Bomber Crew is best described as the type of game that looks all cute, fun, and easy to get into until you actually open the game and spend about an hour playing. At this point you realise that what little joy you had has been switched to panic as your 7 crew members have been reduced to 2; where your engines are on their last legs and you are still over the English Coast. At that point you lose all faith in your ability to save what little is left of your valiant plane and then suddenly you make it back and can breathe a sigh of relief and do it all over again, even taking part in real operations, such as the St Nazaire Raid and Operation Overlord.
To sum up the game, you command a Lancaster Bomber with 7 crew members: a pilot, radio operator, engineer, radar operator and 3 gunners. You control where the crew move to, where they sit, and their vitality. Many of the first missions are simple things like reconnaissance and bombing small targets, which are extremely beneficial to learning the game.
While it’s a small feature within the Bomber Crew, when you boot up the game there is an option called ‘Memorial’. What this is is a list of all the crew members who have served under you that have died. While it is a byproduct of playing the game, the list does slowly fill up. By the time I finished the campaign I had lost over 40 crew members and 3 bombers, which is a grim, but accurate representation of what it was like being a bomber crew member.
Each crew member is given a role, for example pilot and engineer. From there they have skills that can be leveled up that will improve their performance. An engineer will repair faster and a pilot will be able to learn maneuvers, as well as improve how they fly and perform landings. Trust me it’s worth having a high level pilot. If you need to make an emergency landing a level can mean the difference between all or none of the crew surviving (see above).
One of the coolest features, to be honest, is the bounty board. This board shows you 8 different enemy aces that reward you with extra money for shooting them down. Each one employs different tactics, which means you may need to adjust your crew loadout to combat this ace.One had cannons that shot straight up and would often roll over and shoot the top of my plane. Another decided to target the engines on my big metal bird, so I was forced to send my crew out onto the wing to repair the damage. This may seem strange and unrealistic but actually happened during WW2.
This game is my Indie Game of the Year because I’ve followed it since the developers (Runner Duck Studios) announced it, and it has become exactly what they claimed it would be, if not more. The game is similar to FTL, another game I adore. The devs are also very active in addressing issues and improvements the community brings to light, such as shortcut keys and graphical glitches. This includes one of the more important features: THE ABILITY TO LOCK THE PILOT TO THE SEAT SO YOU DON’T ACCIDENTALLY MOVE HIM AND WATCH YOUR PLANE PLUMMET TO THE GROU- sorry. Got a bit vocal there.
Definitely a fun game.
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