Released on PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita and PC; LUFTRAUSERS, is a fast paced arcade shooter set in a pixelated version of a world war era conflict. Its just you and your plane zooming through the sky against a multitude of enemy planes; jets, boats, battleships and blimps all ready to gun you down.

Right away you’ll notice the wonderful art style and monochromatic colors that look like this game belonged on an original game boy that had an affair with a 16:9 monitor. The graphics are crisp and clean and give off a great sense of speed with carefully designed visual flair that made sure I never lost sight of the enemy or confused my ship with others. Theres definitely plenty of pixel perfect explosions and visual effects to keep you engaged as you fly through the skies to avoid becoming the next piece of wreckage in the ocean below.

The game is simple to play, and its old-school arcadey nature makes it easy to pick up and put down, making it a perfect game for playing on the go or just when you need a quick fix. Being an arcade shooter you’ll find your average time in the sky dreadfully short. Thankfully the game doesn’t fuss around and lets you get back into the action faster than you can say LUFTRAUSERS in your best Arnold impersonation.

The game keeps you hooked by giving you plenty of tools to deploy aerial carnage. By completing challenges and racking up your high score you’ll unlock deviously engineered mad scientist upgrades allowing you to customize the craft into a completely different beast. Some parts come in simple flavors giving you the choice to make trade-offs between armor, firepower and speed. While other pieces can change the way you play the game by changing the characteristics of your movement and weapons (how about a shotgun that propels you backwards when shot?). All of these parts come together to not only change your gameplay experience but they also contribute to your overall look of your plane which really brings together a feeling that makes each plane different than your last. The real fun comes in its aerial momentum system; Allowing you to cut the engines in the heat of battle and rotate your plane around to shoot down enemies all the while maintaining flight in the direction you started in. This allows for some awesome situations drifting around the sky in a constant barrage of bullets and enemies where you feel like you’re in a fast and the furious movie that thought the ground was too mainstream. The game offers an extra layer of depth by allowing you to regenerate health when you stop shooting. This fleshes out the game into a sort of a high energy juggling act between dodging enemy fire, taking down baddies to keep your point multiplier going and fixing your ship.

Overall the game offers a compelling arcade shooter experience with plenty of re-playability, definitely recommended for those who enjoy lightning quick games akin to the coin op days.

About author

Gaming writer at Live in Limbo. When Mihai isn't reading code on a computer sceen, he sits in front of other screens playing games. Don't let the picture fool you, he's since lost all his hair trying to be a tetris grand master.