Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime (XBO) - ReviewEvan Norris , posted on 17 September 2015 / 3,654 Views
Only the grumpiest scrooge could fail to fall in love with Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime, one of the most adorable games available on the Xbox One. With its heart-shaped space station and endearing anthropomorphic animals, it's guaranteed to put a smile on your face.
Lovers tells the story of a quest to stop the dark forces of anti-love, which have entered the galaxy through an error in the "Ardor Reactor". With the reactor destroyed and the lovely people of the galaxy imprisoned, it's up to the League of Very Empathetic Rescue Spacenauts, or LOVERS, to save the day. Ridiculously cute, right? The development team at Asteroid Base clearly had fun writing this game.
Lovers, available on PC in addition to Xbox One, is designed specifically for local co-op. Two players pick a LOVER and take flight in a single ship with seven stations. The twist is that two people must manipulate all seven stations. Thus, Lovers requires a healthy amount of communication and cooperation. As one player moves the ship's shields into position, another can man a gun turret or set off the super-powerful Yamato cannon. As players explore more of the galaxy and rescue more space frogs and bunnies, they will find power-ups and unlock ship upgrades.
The game is a treat for local co-op fans. The interface and controls are simple and easy to learn, and the power-ups and unlocks allow a good degree of customization. Both parties feel like they're contributing, and victory is all the sweeter with a good friend or significant other along for the ride.
If you're unable to secure a local co-op buddy, the game provides AI companions, who are uncommonly smart. Simply press the Y button to bring up a menu and pause time, and deploy your cat or dog companion to the desired station. Still, it's not as much fun as playing with a living, breathing friend.
Keeping the Lovers experience from getting stale are levels with different hooks and gimmicks. Some systems are submerged in water, for example. Others feature white dwarf stars with strong gravitational pulls that cause all kinds of trouble. And at the end of each campaign there's a boss battle.
The only problem with Lovers is a sharp difficulty spike around the fourth and final campaign. At this point in the game the enemies become a lot tougher and the stages trickier to navigate. It's not a deal-breaker, as the game is so consistently enjoyable, but it does stain what's otherwise a perfectly paced cooperative game.
Aside from some frustrating difficulty spikes, Lovers stands as one of the most satisfying and surprising local co-op games of the year. With its cutesy story, significant customization options, and rock-solid co-op gameplay, Lovers is absolutely worth playing.
This review is based on a digital copy of Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime for the XOne, provided by the publisher.