439: Light Fingers for the Switch Review

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So, I have been reviewing games for 10 years now. The anniversary date was back in October, but life and my job, understandably, got in the way, and I feel really bad that I haven’t put more game reviews out. Since my move to mostly reviewing indie games and some triple A games, I have been overwhelmed with so many fantastic indie games. I have even been sucked into playing in genres that I normally wouldn’t be enthralled in. That’s why, I decided to make my 10th anniversary review be of an awesome multiplayer game that I love called Light Fingers by developer Numizmatic.

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So, Light Fingers is a digital board game! I know how that sounds, because we have literal digital board games, but it’s more like a Mario Party-style game. You and three other players are thieves, and the main goal is to go through a certain number of rounds and survive. Or, since you are a sneaky thief, the other way to win is to make it back to your HQ with the most bags of money. You traverse the board by rolling dice and using special cards to help you or hinder your friends. There are two ways to make cash in this game. You can steal from stores, or go into dungeons and get the cash there. The dungeons are one of the more expansive parts of the game. You go into these little platforming sequences where you have three tries to get to the end of the dungeon and get the gold. The twist is that the other players will be in charge of the traps and try to get you to mess up. No matter what though, when you get some gold, the kingdom on the game board will start sending guards after you. The more gold you get, the higher your bounty will be. You can avoid guards by going into special spots on the board, or by outrunning them long enough. If you get caught, you lose all of the gold you accumulated. The game can be played by one person, or you can play with friends, which makes these types of games way more fun. I remember when I downloaded it for the sake of having a multiplayer game to play with my friend who was in town, and if we weren’t under some time constraints, we would have played way more of it. The game’s rules and design might be simple, but it’s kept simple to not be so overbearing, and it leaves the players with plenty to do in terms of strategizing as they make their way across the different places on the board.

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Graphically, while the simple polygon style is the new pixelart trend, I think it works well. The designs still have a lot of personality, and work with the whole board game aesthetic. The music is also pretty fitting, with fairly simple beats that keep you going as you traverse your way across the board, collecting cards, and collecting loot. I did run into a few framerate drops while playing it on the TV, but for the most part, everything ran fine. They have released an update for the game that apparently fixes some technical issues with the game, but even before that update, everything ran well on the Switch.

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Like the usual problems with these types of party games, it’s not really all that fun unless you have friends to play it with. Granted, the game does have a single player mode that helps unlock content for multiplayer, but it’s not really worth investing time into. It’s a dungeon rush mode, but this leads into the major problem with the game, the controls. While rolling the dice and moving across the board is great, the platforming feels clunky and stiff. The platforming, even without the other players barging in, make the nimble thieves feel heavy, which makes jumping not at all satisfying. It’s a shame, because a good chunk of the overall game is in these dungeon sequences, and when the platforming, including the isometric camera gets in the way of landing jumps, then that’s a problem.

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Despite the problems, Light Fingers is a wonderful board game for the console. It’s truly and deserving of the word “unique”, as I haven’t played something like this on the console or among the indie scene. Sure, we have games like Armello, but that game is confusing and to me, not a great explainer of the rules or fun. I think if you are looking for a great multiplayer game for the Switch, I highly recommend picking up Light Fingers at full price or whenever it’s on sale. I even got my friends who live in Seattle to get a Switch, and the first game he was going to download was Light Fingers. This is one of those games that deserve all of the support it can get. It’s easy to get into, and fun to play! Definitely check it out!

This game gets an 8 out of 10

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