So I’ve been playing a little bit of Vlambeer’s latest game Luftrausers, a cool little arcade flight game where you try to rack up kills without meeting your maker. The game is 98mb of utterly fantastic gameplay, backed by a great pumping soundtrack (see below) and with a huge number of different combinations you can make to play game differently nearly every time.
Like so many of Vlambeer’s game there is no great story – you are simply shown you are a pilot flying for the totally not WW2 Germans and each level starts off with you blasting off from the deck of your submarine. You then fly, pirotte, stall, shoot, crash and boost around the sky shooting down enemy planes, jets, missiles, boats, battleships, submarines and more. Its a super fast frantic shooter but there is still a level of complexity hidden in the games design.
Most of this comes down to the combinations of parts you use to make your Rauser. By changing the weapon, hull and engine, you change how the vehicle acts when you fly it, from how it causes damage (bullets, lasers and more, oh my), to how it flys (high speed jet, powered by bullets or even underwater) to how much health and other effects it can have. What makes each of these great is that each one has a massive change – no part feels like a waste of time. In addition, each Rauser has a cool name to go with it and a sweet new tiny graphic to play into the lo-fi gameboy screen looking aesthetic.
Finally, the thing to make you keep coming back is the process of getting those parts. Each life takes about two minutes before you die horribly. In that time, the aim is to complete challenges linked to each part such as shooting down x number of bad guys in one life. Overall, its pretty damn great.
I’m really liking it and I’m going to play quite a few more lives. But now, I MUST RAUSE!
Super Cool Thing: The Background Music
So a fun feature of the game is that the various weapons, hulls and engines you attach to your Rauser actually has an effect on the awesome background music in the game. If you want to see how it works, you just have to open up the data directory in the Luftrauser install.
From the little I’ve played so far its seems to be that:
Bass – Weapon
Drums – Body
Lead – Engine
I need to play some more to check this but its a really cool system for them to implement.