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Lovers in a Dangerous Space Time Review


Long ago in a faraway future there is a civilisation that has harnessed the power of love, creating a utopia and travelling the stars all thanks to the Ardor Reactor. For a long time the cosmos was at peace, but disaster was about to strike, as anti-love had seeped into the galaxy, ripping a hole in the spacetime and destroying the Ardor Reactor in the process, allowing anti-love to spread unhindered. With the Ardor Reactor in pieces it is left to a brave few spacenauts, LOVERS to fly a prototype ship and navigate the dark space to stop the anti-love at its source and save a few friends along the way.

It has been well over a year since Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime came to my attention, a small Xbox One game that, even when surrounded by titles like Masterchief Collection and Sunset Overdrive really stood out as one to watch out for. This is a game so beautifully realised, managing to capture the essence of couch co-op (co-co-op?) play and one that deserves a lot of attention, so why Microsoft released it during one of the hottest gaming weeks in the calendar, tucked away in the digital labyrinth that is the Xbox Store, is a beyond me.



Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime is a very simple concept, navigate your Love Death Star through a selection of randomly generated levels taking on the many anti-love minions as you collect your captive friends who will then assist in unlocking the warp to the next area, collecting power-ups to help you in your final battle against one of the four bosses.

There is essentially two parts to this game, the single player and co-op game, two very different experiences. Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime really is a two player game so to get the most out of this game, make sure you have another player to join in as the single player, whilst still fun, it does lose quite a lot of its appeal. The main gameplay element is teamwork, something that is quite difficult on your own, your little spacenaut running around the corridors of the ship, using the many terminals to keep you alive. 

The basic ship has an assortment of terminals to utilise, engines can propel you through the stars, a shield can be moved around the surface of the ship, four independent gun turrets, a map room and the Yamato, a powerful weapon that slowly moves around the outside of the ship. As each terminal requires direct control going into battle on your own will be a tough challenge so in single player you are also joined by a space pet, who by commanding with the Y button and a direction will man whatever station you require, the games AI then doing a decent job of keeping you alive as you focus on other terminals. Sadly the game does get frustrating if playing on your own as you are required to do the thinking of two characters, often resulting in a cheap fix of one on the engines and the other on shields, pushing the ship through the incoming enemies. Where the game really shines is with two people, so before purchasing this game, do make sure you have another controller as teamwork makes this game shine, each player independently using the terminals as they see fit; just make sure you are both on the same page to avoid any arguments.



As mentioned the levels are randomly generated, granting lots of chances of repeat play as you aim to get all of the achievements. Through random they do hold to a specific theme, starting with simple asteroid fields and space caves to negotiate, latter levels introduce some very dangerous hazards like ferocious space ice winds, planets with their own gravity, water planets with undercurrents leading you to danger and ferocious white dwarfs. With plenty of environmental dangers and a load of anti-love enemies your ship soon becomes underpowered. Thankfully there are plenty of power-ups to hunt out, allowing you to place power gems on any terminal you see fit, boosting the turrets by giving them a beam laser or even a ball and chain peripheral, adding more range to the shields or adding boosts and mines to the engines.

If you are playing just to get to the end, Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime will be over quite quickly, with four stages to complete, each offering about 5 levels plus a boss fight. The real fun comes from the co-op gameplay, allowing two players to explore an infinite amount of levels as they try and save as many space-friends as possible.

For households with two controllers this is a highly recommended purchase and one that will not fail to impress and thanks to its simplistic design will hopefully get a few non gamers involved.

Words by Ash Buchanan.

(Version Tested: Xbox One)

Pros

+ Fantastic co-op experience
+ Randomly generated levels
+ Upgrading your ship

Cons

- The single player mode lacks some of the magic

Edited On 15 Sep, 2015

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