Death of the Critic

Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime - Review

Written by: Tom Blaich


It is rare to see a game that allows its players to play together on the same system. The days of couch co-op are long past. It is even rarer to see a game that practically demands it.
Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime, which sounds like something equal parts 1950’s science fiction and pulp romance novel, begs you to play with someone else. Together. Playing alone, this game is good, albeit a little frustrating at times, as you and your space pet, a relentlessly happy fur ball of a cat or dog, battle your way through a bleak but colorful space full of enemies and environmental hazards. They stand between you and saving your tiny friends and fighting back the anti-love that is threatening the universe.


The entire game takes place in your small ship, outfitted with eight different stations for your weapons, shield, engine, and map. Think
FTL, where you have to manage your crew members at different stations while battling aliens. The difference here is that you can only operate as many systems as there are crew members on board. That means if you are alone, there are only two stations functioning. One for you, and one for your pet, who you can direct to whatever station you want besides movement.

This is where the difficulty comes into the equation. Attempting to tackle the challenges of each level while juggling systems can be a handful. Moving your shield around. Firing one of your guns (which of course only covers 1/4 of the circle around the ship). It feels almost like a real time strategy game combined with a shooter. You have to think of so many different things at one time that it can quickly overwhelm an unprepared player, and trying to tackle the challenges alone can be quite frustrating.


When you add a friend into the mess, all of a sudden, pieces fall into place and the game really starts to shine. You and your partner need to become as intimate as lovers in the way you move, rushing your way around the ship to tackle whatever challenges you can find. When you begin to work in concert it becomes almost like a ballet as enemies pile on you from every side, dying in droves, while you dodge missiles and anti-love aliens. Together, you can tackle the most tremendous of challenges.

The challenges build rather smartly. You begin in an easy constellation; what they call the worlds of this game. There are few environmental challenges, and you learn the systems rather quickly. But as you move through the game, you can watch the difficulty rise as new enemy types are introduced, and new environmental challenges need to be tackled. You’ll find bubbles of water that make you move differently, currents that push you through the level. Frosty arctic winds that slow you down, or frozen enemies that cannot be damaged until you hit them with an attack ricocheted off of a sun. White dwarfs are introduced at the end of the game, and they are supremely frustrating alone, but are almost trivial with a teammate. Their strong gravitational force doesn’t allow you to escape easily, and you can quickly be caught between a group of them, and locked into position.

To help surmount these challenges, your ship can become more powerful through gem upgrades, found in brightly colored presents in floating item boxes hidden throughout each level. They focus around 3 main types: metal, beam, and power, with each affecting your systems differently. Power makes you fly faster and shoot quicker. Beam allows your weapons to become more powerful lasers that can blast through ships, at the cost of a slow firing rate. Metal gives you a spiked shield that obliterates everything you touch and a giant ball on a chain to attack your enemies at a distance. Later in the game you can even combine these upgrade gems for more unique effects in your systems, making your ship almost unrecognizable in the way that it plays at the end of each constellation.

This is a game that begs to be played together. Brightly colorful, dangerously challenging, to conquer all of your challenges you will need to work together as a single unit. A fun experience alone, but one that truly cannot be appreciated unless you find your partner.


Review written for the Xbox One version of the game. Your experience may vary on different platforms.

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Tom has been writing about media since he was a senior in high school. He likes long walks on the beach, dark liquor, and when characters reload guns in action movies.

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