Quick: What’s the difference between a boat and a ship? 60 points! That’s according to Luftrauser, anyway, Vlambeer’s gorgeous vision of air combat that’s playing, for free, in a browser right here.
Not new, granted, but Vlambeer announced – what? a sequel? remake? iOS version? – the other day, and that’s driven me back to the original. So good. So pared down. So much anonymous bloodshed.
The thing about Luftrauser, I reckon, is that it’s best not to think of your aircraft as a plane. Don’t blast around relentlessly: instead, move in quick shunts, racing past groups of enemies and then dropping back through the pack and picking them off as you please. It’s more like a weaponised Lunar Lander or an Asteroids riff than a traditional flying shooter.
That said, as planes circle, bullets fly, and the cruel waters looms beneath you, Luftrauser captures that hectic, twitchy kind of dogfighting feel better than you might expect. War is heck, as Kermit once said, and heck, it transpires, is beige.
ALSO: WHAT A SOUNDTRACK.