay: $14.99
Platform: PC, Xbox One
Multiplayer: 2 Player Local Co-op
The universe has been leading a love-filled life, thanks to a machine that emits happy vibes from planet to planet called the Ardor Reactor. Things go downhill fast though when Anti-Love makes an appearance to muck things up. The reactor is broken and chaos ensues; it’s down to the Love Police to sort it out. If it sounds a bit mental, it’s because it is.
To restore love to the universe, I must first assemble the crew for my spaceship; the pilot and his pet (yes, pet!). The spaceship has many parts to it: four gun turrets, a map room, shields, a cannon, and engines. Only two can be controlled at any one time and the trick is to move the characters to the correct room in order to defend the ship and destroy the enemies. This, of course, is best done with a buddy. The game is clearly built with couch co-op in mind; but even without a real friend to play with, giving orders to the AI is easy and responsive, meaning that there is no handicap for playing alone. Each stage requires the player to collect bunnies that have been caged at various locations on the map and each map is randomly generated, making multiple playthroughs exciting. With the Ardor Reactor split in to four pieces and spread across all of space and time, there is plenty to do, with each constellation ramping up the difficulty.
There are also a wealth of upgrades and power-ups available to help, as long as players put the time in to explore each area to find all the hidden goodies. These can transform the ship’s systems and level the battlefield. It makes it worthwhile taking the time to search each corner of the map.
Lovers tested my brain on several occasions. Having to manage the various functions of the ship, all while exploring the map and battling the various Anti-Love agents takes skill and consideration. But on occasion I found myself fighting with the controls slightly. It isn’t that bad however and doesn’t get in the way of the fun. Given a few hours play, I found that the controls got easier to manage. A small flaw in an otherwise well crafted game.
Surprisingly fun, both in single player and co-op mode, Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime is a gem. The great co-op mechanic really encourages the players to work together and communicate, but never hinders a lone player. For those that want to grab a friend and take on a challenging experience, filled with gorgeous visuals and thoughtful gameplay, then Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime is the perfect game.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.