Game: Bomber Crew
System: Nintendo Switch
Developer: Rubber Duck
Publisher: Curve Digital
Price: £9,59 (was £11.99)/ €11,99 (was €14,99) /$11,99 (was $14.99)
Rating: UK 7/ EU 7/ US 10+
(Review code kindly provided by Curve Digital)
Bomber Crew is a flight-based management strategy game that’s both engaging and deeply challenging. The game is set in World War II, and the objective is to control a seven-person bomber crew as they engage in dangerous wartime missions.
Bomber Crew begins with a number of basic stages which are designed to walk players through the basics of play. Right at the start, gamers are introduced to the game’s controls and basic mechanics such as targeting and bombing. As you progress, the game introduces other game-play elements at a nice pace. Due to not being acquainted with games like Bomber Crew, I did find the controls somewhat problematic to grasp, but with some time and patience, I soon became more acquainted with them.
Introducing your crew
A basic crew consists of two gunners, one bomb aimer, one navigator, a sole mechanic, and radio operator. It takes time to become accustomed with controlling your team, and where each member is supposed to be stationed. After a while, coordinating the team becomes increasingly manageable; that is until your plane is being torn apart by a barrage of enemy fire. While under attack anything can happen! Perhaps the plane’s electrics will fail, or a member of the crew such as the pilot may suffer life threatening injuries. Players need to be prepared to act in a split second.
After each mission, the player is rewarded with money, as well as intelligence points, which can then be used to enhance your plane and improve crew equipment. Also, the stats and skills of each surviving crew member are levelled up according to the XP gained during each mission. Gradually, each crew member can gain new abilities and be taught a secondary skill. So, crew members such as bombers can be trained to be secondary gunners, medics, or radio ops etc.
All of the above however means very little without a good strategy. Money needs to be spent wisely, secondary skills must be chosen carefully, certain plane upgrades must be prioritized over others, or otherwise, your crew’s names will end up written on a memorial plaque.
A Deep Sense of Loss
I’ve found myself getting attached to my Bomber Crew. They fly missions at your behest, they have names, faces, abilities etc. And so, when disaster strikes, it’s sad to see their names listed as M.I.A or K.I.A. The sense of loss is felt even more so when you lose the skill set of past crew members for the next mission. If you lose an entire plane, then every penny spent and every upgrade added is wasted, which means you’ll have to start the cycle again with another plane.
Graphics and Sound
The art style used for the main characters have a very cutesy look. While leading up to and returning from battle, environments tend to look a little bare, but during the heat of battle, one’s attention isn’t fixed on the bareness of landscapes but on the mission at hand.
Where Bomber Crew truly shines is in the sound department. Both the soundtrack and sound effects are used to great effect, particularly leading up-to and during battle sequences. And at the RAF base, while viewing options to equip and train your crew, there are actual pieces of wartime music playing in the background. Small touches which help to add an element of authenticity to the game.
A Small Gripe
As great as Bomber Crew is, it suffers from a small issue which may frustrate some. Due to the crew being so small, and close together in the plane, at times I’ve selected the wrong crew member to fulfil a specific task. So for example, while intending to select an engineer to carry out repairs, it’s possible to mistakenly select and send the navigator, whose post is situated just behind the mechanics. This is an issue that improves over time, but it can have a big impact, particularly when the game relies on split second decisions.
Bomber Crew is a great game. Once you get past the initial learning curve the game becomes quite addictive. The campaign offers a lot for the price, and with all the extra unlockables and customisation options, there’s a lot to enjoy here.
Yes, very much single player.
This game looks interesting and I’ll definitely consider it if I grab a Switch sometime.
I saw this on PSN and it looked interesting. Wasn’t sure whether to buy it or not because these obscure games can be hit or miss. Thank you for the informative write up. Losing crew members reminds me of when your soldiers die in something like Canon Fodder or X-Com. It’s easy to get attached to your team.
I was think of using Canon Fodder but wasn’t sure if others would be familiar with the game. I spent hours upon hours playing Canon Fodder in my younger days.