Bomber Crew Review
Where the Devil Did This Come From?
I like to keep my ear to the ground for cool, cheap indie games to satisfy Overlord EnricoFairme. He demands a crushing pace on my voluntary article submissions. I am a big fan of the WWII genre, and I absolutely freakin’ love old airplanes. For $15 I couldn’t say no Bomber Crew. The current 15% off bonus was enough to get me to buy.
Bomber Crew is a visually endearing title that placates you with its simple visuals, then pulverizes you with chaos and a hail of bullets.
The premise is simple, command a plane, manage the crew, bomb the baddies. What you learn quickly is that the Germans will not make any of this easy. The management of crew members is simple, yet requires tight timing and prioritization. Since every action the plane and crew does is at your direction, a lot can fall by the wayside if you aren’t in control at all times.
In Bomber Crew the way to direct your plane to objectives is done through a visual targeting system. You direct a view camera at a waypoint, or oncoming fighters to tell your plane where to go and what to shoot. Bomber Crew has a brilliant use of radar that makes this task particularly difficult. The radar will detect incoming fighters, but once the detection beam has made its sweep the highlighting of the fighters will disappear, leaving you staring at an empty sky wondering where your doom is coming from. Patiently you must wait for the radar to make its 360 degree rotation. In the elapsed time your plane is likely on fire, with your crew half dead, and you just happened to miss your bombing target and must make another pass.
My strongest criticism is how the missions feel. They all feel largely the same. They are all hectic and demand concentration, but after the 20th mission you think they all look about the same. In the defense of Bomber Crew, I think this is how it actually was in the Second World War. The other problem with the missions is you are given three options of missions before in the briefing room. All three missions vary little from each other. This makes the briefing room feel a little pointless.
War and Fun
From my personal interest in the Second World War, I have come to feel that nothing about this war was fun and entertaining. I recommend reading Catch-22 from Joseph Heller to learn about the absurdity of war from the perspective of an American bombadier. Or read Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five to get a glimpse of the total devastation wrought by these bombing runs. Just some serious literature here, what you would expect from a videogame review. HtR is a quality site! If books aren’t your jam, watch Band of Brothers. So good.
Lose it All, Start Again
It can be very easy to lose your entire ship and crew. If you don’t address a problem as soon as it pops up you will find out what the term cascading failures mean. I had a run where my nose gun ran out of ammo. So he walks back in the ship to get more. While he is walking more fighters attack, so I use the viewfinder to tag the attacking planes. I miss my waypoint, so I must circle back. I realize my front gun is not shooting because there was a misclick with the ammo and the gunner is standing still in the middle of the plane. The pilot is shot and dies. The plane nosedives. The ground rushes up. All hands lost…
Losing a crew or a plane puts you back, but it isn’t the same as starting all over again, so stick with it. The new recruited crew will have better stats than when you recruited your first crew. The plane will have some upgrades. Just always keep in mind that you cannot overlook the smallest problem.
Should You Buy Bomber Crew?
Yup. You will find an enjoyable game that draws you into its 8-bit world. Get a slick paint job and bomb fuel depots. Is this a mind-blowing game? No. But it’s a fun game with a lot of heart.
HamFiddler’s Rating: 8/10
Were you convinced down to the bottom of your soul that you need Bomber Crew? Check out my guide here to get all the info you need to bypass silly errors and makes loads of progress.