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Pretty much helping the enemy in Bomber Crew, now available on Linux

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Bomber Crew [Steam] is a cute simulation game about training and managing the crew aboard a bomber, it's actually pretty good.

Disclosure: Key provided by the developer.

While it may be cute, behind the colourful style is a micromanagement heavy simulation game that feels a little like FTL in WWII. You never have direct control over your bomber, instead, you issue commands by switching view-modes and hovering the camera over a target, then your navigator can plot a new course. You're not playing as a member of the crew, instead you're handing out commands.

You will be dealing with practically all aspects that don't require you to pilot it yourself including the take-off and landing, with you in charge of the landing gear. Opening the bay doors when you're doing a bombing run, sending your crew to various stations inside and so on.

Of course, a great many things can go wrong mid-flight. Let me tell you about one of those times.

My mission was simple, destroy enemy ammo dumps as our bombs cannot penetrate their artillery. Sounds easy right? Fly over, drop a few bombs and go home, or so I thought.

I took off in good spirits, my crew were ready and after the simple tutorials I thought "I can do this!". Once I got closer, it dawned on me how stupid I really am at times. I was flying above the clouds, despite my target being on the ground and I forgot to send my crew member to the bomb controls—bollacks! So we ended up flying past while taking fire and we had to do a U-turn as enemy fighters were bearing down on our position.

Okay, so we turn around, a crew member is now actually manning the bomb controls and the bay doors are open, "I've got this" I said to myself. Yeah—not quite. I forgot to actually select any bombs to drop. I go past for the third time and finally take it out, but now one of my guns is low on ammo and my gunner, Nangle, has been hit and needs medical help. I zoom in, tell someone to put ammo in the gun and another to give Nangle some attention, all while enemies are still firing and I've zoomed past the second target and totally failed half of my mission. I've gone way off-course, my hydraulics have taken a hit, one of my engines is damaged, so I've got a crew member sat on the wing trying to repair it.

We made it home, limping along full of holes, but we made it. Thankfully no one died!

It's not always just bombing, sometimes you get an extra side-mission, where you need to take a picture of something. It can be risky, but the extra rewards can really be worth it for the money to upgrade your bomber.

Each member of your crew plays an important role of course, with them needing to be at their stations to actually enable you to do anything. What's interesting, is that they individually level up and gain extra abilities. One such ability is the emergency dive option, which can help put out engine fires or reach a lower altitude rather quickly.

There's also customizations on offer, with various stickers (which you can customize), paint jobs and so on. Some of it is simply picking between items, however, you can also do some custom art like this terrible piece on my plane too:

Overall, it's unique, it can enable you to create some interesting stories and I really enjoy playing it. I'm hoping this one gets updated with more content in future, as it could end up being something I would go back to a lot.

The Linux version ran perfectly for me, not a single issue that I could find.

You can find Bomber Crew on Steam.

6 Likes, Who?
Rutine 26 October 2017 at 1:29 pm UTC
I was doubting if I should get this one... now I think you convinced me, seems pretty good. I must help the enemy too
razing32 26 October 2017 at 2:13 pm UTC
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Do you have just one type of bomber you customize ?
Or multiple types like the ships in FTL ?
ZigZag 26 October 2017 at 5:00 pm UTC
I watched LIRIK play it on twitch the other day, he had an engine fire, decided to fix it with an engineer, and then went for an emergency decent because he got convinced by the chat! Long story short the engineer went flying and he blamed the chat for his death! Fun times

I'm definitely getting this game
liamdawe 26 October 2017 at 5:30 pm UTC
ZigZagI watched LIRIK play it on twitch the other day, he had an engine fire, decided to fix it with an engineer, and then went for an emergency decent because he got convinced by the chat! Long story short the engineer went flying and he blamed the chat for his death! Fun times

I'm definitely getting this game
Hah.

Pretty sure I lost an engineer who was fixing an engine, as the plane suddenly took a dive due to so much damage. Was funny to see. Obviously I then lost them all since it crashed and burned...


Last edited by liamdawe at 26 October 2017 at 5:30 pm UTC
fractal 27 October 2017 at 8:20 am UTC
razing32Do you have just one type of bomber you customize ?
Or multiple types like the ships in FTL ?

Only the Lancaster, however the amount of available customisation is higher than in FTL. I wouldn't mind getting a B-17, even as a paid DLC.

The game in general is pretty good, but it's actually quite different than FTL, it's much faster and much more hectic as there's no pause button and as soon as the action starts you'll be expected to do multiple things at the same time because your crew has no sense of self-preservation and just sits idly while you're manually assigning targets to gunners and manually performing damage control and manually opening the bomb bay doors and manually arming bombs and manually missing the target because you blinked and manually putting out engine fire and manually steering the bomber back on target and manually assigning targets again and manually tending to inevitable wounded and manually reloading turrets and manually equipping your engineer with an extinguisher and manually assigning targets again while manually sending your engineer to your wing only to find out that you misclicked a pixel and he has a box of ammo and not the extinguisher so you manually send him back while manually assigning targets again while manually dropping bombs because you almost missed the target the engineer has the extinguisher now but there's another engine on fire etc, all of it while the screen is flashing like crazy due to tracers hitting your bomber. Then you crash in front of your airfield anyway because you ran out of fuel. There are upgrades that help automate some of these, but not at the start and quite a few of the Not Recommended reviews come from people who can't handle the pace.

The more annoying feature IMO would be the roguelite nature of the game where you blink for too long during any of the actions mentioned above, inevitably lose the airplane and very likely the crew with it and then you need to start from a scratch which can turn into grind.

90% of the game is damage control under pressure and prioritising decisions like should I put of the engine fire first or should I resupply the tail gunner?

I'd say it's worth playing but bear in mind that it's not a game for everyone.


Last edited by fractal at 27 October 2017 at 8:24 am UTC
razing32 27 October 2017 at 7:29 pm UTC
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fractal
razing32Do you have just one type of bomber you customize ?
Or multiple types like the ships in FTL ?

Only the Lancaster, however the amount of available customisation is higher than in FTL. I wouldn't mind getting a B-17, even as a paid DLC.

The game in general is pretty good, but it's actually quite different than FTL, it's much faster and much more hectic as there's no pause button and as soon as the action starts you'll be expected to do multiple things at the same time because your crew has no sense of self-preservation and just sits idly while you're manually assigning targets to gunners and manually performing damage control and manually opening the bomb bay doors and manually arming bombs and manually missing the target because you blinked and manually putting out engine fire and manually steering the bomber back on target and manually assigning targets again and manually tending to inevitable wounded and manually reloading turrets and manually equipping your engineer with an extinguisher and manually assigning targets again while manually sending your engineer to your wing only to find out that you misclicked a pixel and he has a box of ammo and not the extinguisher so you manually send him back while manually assigning targets again while manually dropping bombs because you almost missed the target the engineer has the extinguisher now but there's another engine on fire etc, all of it while the screen is flashing like crazy due to tracers hitting your bomber. Then you crash in front of your airfield anyway because you ran out of fuel. There are upgrades that help automate some of these, but not at the start and quite a few of the Not Recommended reviews come from people who can't handle the pace.

The more annoying feature IMO would be the roguelite nature of the game where you blink for too long during any of the actions mentioned above, inevitably lose the airplane and very likely the crew with it and then you need to start from a scratch which can turn into grind.

90% of the game is damage control under pressure and prioritising decisions like should I put of the engine fire first or should I resupply the tail gunner?

I'd say it's worth playing but bear in mind that it's not a game for everyone.

Oh dear.
The roguelite element put me off FTL.
I could accept Permadeath after one sector
I could most definetly NOT after 6 sectors and a BOSS with 3 damn forms to go through.
Loved the world ,randomization and exploration.
Rutine 28 October 2017 at 6:56 pm UTC
razing32Oh dear.
The roguelite element put me off FTL.
I could accept Permadeath after one sector
I could most definetly NOT after 6 sectors and a BOSS with 3 damn forms to go through.
Loved the world ,randomization and exploration.

Funny, that's one of the things that kept me going... I still remember the frustration of my first boss fight. "What ? I have to fucking beat him not once, not twice but three times ?!?!?!" (I think I lost to the second form of the boss, then I read somewhere about the three forms)
For me even 6 sectors did not seem so big a run, it's like in Ziggurat. I accept permadeath because I can pretty easily make a run again.
After the first loss I beat the boss shortly after, it was very rewarding then
razing32 29 October 2017 at 12:09 am UTC
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Rutine
razing32Oh dear.
The roguelite element put me off FTL.
I could accept Permadeath after one sector
I could most definetly NOT after 6 sectors and a BOSS with 3 damn forms to go through.
Loved the world ,randomization and exploration.

Funny, that's one of the things that kept me going... I still remember the frustration of my first boss fight. "What ? I have to fucking beat him not once, not twice but three times ?!?!?!" (I think I lost to the second form of the boss, then I read somewhere about the three forms)
For me even 6 sectors did not seem so big a run, it's like in Ziggurat. I accept permadeath because I can pretty easily make a run again.
After the first loss I beat the boss shortly after, it was very rewarding then

I don't mind permadeath in say Immortal Redneck or Ziggurat. Game just flows differently.
I only beat the boss in FTL once and even then I was save scumming like crazy.
Guess these types of games just aren't for me.
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