We've all seen promotional videos or images for the Nintendo Switch where a group of friends play on one device with a single Joy-Con each. Combine those promos with games such as Mario Kart 8Deluxe and local multiplayer seems to be making a comeback. At Nintendo's Nindies at Night event we saw another title that could keep you and your friends entertained for hours -- a strategic turn-based digital board game called Light Fingers.
The goal of the game was to gather a specific amount of loot and return it to a hideout. In our demo we had to gather two pieces of loot. We used one of the Joy-Con controllers to control our little thief while another player used another Joy-Con. The board itself was made up of several terrain tiles, but only one was visible at the start of the match. Additional tiles were revealed as we moved across the map (movement was determined by a dice roll). The contents of each tile were random, but each contained items such as gold, scrolls (cards to use during gameplay), a small dungeon, or even a merchant shop. The entire board was reminiscent of a miniature puzzle box due to the mechanical movements of each tile. Even the dungeons, which were beneath the terrain tiles, slid out and into view like a drawer. It was a pleasing aesthetic, to be sure.
The easiest way to get loot was by robbing the chest within the merchant shop, but doing so raised our Infamy rating, which brought out computer-controlled guards who hunted us. This made the game even more challenging, as we now had to contend with both a computer and human player. Another way to get loot was by going through dungeons. We could take on dungeons by ourselves as a mini-game, but the rival player also participated in the activity by impeding our progress. As we moved across the room, they manipulated traps to inflict damage or stole money that popped out from broken boxes. If we both managed to end our turns on a dungeon tile, we would have to race each other to the end in order to determine who would grab the loot.
In a bid of desperation we also tried to steal our opponent’s loot through a duel. This wasn’t a traditional duel with guns or swords. Instead, a winner was determined through reflexes. The game revealed a button to press on the controller, and the player who pressed it first won the round. There were three rounds, and we managed to sweep the duel. With our stolen loot in hand, we got back to our hideout and kept the loot away from other players and guards.
We were initially drawn to Light Fingers because of its presentation, and we left the demo even more excited after a few matches. Aside from its looks, the game had an exciting tension to it as we uncovered more tiles in search of loot to grab or dungeons to explore. With another player in the mix, it was also a race to the finish, because we were both in search of treasure to claim for ourselves. Even though we played against one other player we were told that up to four players could participate in one session. The developers are focused on local play at the moment, so playing online won’t happen for a while.
Even though you can play by yourself in the upcoming single-player campaign, the best way to play Light Fingers is with others. A game could last anywhere from a short, 30-minute session to a potentially lengthy two-hour campaign. There seem to be multiple ways to grab treasure and slow down the progress of other players, but they could also do the same to you throughout the match. In the end, it’s a board game unlike any we’ve played before, and its debut on the Switch next year could be another way for friends to rediscover local multiplayer gameplay.
|Type||Action/Adventure, Board game|
|Developer||Numizmatic Games Corporation|
|Publisher||Numizmatic Games Corporation|
|Where To Buy||N/A|
|Release Date||Q1 2018|