Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime is a game developed by Asteroid Base for PC and Xbox one. As part of the ID@Xbox program the game was released on September 9th 2015. The game is a weird combination of an action, platformer and co-op game, which may seem daunting at first glance, but all comes together rather nicely. Lovers takes you on a voyage to triumph over the evil forces of Anti-Love, rescue all of your space captured friends and save the love to repair your ship.
As you begin your journey into Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime, you’ll have the choice of a few characters to play as, with more to come as you progress through the game. The main difference from this point will be whether you play the game in 1-player mode or 2-player mode. With 2-player mode each player will have to work together to control the ships equipment, while in 1-player mode you’ll be given the choice of 2 friends, a cat or a dog. This pet will be your helper throughout your journey to control whichever piece of equipment you tell them to use, all aside from the main engine to move the ship. While daunting at first to play alone instead of with a partner, the AI for the pet actually works quite well in choosing what is best to shoot at with the weapons or where to defend with the shield. While it would be nice to play with another human player, at least you aren’t penalized by the fact that you don’t have anyone to play with all of the time.
Sea monsters in space?!
Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime
Developer: Asteroid Base
Publisher: Asteroid Base
Release Date: 9 September 2015
Price: $14.99 [Disclosure copy provided by Developer/Publisher]
The story for Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime is pretty simple and easy to follow. Love, the most powerful thing in universe has been keeping the reactor at the centre running and then out of nowhere an error occurs allowing Anti-Love to come in and break apart the central hub to the reactor. This causes monsters to spawn, capturing innocents and wreaking havoc on the galaxy. It’s then tasked upon you to rescue these innocents and take back the Love that was lost and repair the reactor. Each campaign brings you to a new part of the galaxy that you’ll need to attend to. Each with their own few enemies that get added in, new elements, innocents and a boss battle at the end of the chapter that you’ll be required to defeat to bring the Love back home.
Each campaign consists of enemies that range from the basic drone type enemies that will shoot as you go by and follow you, to ones that require you to take down their shields first by countering them, before doing damage. There are also other obstacles that may run into your path such as white dwarfs (balls with gravity fields), currents that will take you across the map, whirl pools, asteroid fields and other gameplay changing mechanics.
Go dog! Fetch!
There are a few different pieces of equipment on the ship that you’ll be given to commandeer. The first of the few is the engine, indicated by orange, which will be used by the player to steer the ship, this part of the ship can only be commandeered by the player and the secondary character, the pet, will not be able to use this piece. The next piece would be the guns which are indicated in red, how many guns you get depends on the ship. The first ship of the game will have 4, one for each direction, up, down, left and right. These will be commandeered to take down enemies that are coming after you, shoot down items to take into your ship, destroy debris, shoot buttons, or destroy and rescue trapped innocents in cages.
Next up would be the shield, indicated by blue. This is at first not so much a useful item as there aren’t very many enemies in the game, however later on in the levels as the game proceeds to throw more and more challenges your way this will be your primary item to use, as you’ll have to protect your ship at all costs. Next we have the Yamato, indicated in yellow. This is a weapon of mass destruction that should be saved and used in times of need as it has a long cooldown and may not be used consecutively. Finally we have the map which will show you parts of space that are covered in fog that you have not explored, as well as areas where the creatures you’ll need to rescue are if, you’ve picked up a tracking item.
While you play the game, you’ll come across items, some of which are beacons for tracking innocent creatures to rescue as I’ve said above, while others will be presents that will appear aboard your ship. These presents will then be opened by you and be in the form of three different types of gems – power, beam or metal. Each gem has its own usefulness and the power of the item can completely change depending on which machine it is placed within. Such as a metal in the shield will amplify the shield into a metal barrier that doesn’t disappear when moving, or a power gem in the engine will give the player boost powers when they’re moving across space.
These powers can as well be doubled up, so that you can combine two gems in each station (aside from the map station). Two gems are always better than one, however as there was differences with each gem in a station alone, adding another gem changes them even further. While a power gem in a turret may offer you double the fire power, adding another gem such as a metal gem will then turn that turret into a guided missile launcher, or that metal gem in the shield that added bonus defense to the shield, if we added another metal gem it would expand that shield to one that would span almost a third of the side of the ship. This means that there are three one gem combinations for each stations as well as six two gem combinations. Adding a gem to an already two gem station will throw away the first gem that was added to the station, however the best way to avoid this is to use a remover. This is an item that between levels you can acquire that will allow you to remove all gems from a station so that you will avoid losing the gem and can use it later on another station.
We can do anything! All we need is a bit of love!
Once you’ve rescued a decent amount of innocents, you’ll increase your rank, and with each upgrade you’ll go from increasing your gem slots to being able to choose entirely different ships which are tailored completely differently than the original. Some can prevent terrain damage and rotate completely around, while another overs ease of access to moving about the ship, but comes at the cost of each player having specified zones. There are also later ships that come pre-upgraded with gems within the ship.
Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime is a fantastic game for fans of action games and platformers alike. The mechanics and customization can be changed and tuned to the players liking, the secondary player, that can be controlled by the first player in 1-player mode, the enjoyable co-op experience when you have an actual second player, all of these things combined make this a wonderful game that would give anyone their money’s worth as it’s a real enjoyable experience. Those who may have been wary by the lack of online co-op, while disappointing there isn’t, should not fear, especially as this is a title that should not be missed.