A while ago, Space Crew from Runner Duck and Curve Digital, arrived on my desk and it was quite a bit of fun, the same team that brought us Bomber Crew. Bomber what? It’s not a game I had played but added to my wishlist to get around to where the opportunity arose.
Well, you can probably surmise that I’ve since played it, and it was that enjoyable that it was worth putting a review together. Out of the two, I prefered Bomber Crew possibly because of the era (not much of a sci-fi fan) and the wicked jumpers.
Currently available on PC, PS4 and Xbox One, this review refers to the Switch version. Though Space Crew was reviewed on the PC in a 1440p resolution, it wasn’t a requirement and playing on-the-go (on the sofa or in bed) appealed to me more than at my workstation.
Bomber Crew Switch Review
Tally-ho, what-what and all that jazz, Bomber Crew is set in WWII, and you command a flight crew with some Hooray Henry at the helm with a bicycle moustache. Technically it’s an option, but whether you play as a male or female, you must have a moustache. It’s the law.
Your crack team of experts will see the world, well, most of the English Channel and Europe as you get into dogfights, take piccys and naturally, drop bombs. If you’re familiar with Space Crew, then it’s more of the same here, only the chicken came before the egg and Bomber Crew came out a few years ago. Or did it?
The menu system consists of an airfield where you can recruit new members for your Lancaster bomber, equip them with new gear, view their special abilities (when levelling up), upgrade your aircraft and customise with some swanky stickers and choose your missions.
Once you have a crew, you don’t need to come back to hire better ones as the purpose is to fill any vacancies should they die in a mission. Regardless of ability, you will find Bomber Crew quite the challenge: should a crew member die, they can’t be reincarnated, unless you rename the new character and change their appearance. If you lose your plane, you’ll have some upgrades revoked.
Come Fly With Me
Controlling your crew is a little tricky to get used to as the process is quite methodical. Select a crew member engage/disengage gears, assign them a position/role, ensure they get healed up and carry our necessary repairs. Though it doesn’t have the same urgency as Overcooked, the multitasking requires practice should you want to survive.
Saying they don’t build them like they used to is out of place here as your equipment fails a hell of a lot. If you don’t make repairs, your crew can freeze to death or fall out of the sky, as dramatic as that sounds. Anyone can make repairs, but you need to assign your engineer as they’re the most efficient, but you only get one.
Other crew members operate the tail gun, sides and front but there’s always a space that needs filling, and if you take someone away from their usual post, you can’t do simple things like monitor the navigation system, or more importantly, fly!
Bomber Crew suffers from the same lack of initiative as its successor when it comes to targeting as the crew won’t think for themselves, and you have to tag all enemies manually for them to be engaged, switching to a first-person perspective.
Tag, You’re It
The tagging system felt a little harder here based on the ways the enemies moved, and considering the scenario, you’d think it was easier to see them above land than in the sky amongst the stars and meteor showers.
Still, once your crew have the instructions, it’s satisfying to shift camera perspectives as your bomber gracefully flies over the clouds while your marksmen gun them down. But don’t get too complacent, another repair is required…
Once again, don’t judge a game on graphics as the avatars in the game wouldn’t look out of place on a mobile game for kids. The challenges are the opposite and quite hellish, but that difficulty means it’s a greater reward to see your crew level up and take advantage of new skills.
Improving the plane is enjoyable too, but the upgrades are so incremental that when you do unlock them, you must exercise a degree of restraint and not go all out on missions, at the risk of losing crew or aircraft parts. For someone who likes to grind (again, getting that on a t-shirt), I was happy to repeat the few missions in the game to improve, albeit at a slow pace.
The Green And Blues Of Dover?
It’s fair to assume that the scenery in the game is gorgeous. No matter where you’re from or reside, aerial photos of the English Channel and countryside are beautiful, but Bomber Crew isn’t that sort of game.
The simplicity of the modelling is absolutely fine as it boils down to the gameplay, which is tough, but enjoyable, but looking at the blankets of greens and blues with very little going on won’t blow you away. Still, there’s something very satisfying about the flight in the game. Ignoring the dogfights, which are the hardest part, it’s somewhat of a chill experience.
Though Bomber Crew is my preference if comparing the two, there are a couple of bits I didn’t enjoy as much. One thing that came to mind was the actual bombing. A little reticle appears that represents the ground and you have to release the bombs in time. Expect to turn around a few times to get it right.
Another aspect, which was present with Space Crew is the complexity of controls. They don’t feel natural and even playing for a couple of hours at a time and coming back to is a day later feels like resetting it again and doesn’t commit to muscle memory. Or maybe I’m getting old?
Bomber Crew Review Summary
Enough has been said of this review without actually saying that much. If you’ve read the Space Crew review, compare that to Bomber Crew but in a different era and it’s a fair, if lazy, appraisal. However, I’ve genuinely enjoyed playing despite the challenge, and I’d encourage you to have a look at this title for whichever platform you like to flirt with.