FTL: Faster Than Light

ftlgameJust a quick post to highlight a game I recently discovered: FTL.  FTL is a rogue-like game of space exploration.  You start with a basic ship and a small crew, and you’re trying to carry vital information to the Federation fleet, staying one step ahead of the rebel fleet.  As you explore the randomly generated galaxy, you encounter other ships to fight, space spiders, asteroid fields, pirates, rebels, ships in distress, solar flares, plasma storms, nebulas and more.  You’ll acquire resources which you can use to upgrade your ship, hire new crewmembers and install new weapons and ship systems.

In battles you manage power systems, assign crew members to various stations, fight off boarders (or launch boarding actions of your own), repair damage, put out fires, target specific enemy systems and play with fun toys like mind control, teleporters, drones and the like.

For a fairly simple game, you have a lot of options.  If your ship catches fire, you can send crew members to put the fire out, or open the ships doors to vent the oxygen to space.  For that matter, you can suffocate enemy boarders, too.  Want to minimize damage to your ship?  Try targeting enemy weapon controls first.  Does the enemy have a lot of shields?  Try targeting your missiles at their shield control (missiles bypass shields).  Running short of missiles?  Just divert power from your launchers and finish off the enemy with lasers.  It sounds like a complicated game, but the controls are actually fairly intuitive.  You can also pause the action and any time to consider your options and plan accordingly.

As a rogue-like game, there is a high degree of randomness to it, which contributes to the game’s difficulty.  In fact, sometimes it can just seem downright unfair.  And it is a very difficult game, even on easy mode.  I’ve only finished FTL once, on easy; when I tried “normal” difficulty, the game was downright murderous.  So, if you’re not a fan of rogue-like games, FTL probably isn’t for you.

If you’re interested the game is available on Steam (there’s also an Ipad version).  If you’re patient, it frequently goes on sale on Steam (up to 80% off sometimes) so keep your eyes peeled.

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