Sometimes in gaming, you will find that some of the very simplest looking games are the most fun and exciting ones to play. This is very much a description which applies to Luftrausers. Luftrausers has been developed by Vlambeer, an indie studio devoted to creating arcade style games, and as this style of game goes this must be at the top of its class. The game is simply a 2D shooter in which you wildly manoeuvre a customisable aircraft and attempt to blitz everything that isn’t you on the screen. It sounds crazy and it sounds awesome, and quite honestly it is both of these things, but at the same time it is jam packed to the brim with awesome!
The playable demo at Rezzed did not shed a huge amount of light on the overall nature of the game, but it showed you exactly what could be expected from gameplay. What exactly is that then you ask? Fast paced, skill testing, eyesight challenging, mind blowing insanity in a two-dimensional setting filled with enemies and explosions in bulk! The controls for the game are simple, and the aim as far as anyone seemed to be able to tell was to destroy everything before it could destroy you. This might sound like a bit of a redundant idea to some gamers, but when you sit down to play you are almost guaranteed to find that you are very much going to have some good old fashioned gaming FUN. It has been fantastic the number of times which the increasingly rare “fun” word has come into action at Rezzed, but this game really hits that nail on the head. It has the competitive edge in terms of hitting higher scores than your friends, and the sort of wild atmosphere which makes you just want to shout at everything nearby. It is a game that absolutely anyone can enjoy having a go at playing, and this cannot be a bad thing!
Charlie’s experience at the Vlambeer developer talk:
I have never been so inspired by anything in my life than the Vlambeer Developer Session. The moment I came out, all I wanted to do was start making games. Before this I had a nice little life plan, go to University, study games design, meet some other developers, make some games, import a wife from one of the poorer countries, die unfulfilled. I thought it was a solid life plan! After the talk however I realised… why am I not just making games already?
What’s holding me back?
Two things, I’m lazy as shit and I don’t have an enigmatic Dutch man by my side.
I have actually now solved both of these problems and have got to work.
If I’m ever successful, it’s down to these guys. Any aspiring indie dev should watch the talk below. It gives a frank look at the life of an poor developer, people cloning your games and what happens when people actually start to take a notice of you and what you are doing.
The two gents Rami and JW were hilarious and had my laughing the whole way through (not that you can tell in the recording because the crowd isn’t mic’d). I wanted to approach Rami at his stand after the talk but he’s become my new hero and I honestly didn’t feel worthy approaching him without any games under my belt. One day Rami, one day.
Nathan’s Final Thoughts:
Fun. Crazy Fun. I mean, just madness from a 2D perspective that simply cannot fail to be fun. You get the idea! Luftrausers was one of the games at Rezzed which caught your attention as you were walking by and you just had to have a go at it to see if it was really as hard as people seemed to be finding it. When you did sit down you were met with quite a challenge, but the game was more enjoyable than many more prestigious releases which spend far more money and achieve much less in terms of the experience that the player will have. This is certainly a game that I will HAVE to pick up, if not for the fun factor which I think I may have mentioned earlier on, then for the inevitable competition it will provoke between family and friends. Luftrausers is a fabulous example of simplicity triumphing in the world of gaming.
Charlie’s Final Thoughts:
Jesus Shitting Christ it’s enjoyable. I was hooked the moment I started playing it. If I wasn’t so god damn English and polite I would have just camped out that spot all weekend. A beautiful example of simplistic games design that embodies the arcade games of the past that appeal to the ADHD ridden, pockets full o’ quarters child in all of us. I cannot wait to have more time to play it, and I don’t mean that in the melodramatic way of “OMG I’ll DIE if I don’t play this game!” I actually will die, I am dying right now. Send help in the form of Luftrausers and a hefty Chinese.