Top Critic Average
[Luftrausers] is such a little thing. I have to focus hard to remember it when it's not right there in front of me. It probably doesn't have much staying power. But when it's there, when the sound of machine-marking throbs through my speakers, when I drop like a stone into the ocean then rebound heroically skywards, with smoke pouring out my engines, it's everything that matters.
Luftrauser was too difficult, extreme, and monochrome for some and I'm happy to report that this remake does absolutely nothing to address these issues, but rather only expands upon them gloriously..
Luftrausers is a stunning example of a modernized arcade game: tough but fair, with a great amount of customization and dynamic gameplay (plus soundtrack). If you've been looking for a great arcade bullet hell experience with plenty of new elements to make the gameplay feel fresh, then you can take to the sky in Vlambeer's latest title.
The easiest way to summarize Luftrausers is to call it the Hotline Miami of dogfighting games. It's incredibly difficult, but it's really good at sinking it's claws into you to keep you launching your planes onto the battlefield. It's a game that's really easy to binge on, but since it naturally comes in bite-sized battles, you might get a bit more staying power if you get it on the Vita and play it a couple hours at a time.
If you strip away the Rauser parts and the catchy soundtrack, Luftrausers would still stand on its own because of its excellent gameplay. But those features add so much depth and excitement that they actually pushed me to become a better player. Judging by the wide gap between my score and those higher up on the leaderboard, I still have a lot to learn.
The near-perfect controls combined with the great soundtrack and visuals mean it's difficult not to like Luftrausers, and its simplicity makes it accessible to everyone. There are a few small issues, such as a difficult menu and the odd frame rate drop, but none that impact the overall game significantly. Luftrausers is well worth your time and money, and is easily Vlambeer's best game yet.
Luftrausers' success is its addictive duel between confidence and doubt; what's the best option when every choice is conceivably the best option? Providing the player with heaps of ways tackle problems is nothing new, but creating a large number of choices and making each one uniquely viable? That's special, and it's Luftrausers' specialty.
I could talk more and more about how enjoyable Luftrausers is, how exciting the gameplay is, how easy re-starting the game after death can be, how addicting and exhilarating the experience is, but at the end of the day, you can kill a battleship by flying your plane through it.
Luftrausers is a great a time-waster, a great test of your leet twitch skills, and a game that doesn't assume too much and just lets you enjoy yourself. You'll notice that Devolver have published this game – I sometimes think Hotline Miami could learn a thing or two here.
Luftrausers arrives at a point where the indie game market is stronger than ever, with developers continuing to raise the bar in terms of product quality. With the aforementioned strife that Ismail and his team have undergone through the production process, it wouldn't have been a surprise to see this title banished into mediocrity. But make no mistake, this game is up there with the best of them.
As an example of the purest gameplay Luftrauser's is almost unparalleled, but the almost total absence of mission structure of plot means that, unfortunately, it won't be everyone. For those craving a pick up and play arcade classic though, it's hard to go wrong with a spot of 'Rausers.
Luftrausers is a beautifully balanced exercise in frustration and release – a simple but excellent instance of what can be done with slippery physics, simple graphics and a lot of guns. A lot. Deeper and longer games are on the market for $9.99, but few will match Luftrausers' addictiveness or its knife-sharp balance of frustration and elation.
Luftrausers is a nice little getaway from the story-focused games that populate the landscape nowadays. It's a great game that is both fun and challenging for those who appreciate simpler experiences. Those not interested in chasing high scores will still get some mileage out of the challenge and unlock system, but the game is really made for those who adore points. The short playtimes for each round ensure that you can sneak in a round or two between other things, but the addictive nature proves alluring enough that hours can fly by before you notice. For anyone who enjoys a fun, solid game, Luftrausers comes highly recommended.
Fast fun and devilishly hard, Luftrausers shows once again that Vlambeer understands how to make classic arcade mechanics feel fresh and exciting. It's great in short bursts, the speed of each round often terribly brief, but lends itself to hour-long sessions of hammering on the controller to start a new game. While the pacing occasionally runs into a few issues, this is still a phenomenally fun shoot-em-up that will challenge players to meet its demanding difficulty.
Playing Luftrausers is like jumping back to a time when the only requirement for a good game was to be fun. Thanks to varied battles, customizable planes, and challenges, it manages to improve on the classic formula of simple and addictive entertainment.
Vlambeer improves on one of its smaller, free releases with Luftrausers, expanding an excellent dogfighting game with a ton of customization and a great soundtrack. Short play sessions means it's the perfect game to play on the bus, between classes, or even during your boring meetings. Just don't scream out loud and pump your fist in the sky when you finally beat your high score. That's rude.
Simple in almost all respects, Luftrauser is one of Vlambeer's biggest triumphs because it strips back everything in the name of exposing the fun at the centre of the game. It's almost as if the designers were engineers of the rauser itself; reducing weight and tweaking fuel lines to ensure the most effective deliverer of death possible. The concessions to lower skilled pilots makes the bosses a bit of a non-event, but the overall result is a challenge that works for all players, and that's a genuine achievement. Wrapped in a stylish package with darting machine silhouettes and authentic World War 2 colour-pallet, Luftrausers is really quite special.
Luftrausers is the very definition of replayable insanity. It's difficult,intense and feels smooth when you master the controls. And yet you'll come back for more in a new and improved Rauser time after time, with the constant flow of action never getting old.
The real enjoyment in Luftrausers doesn't really come from experimenting, it's more about finding the right fit. It's really about performance, not options, and the game's longevity and value come from excellent tuning and feedback. You launch, then you thread the needle, push the envelope, curse your foes, and go out in a blaze of glory.
Luftrausers is an entertaining blast. Its two- to three-minute forays into the skies provide some of the most enjoyable arcade fun we've had outside of... well, an arcade, for some time. A crudely drawn cipher of Richthofen you may be, but there's no denying the majesty those basic pixels bestow upon the player, your inner Red Baron leaping for the chance to prove your worthiness amongst the clouds.
Like any other element in a game, score contributes to its meter, its feel, its momentum. Luftrausers is still a good game, but there is something missing here. It is a symphony with the wrong conductor. A football game with no referee. Luftrausers is an arcade game that is not in the present tense.
Ultimately, Luftrausers is a game that balances a lot on its plate. It is easy to pick up but demands a lot of patience. It is challenging but lays all its cards out on the table within a very short time. It is fast and exciting, but requires the player to adapt. But it also doesn't pretend to be anything it's not, and all in all I found it to be a fun experience.
Luftrausers is a perfect case study for the benefits and limitations of a game concerned solely with fun. On the plus side, it takes all of four seconds to get into the game and start enjoying it. On the other hand, anything that detracts from the fun (in this case, balance issues) damages the overall experience more than it normally would. As a result, all but the most dedicated fans will give up on Luftrausers after a short time - not because the game itself is short, but because it's not fine-tuned enough to maintain interest. However, it must be stressed that before that drop-off point, the game's sharp controls, dynamic presentation, and unique combat options make it irresistibly addictive. Two days' worth of constant entertainment is time well spent, and if that doesn't deserve a recommendation, nothing does.
Often frustrating and sometimes unfair, but the glorious flight mechanics, general compelling gameplay, and attention to detail mean Luftrausers is easily worth considering.
Matched with an attractive sepia tone and a thumping soundtrack, Luftrausers is an enthralling and time-sapping trial of nerve and persistence. It's certainly a game much more suited for pocket gaming and the Vita release will likely prove to be the essential version, but whatever your chosen flavour there's a quality to the design that'll shine through on any platform.
Unfortunately, that's all there really is to Luftrausers. It doesn't have the personalization of Beat Hazard and it doesn't have the level of content that Pac-Man Championship Edition has. In many ways for the entry point of ten dollars there are better options out there. But if any of what you've read sounds intriguing or if you see the game on sale, take to the skies and enjoy the ride.
There are no secrets to Luftrasuers; it has no surprises. It comes to you with open hands, unwilling to explain if you'll enjoy playing it because you're reminiscing about how this style used to be cutting edge, or if you just need to see if there's that perfect configuration that will take you all the way. It's not about being good or bad, it just about being what it is and if that's something you want.