#2 Light Fingers
All aboard the Medieval loot train
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.”
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.