An Arcade Game with a Broken Score
Vlambeer makes arcade style games better than anyone. Luftrausers is no exception.
Luftrausers is a flight combat, bullet-hell shooter, whose main gimmick involves stalling the engine to simply fall out of the air to avoid bullets. There is no way to reverse or stop in Luftrausers there is only stalling. This leads to an awesome feeling when your plane falls between bullets not taking any damage. Stalling is also one of the few times that you can turn your plane. Depending on the setup (which we’ll get to later) your plane will barely be able to turn at all when the engine is firing. There are a lot of combinations of planes with no perfect solution. Sure some will call out to your play style more than others, but there isn’t some magical perfect plane. If you want to ram planes to kill them then the Melee body is going to be a must and you’ll probably want the Superboost Engine to speed into your enemies, but you still need to choose your weapon. Or you could go a completely different route and go in with an airborne tank and the Armor body. Some of the pieces seem useless to me like the engine that allows for now water damage, but someone almost definitely finds that addition useful. Along with each combination of plane comes a name. For example putting the default weapon on the Melee plane described above is called the “Karaterauser.” Each name feels fun and fits perfectly with how the plane plays.
However, the scoring system is lacking. Killing a battleship takes longer than a combo really allows causing the player to lose there combo. The game is incentivizing you to avoid the some of the largest enemies in the game. A much higher score can be achieved by simply avoiding the boats and focusing only on other planes, even though they offer much lower scores per vehicle.
All in all I found Luftrausers great when unlocking pieces of the plane, but never kept me interested after all of the ships pieces were unlocked.