Vlambeer is known very well for a lot of their titles. Many of their games capture the concept of being simple to grasp and very difficult to master. Luftrausers captures the essence of their company once again. When speaking with the developers of the game, they stated that they wanted it to feel like you were awesome at the game and doing well long before you realized that you actually had no skill at all and a ton to learn.
Luftrausers is a fast-paced side-scrolling shooter. The game is based around using very precise controls to maneuver your plane and accumulate a high score. You are able to destroy other ships and boats and create combos to raise your score. The game also includes small missions that allow you to continue on to more crazy combat content.
Luftrausers includes many different parts to switch out in the three customizable slots on the ship. The first slot is the weapon. This includes anywhere from multi-firing rockets to massive lasers. The second part is the body. This can cause your ship to have more or less health and can often effect your maneuverability. The third part is the engine. This can give you the ability to fly differently and even attack out of the butt of your ship with crazy fart bullets. There are even ship parts that will allow you to dip into the water and fly back out.
Every single build of your ship gives you completely different gameplay; as soon as you think you have the game down, give a different ship a try. Each part has its own strengths and weaknesses, meaning you never know what to expect with different ship combinations. This mechanic is complemented by the different phases of battle that create a constant need for adaptability and a stream of dynamic gameplay.
The thing that brought the whole title together was the sound. In a game like this you need the controls to be tight and seem satisfying so that you don’t feel cheated when you lose. This is only strengthened by the awesome sound effects that play when you destroy enemies and fire your powerful arsenal of weapons.
While I was checking out Vlambeer’s booth, developer Rami Ismail was walking me through the concept of the game. He showed me a few of the coolest things that you could do to create your own aeronautical death vehicle. I asked him what would happen if you stuck the heavy “brick” body with the death laser cannon all powered by the fart engine, and the only response he had was to set it up for me and take my creation for a spin. Needless to say, it flew like crap, and the laser didn’t complement the needed upward flight to keep the thing in the air, but that didn’t keep me from feeling like a badass the entire dogfight. It was at this point that I knew that this game was a little bit different from the previous titles that Vlambeer had created. The essence of the way they design games is found in Super Crate Box, and they only do a better and more impressive job every time they make a new title.
Vlambeer has managed to take one of the simplest concepts for a game and once again create an incredible amount of depth with the gameplay. There are many game developers that could learn a thing or two from them. Luftrausers will be coming soon to Playstation 3, Playstation Vita, PC, Mac, and Linux and is definitely worth checking out. Even if you aren’t into this type of game, it will at least offer a good laugh.