Developed by Asteroid Base Published by Asteroid Base Reviewed on Nintendo Switch (also available on Steam, PS4, Xbox One, and Linux)
Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime is a cute little couch co-op space shooter that aims to be so adorable and sweet, it’ll have you vomiting rainbow marshmallows to its electronic cutesy soundtrack before the tutorial is over. Accommodating anywhere between 1 to 4 players and packaged in bright neon colors, a “super-kawaii” art style complete with rounded corners, and supplemented with tons of adorable critters, the game promises amusement and, if nothing else, something pretty to look at with your friends. However, bare bones, it is a glorified Asteroids with a larger spaceship, a 360 radius of destruction, and more features and upgrades to throw at hapless enemies. There is an attempt at a story, but like its arcade inspiration, it is clearly not the focus.
The game opens up with the premise that all is well in the galaxy as the power of Love has been harnessed into a machine (yes- a Love Machine), allowing explorers to take to the stars as all people are united in harmony. However, someone goofed on the important tic-tac-toe (XOXO) matrix and Anti-Love (note: they did not say hate) has seeped into an otherwise idyllic galaxy, causing the destruction of the Love Machine. Called to arms by the accomplished Love genius, Dr. Hopsy-Flopsy, you and your companions must battle the forces of Anti-Love in order to restore the Love Machine to its former glory and bring funky love-peace back into the world.
Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime is a simple game with fairly straight-forward gameplay. You start with a basic ship that can eventually be upgraded as you progress. You and your team utilize a combination of turrets, an over-powered prototype cannon, shields, and your ship’s thrusters (it can be weaponized!) to navigate each map and blast away enemies. While you can play the game solo with the assistance of your first-mate pet of choice, the game is best enjoyed with friends. The difficulty and number of enemies will also scale with the number of friends you have, so it’s a good balance of challenging and “OH GOD WHY DID I INVITE YOU OVER.” At the surface, the game may appear to be mindless, but it does require some amount of strategy and cooperation. For example, and this is direct shade being thrown at my Player 2, using the aforementioned over-powered cannon whenever available, while entertaining, may not be conducive to the mission’s success.
Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime is the next-gen successor to space shooters like Asteroid. Accommodating solo play with the assistance of a pet AI or up to 4-players in couch co-op, the game is cute, colorful, and wholesome fun for parties or young children who just really want to shoot stuff. All in all, the game is good, but not great. As Player I and Player 2 fall into the latter category, I drunkenly recommend this game.