Recently a game called FTL: Faster Than Light came out. I decided beforehand that I don’t like it. I don’t particularly enjoy roguelike games, so it was a given that I wouldn’t like this one. So what if it has a space theme to it and is basically a simulation of captaining a space ship? Oh I was wrong…
You see, FTL isn’t an ordinary roguelike. As I’ve hinted at in my opening paragraph, it basically puts you in Kirk’s seat. Granted, your initial space vessel is nothing like the USS Enterprise, but that doesn’t mean that ramming photon torpedoes up the aliens’ ass after disabling their shields is any less fun.
The basic premise of the game is that you, the good guy, are trying to bring vital intelligence from one end of the galaxy to the other, with the bad guys on your trail. Each sector has a dozen or so waypoints you need to make your way through and there are ten or so sectors you need to navigate through. You have a sturdy ship that can be upgraded and a faithful crew that gets more proficient with time. With those two tools you need to get through hundreds of text-based encounters, and eventually accomplish the mission. Pretty much all of this is randomly generated.
This all sounds pretty easy, and it is. But the simple act of rerouting power from your sickbay to your weaponry, for it to fire that last salvo that will annihilate those thieving rebel bastards, only to realise that your wounded crew member that was healing is now dead as a result of burns YOU inflicted on him by sending him to repair a malfunctioning oxygen filter turns out to be all but simple. And he was the only one that could repair anything on this bloody ship too! Fuck this game!
Combat is a straightforward act of waiting on your weapons to power up and clicking on the compartment of the enemy ship you want them to fire at. But between shields, power rerouting, repairs, drones, different weapon types, teleporting devices, asteroids and bloody SOLAR FLARES, you’ll have your hands full despite the pause-at-any-time system at your disposal.
It’s an amazing indie game, despite its lack of visual variety in enemies, backgrounds and effects. I’ve only just started playing on easy but apparently normal is where you start sweating beads. Now watch this video because it will probably do a better job of convincing you to get the game than I ever could.
You can get FTL on Steam for less than 9€ (that’s gentleman’s money, that is) until 21st of Sept. and less than 10€ after that. If you enjoy anything associated with space, Star Trek or simulations you should probably get this game.
PS: The music is really good too.