#2 Light Fingers

All aboard the Me­dieval loot train

Games Master - - Indiemaster -

When we first saw those hip­ster-packed Switch trail­ers, we were cyn­i­cal. Surely no one in 2017 would bring a con­sole to a rooftop party? While there are fewer ma­son jars, the truth is we’ve all be­come Switch life­style shots. Im­promptu Mario Kart 8 ses­sions are the norm, and lo­cal mul­ti­player has never been so ac­ces­si­ble. Thank­fully there’s a slew of in­die devs mak­ing the most of this pick-up-and-playa­bil­ity. First on your ‘Can’t wait to share’ list should be Light Fingers, an in­ter­ac­tive board game that un­folds a beau­ti­ful mech­a­nised world at the roll of a die. “The Switch was Nin­tendo stick­ing to its roots, un­der­stand­ing its au­di­ence and bring­ing peo­ple back to­gether,” ex­plains pro­gram­mer, lead de­signer, and artist Hu­bert Bi­browski. “Mak­ing two con­trollers part of the core con­sole marked the re­vival of lo­cal mul­ti­player, and was a de­sign so­lu­tion we hadn’t seen since the dawn of the twin pop­si­cle. We knew right away that Light Fingers would shine on the Switch. Hav­ing the abil­ity to set up in sec­onds wher­ever you are and start a game, al­ways ready for at least two play­ers with­out hav­ing to plan ahead.”

Loots play

For up to four play­ers, Light Fingers is all about hunt­ing for loot. Don’t be fooled, though, this is no or­di­nary board game. Turn-based game­play means chaos, plat­form­ing, and even tests of re­flexes from ran­dom cards. “We’ve re­ally fo­cused on av­enues for play­ers to do mis­chief, both on the game board and to other play­ers,” en­thuses Bi­browski. “The dun­geons make up the ac­tion com­po­nent. Play­ers dis­cover them and de­scend into the game board to loot the pre­cious trea­sures within. The dun­geons are pro­ce­du­rally gen­er­ated, and play­ers who en­ter freely tra­verse them in a plat­form­ing style of play. The other play­ers re­main­ing on the game board at the end of a turn still take part in the ac­tion by op­er­at­ing the but­tons and cranks as hands that con­trol the deadly dun­geon traps. Those play­ers have plenty of in­cen­tive to try to stop the would-be dun­geon raider for a chance to de­scend into the dun­geon them­selves to try their luck at mak­ing off with the loot.”

All this mis­chief needed the perfect sound­track. “I hit in­spi­ra­tional gold when I came across the al­bum Anony­mous Tab­la­tures From The Bux­heimer And Lochamer Manuscripts, by the early mu­sic en­sem­ble Tasto Solo,” ex­plains com­poser Matt Miller. “The mu­si­cians of Tasto Solo are mas­ters of rare early in­stru­ments, most notably the por­ta­tive or­gan, a minia­ture pipe or­gan that sits on the lap, and the clav­i­sum­balum, a por­ta­ble cousin to the harp­si­chord. Al­though there are sam­ple li­braries with sim­i­lar sounds, they sound too cin­e­matic to my ear… So what is heard in the game are mostly my own cus­tom in­stru­ment and per­cus­sion sam­ples.” Deadly traps and the sound of the clav­i­sum­balum? We’re ready.

Land on the same tile as an­other player and you can fight for loot with a se­lec­tion of minigames.

Like wan­der­ing around the Game Of Thrones open­ing cred­its, ev­ery­thing un­folds me­chan­i­cally as you ex­plore.

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