#OLMGamer: Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime is an Explosion of Frustrating Cuteness

Let me begin by saying: this game will likely tear your friendship, relationship, or family apart. While the game appears simplistic in layout and control, coordinating through Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime quickly becomes a complex and endlessly frustrating (and fun) game, whether you’re playing alone or in co-op with up to four players. This game requires you to man a battleship through gorgeous outer space terrain as a member of the League Of Very Empathetic Rescue Spacenauts (AKA the Lovers) to rescue adorable kidnapped space-bunnies (as well as various other critters) and help bring the love back to the galaxy. 

Created by Toronto-based Asteroid Base, the game’s artwork is reminiscent of the bright and colourful Land of Ooo from Adventure Time, but don’t let the cuteness of this game distract you. As you navigate your battleship, an adorable pink circular craft called Gumball Zero, through the game’s four campaign missions, you’ll face many intergalactic baddies as well as ever-changing and unpredictable terrain. It’s all too easy to get distracted; miss one thing and risk being blown up. Each campaign is made up of four levels, and finish with an epic and challenging boss battle where combat tactics must constantly change in order to safely traverse the campaign locations (all named after different constellations and set in different climates). You and your team must work together and coordinate through fields of asteroids or hoards of space monsters, which sometimes appear all at once, and dash throughout the ship’s many chambers to work the guns, shield, Yamato cannon, and the engine.

There are many customization options available to players in order to create a ship that best suits their style of play. Many aspects of the ship can be upgraded using gems, and they can be combined to create a multitude of different power-ups. However, while these upgrades are exciting and fun to discover at first, some upgrades spots, such as the power gems, quickly become uninteresting and once you’ve settled on a gem combination that works for you, you can find yourself with a stack of unwanted gems littered across the floor. The ship itself can also be upgraded with five alternate ships to choose from instead of Gumball Zero. Each ship has different abilities which both add benefits to players in certain terrains and situations, while also creating some new challenges. The Banana Split for example, has more health than the Gumball Zero, but players cannot access the same rooms as each other. Other variants like the Gumball P, Gumball B, and Gumball M each come already equipped with specific gems in each station.

While it took a bit for us to get set up within the game, my brother and I quickly created set jobs for each other and began exploring the Ursa Major campaign with only slightly more coordination than a newly born fawn. Within minutes of beginning the first level of the campaign, called Forest Cluster, we quickly found ourselves racing around the ship to try and control the turrets to blow up the approaching aliens, while at the same time preventing our ship from crashing into the nearby terrain. The map terrain is constantly changing as you explore, taking away any element of predictability, and making us become extremely attentive of what was around us and of the direction we were heading. Even as we played on the game's easier mode, we found ourselves struggling against hordes of enemies surrounding us on all sides, attacking in many different ways, which often result in our untimely demise early on in the level. Lovers in a Dangerous Space Time is a game that requires constant cooperation, where both players are dependent on each other to be in the right place on the ship at the right time. In our case, we were two siblings trying to control two of seven stations inside the ship and decide quickly which were the right spots to be. While some players make amazing teams, we most certainly did not.  

Overall, Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime is fun game to play with friends, and is definitely a great way to test your ability to multitask, as well as to test the strength of your relationship with whomever you’re playing with. It is available on PC, Xbox One, and PS4, and is definitely not worth missing if you’re looking for a challenging game to play at home or with friends. Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime delivers a refreshing take on adventure-shooter games and is a great renewal to the couch co-op style of gaming– even if it did cause a few shouting matches between my brother and I.