This 2D shooter is a simple but very effective little retro game


Luftrausers, the new 2D shooter from the publishers of Hotline Miami, is retro on at least two levels. It looks and plays like an 8-bit game, with blocky, almost monochrome graphics, and it take cues from World War II and its culture (although I’m pretty sure the planes back then didn’t have lasers). Flying a humble plane you’re assigned to take out other flying machines (from fighters to blimps) and enemy ships. The controls are tricky at first, both because of the vehicle’s perpetual motion and because your plane has to pivot 180 degrees to change direction. But once you get the hang of it, the game-play is fast, intense and fun. There’s another neat game mechanic: When you stop shooting, your vehicle repairs itself slowly, but if you leave it too long between shots, the enemy planes accumulate to a swarm. It may be a little one-note, but Luftrausers is also charming, zippy and undeniably compulsive.