As I will be heading down to Birmingham this weekend to cover the Eurogamer REZZED convention, I thought it would be pertinent to show you guys one of the games that’ll be at the convention that I’ve already wasted a considerable number of hours of my life playing : Luftrausers.I’ll tell you straight up that I’m usually no fan of arcade games. In most cases I’ll obsessively play one for four or five hours, unlock most of the interesting content, and never return. Luftrausers, though following the classic arcade dictum of being ‘easy to play, hard to master’, keeps bringing me back for more.
As both Totalbiscuit and Northernlion have pointed out, the real beauty of Luftrausers isn’t so much in the responsiveness of your plane (the game, if you hadn’t guessed yet, is an aerial arcade shooter) when you’re flying it, but for those brief moments when you let go of the throttle and hang, spin, look lovingly into the sunset and fire a giant pulse of destruction into a belligerent gunboat.
Once you get a hang of the game and start completing the missions, there is a palpable sense of excitement when you’re given a new engine, weapon or body to customise your initially limited, bog-standard plane. There’s a whole host of different combinations, each delivered with a witty name, but I wouldn’t want to ruin to fun for you, so you’ll just have to unlock them yourself.
What I will say, however, is that my favourite ship was called ‘The Swordfish’. Make of that what you will.
The graphics are serviceable, and you can unlock different colour schemes as you progress, and there is a nice sense of terror induced as the screen closes in on you when you take too much damage, but a little more detail and fidelity in the sprites wouldn’t have gone amiss.
Luftrausers is definitely a game I’d recommend for everyone, even those who don’t usually get a kick out of arcade-style games like me. Check out the game’s website to play the orginal flash game that inspired Luftrausers, and see if you like the mechanics.
Are you going to REZZED this year? Have you played Luftrausers? Do you want to? Let us know in the comments below.