Developer Vlambeer’s latest offering, Luftrausers, is a sepia colored airplane dog-fighting shooter. In this single player affair the emphasis is on completing objectives to advance to new stages and unlock new parts for your customizable plane. The objectives typically focuses on things like destroying a certain number of enemies or maxing out your combo(successive kills). However Vlambeer keeps things interesting by tweaking more obvious goals with caveats like being on fire while completing them.
Luftrausers is not as straight forward as one might think. Gravity is a factor; meaning that you won’t maintain your altitude indefinitely. You can rapidly ascend or descend by using the boost. Boosting is a great way to get out of a tight spot but can make it difficult to shoot enemies in the sky and boats in the water. The trick is to balance boosting with stalling. Stalling is accomplished by simply not boosting. I never did get the hang of shooting boats efficiently. I found myself boosting into them quite often; which in hindsight kind of worked.
The main draw of Luftrausers is in its customization. There are 100+ different combination of items to use. Your weapon, plane body type and engine are all swappable. Weapon types vary quite a bit from single lasers to spread guns. The same can be said of body types and engines. Some body types are resistant to crashing into enemy ships but are easily destroyed by enemy projectiles. I unlocked one particular engine that propelled the plane by firing from its exhaust. Finding the combination that works best for you and/or the current objectives will keep you coming back to Luftrausers.
Recommendation: Buy it sweet spot: $8
Full Disclosure: This game was provided to GameEnthus by a PR firm on behalf of the developer.
Genre: shoot ’em up, dog fighting
Publisher: Devolver Digital
Platforms: PS3, PS Vita, PC(Steam)