I love the smell of pixels in the morning

There’s nothing fun about armed combat. Unless there is. Such is the party line in the next major title from the ceaselessly creative duo at Vlambeer: Luftrausers. A mash-up of the World War II era and the Game & Watch era, the title is a self-described “arcade-style aerial combat shooter.” For all you civilians out there, that translates to one thing and one thing only: a retro shoot-em-up full of planes. Planes that you can explode. 

So what’s the plot tying it all together? I should make you drop and give me 20 for even asking! Also, I promise to stop with the military humor. In service of the glory days of coin-op, Luftrauser eschews a plot in favor of a focus on rock-solid mechanics. As an ace pilot in service of the good guys, it’s your job to build your very own “rauser” plane, and the take to the skies with it in a multi-pronged battle against incoming enemy planes, ships, and projectiles. 

We haven’t got our hands on the title yet, but from the trailer and early shots it looks as if there will be a strong focus on packing the screen slowly but surely with more incoming danger than you can handle, all while equipping you with the deftness necessary to swerve out of harm and fire away. Cleverly, the game’s building mechanics  – which promise 125 available combinations of bodies, propulsion systems, and weaponry – are tied to a pumping generative soundtrack which changes based on the aircraft you construct. The whole package is tied together with “glorious art” from the talent behind Super Crate Box, while distribution is being handled by hilarious fellow indie Devolver Digital


“For every plane that is shot down in LUFTRAUSERS I pledge to personally donate a portion of the profits from the game to an exotic dancer of my choosing,” said almost certainly fictional Devolver Digital CFO Fork Parker in the game’s announcement release. “Call me old-fashioned but I have soft spot in my heart for ladies willing to take their clothes off for money.”

All self-assured tastelessness aside, Devolver has a great eye for games packed with pure, often retro fun, and Vlambeer is easily one of the go-to devs. in that arena. The two have partnered before on Serious Sam: The Random Encounter, and I for one hope this is the continuation of both teams’ streak. 


Luftrausers hits PC and Mac late 2012 for an advertised price of $5,000. Oh, I should mention:

“Release date and price subject to change.”

Meanwhile, for those dying for an early taste, I strongly suggest checking out the game in its pre-pluralized state, as Vlambeer’s flash experiment Luftrauser.