Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime is as treacherous as it is adorable. It’s the latest indie local co-op game to land on the Nintendo Switch, and it features up to four players careening through the galaxy, fighting aliens and saving bunnies.
Developer Asteroid Base originally launched Lovers in 2015 on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Critics received it warmly, and it sold around 200,000 copies according to Steam Spy. Adam Winkels, Asteroid Base’s technical director, says the team knew as soon as they saw the Switch that they’d want to port it to Nintendo’s hybrid home-portable console.
“The focus on local multiplayer is baked into the console itself — every unit comes with two Joy-Cons! That’s huge!” said Winkels in an email. “Plus, there’s the fact that cute and colourful games just feel at home on Nintendo.”
Lovers has a solo campaign where a lone player can embark on the mission to save the universe from a swarm of Anti-Love particles. However, it shines in multiplayer, where players are tasked to work together in order to control a single spaceship. It’s a frenetic experience, with everyone running amok and trading off on navigating, activating the shields, picking up power ups, and operating cannons.
The gameplay in Lovers is an explosion of candy-colored controlled chaos, and panic, stress, and death are just as much a part of its DNA as its cute, fun visuals. When porting the title over to the Switch, Winkels says that they had to make some adjustments to fit on the small screen.
“We love the idea of taking your Switch on the go for impromptu co-op sessions, so we tweaked the visuals slightly for tabletop mode to make things more readable at the smaller size,” said Winkels.
In addition to the visuals, they also had to account for the fact that the Switch isn’t as powerful as the Xbox One or Playstation 4. Winkels says they worked on making sure the Switch version of Lovers runs as smoothly as it does on other platforms.
“For instance, we had to completely replace our existing audio implementation with something that could perform the same mixing tasks while using less CPU,” explained Winkels. “That being said I’m extremely happy with how well Lovers performs on the Switch.”
Lovers is just one of the many indie titles that are now either on the Switch or coming soon. But Nintendo’s not the only one benefiting by adding third-party titles to its library. Indie developers are seeing success on the platform, partly due to how much less crowded it is as compared to storefronts such as Steam.
“Anecdotally we’ve heard that people are really happy with how their games are connecting with audiences on Switch, and the growing library really seems to be hitting its stride right now,” said Winkels. “So many great games are launching these days, we can’t wait to join them.”