Capsule Review: Luftrausers

A sort of 2D dogfighting shooter by way of infinite runners. Pick a combination from available engines, weapons, and hulls with different properties and then fly around shooting down other planes and completing missions to unlock more parts. Once your plane is shot down, you can pick a new combination and try again.

I can see the appeal, and in particular praise the self-heal mechanic - your plane regenerates health whenever you aren’t shooting, which provides near-constant risk/reward tradeoffs to manage. Shoot down enemy planes to reduce sources of damage, or stop shooting and carefully avoid their attacks long enough to regain some health? It puts the player in control of a rapid stream of interesting decisions much more than if they had to hunt down health packs or something.

Apart from a few great-feeling moments where everything clicked, the controls never stopped feeling awkward to me, resulting in a lot of avoidable deaths. Perhaps because I wasn’t very good, completing missions to unlock customization options went very slowly and I got bored with the available builds. I also didn’t really like how quickly it turned into an unrelenting bullet hell - I probably would have preferred dealing with waves of enemies so that I could feel like I was making progress and have a chance to breathe in between. I think it’s a great game for the right audience, but that audience isn’t me.

I Stopped Playing When: After half an hour or so, I got bored with the available builds and didn’t feel like grinding out more with the awkward controls and unrelenting pace of combat.

Docprof's Rating:

Two Stars: Meh. The game has some merit - it probably held my attention for at least an hour or I came back to it for more than one play session. But there wasn't enough draw for me to stick with it for the long haul.

You can get it or learn more here.