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Bomber Crew pits adorable airmen against Nazis

FTL by way of Nintendo, but you get to fly the plane too

Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

Bomber Crew is an upcoming WWII-themed strategy game from the small team at Runner Duck, based in Brighton, England. It’s an action-packed game by the looks of it, but presented with an adorable pixelated style. It looks like something Nintendo might make if it fell in love with FTL: Faster Than Light. Bomber Crew is due out Oct. 19 on Steam.

There’s a few things that have me really excited about Bomber Crew. First, you’ll be flying a physics-based multi-crew bomber with location-based damage. The game’s Steam page shows a gif of plane missing half a wing that’s still able to land at a friendly airfield. But the team at Runner Duck have gone a step further, and claim to have modelled everything from fuel consumption, ammunition use and hydraulics.

A pixelated Avro Lancaster missing a wing and an engine manages to land safely in third-person. Runner Duck/Curve Digital

Most challenging of all, the game is a roguelike and death of your crew members is permanent. The video above highlights your ability to take first-person control of the various turrets, and even have your crew climb out on the wing to fix the engine.

As goofy as it sounds, Bomber Crew is very clearly a love letter to the Avro Lancaster, the legendary British-made heavy bomber that helped the Allies win WWII.

Air combat over Europe was dangerous, but it was especially dangerous for the airmen who flew the “Lanc.” According to the BBC, life expectancy for new crew members was about two weeks. There aren’t very many men left alive from that time. If you’re interested in hearing their stories firsthand allow me to recommend episode 15 of the Chalke Valley History Hit podcast where host James Holland sits down with a complete 7-man crew.

Bomber Crew will launch for Windows PC, Mac and Linux systems.

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