Welcome to our regular gameplay impressions and video post where we record our first 10-30 minutes with a new game, and provide some general impressions on that early playthrough. Today’s game is: Luftrausers from developer Vlambeer.

With Luftrausers, Vlambeer (Ridiculous Fishing) has created another uniquely addictive, pick-up-and-play title — one that feels a lot like a mobile experience. That shouldn’t be taken as a knock, though, because Luftrausers is a ton of fun to play.

See, where many games that offer a very simple, singular experience fail to sink those hooks early enough, Luftrausers comes out with a bold art style, fun gameplay, and a clear progression. More importantly, it never gives the impression that any run, be it a 10-second or a 5-minute session, is wasted.

The basic idea of Luftrausers is that players take to the sky in a WW2-era fighter plane with some sci-fi touches. Once in the air, it is up to the player to take out as many enemy combatants as possible — both in the air and the sea — while at the same time racking up a high score.

As expected, things start out relatively simple but get more and more complex as players progress. Completing objectives, like ‘Take out two jets in a single run’ for example, helps players unlock new upgrades for their plane. Better weapons, better armor, and better mobility are all available, but players will need to work for them.

Luftrausers Gameplay Video

Luftrausers also has a terrific, sepia-tinged art style that creates cool silhouettes out of the planes and boats. It’s the type of bold look that is befit a game like this and gives Luftrausers a personality all its own. The same goes for the game’s thumping, 8-bit soundtrack, which feels like a cross between Russian army music and electro-punk.

What might seem, on the surface, like a fairly generic shoot-em-up is actually a surprisingly deep and addictive experience. And at $10, Luftrausers is going to give gamers plenty of hours of enjoyment, whether it’s sitting on the couch in front of a PC or PS3, or on the go with the Vita.

Vlambeer has certainly honed in on a formula that mixes repetition with progression, to the point you’re always saying “one more round.” In fact, if you’ll excuse me…

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What do you think of Luftrausers? Does it look like a game for you? Let us know in the comments below.

Luftrausers is available now for $9.99 on Steam

Follow Anthony on Twitter @ANTaormina

tags: PC, PS3, Steam, Vita, Vlambeer