After a short break from talking about games, we are back with LUFTRAUSERS which actually came out this year, possibly making it the newest game I have talked about. It was a game I picked up in a Humble Bundle and decided to have a go at this week while waiting for the new Football Manager to drop (more on that later). LUFTRAUSERS is an update of a free Flash game and was developed by Vlambeer. It’s one of the many indie games that takes on a rather retro art style and it is also incredibly good fun.
On the surface this is a rather standard shoot ’em up dog fighting game, where you select an air craft and take it into the air to fight a variety of enemies. Where it stands out however, is in how you control that plane. Unlike other dog fighting games where stalling your plane is something you should avoid doing or is just downright impossible. Luftrausers uses it as a mechanic. By taking your finger off the boosters your plane begins to drop, but while doing so your ability to twist and turn improves and you are able to pull off some damn impressive shots as you twirl away from your enemies, before switching on the engine and roaring off before you can be killed. It’s an incredibly rewarding mechanic and when you pull off a particularly cool looking move, you can’t help but feel a smug sense of pride.
Elsewhere, the game gives you the ability to edit your craft by slowly unlocking different body parts. Unlike many games, this isn’t a case of the further you get the better the parts you unlock, but more a chance for you to adapt your plane to your own playing style. For example, I liked dispatching enemies by flying through them, which with most body types would lead to you hurting yourself. However, I unlocked one part that meant I had less health in general, but would take no damage when flying into enemies. Other customisable parts include your weapons and engines, with a whole host of options for you to get your teeth into.
The mission structure in the game reminds me a bit of mobile game Jetpack Joyride, as it gives you three missions at a time; which can be anything from killing a certain number of enemies, gaining a certain number of points or even killing people in particular ways. It makes the game constantly replayable and means that every time you launch off you play in a slightly different way, as you often focus on completing missions rather than just racking up as many points as possible.
LUFTRAUSERS is currently £6.99 on Steam and for that price you really can’t go wrong. It’s the kind of game you can go back to time after time, whether for a 5 minute blast or for a couple of hours. It’s just an incredibly fun game and there isn’t really much more to it than that.