Genre: Simulation, space
Release Date: 2012
Developer / Publisher: Subset Games
Mainly strategy, some action. A real-time spaceship simulation that puts you in command of one space ship hunted by a rebel fleet, you have to fight your way across the stars. Mainly, you’ll be watching a lay out of a ship where your crew members run around to extinguish fire, fix engines or fight off intruders. It’s generally quite hectic!
Playability: Excellent teachable
The learning curve is quasi flat. You learn the rules in five minutes, and you’re off flying and firing missiles and beams, upgrading shields and engines, and boarding pirate ships very soon. There are hundreds of ways to blow up the mothership, and it’s a lot of learning by doing and trial and error. FTL is like a game of chess with relatively simple rules but a large number of possible tactical moves. There are plenty of mods to download from new story plots to spaceship hulls. The system requirements are low as FTL runs on 1 GB or RAM and takes less than 175 MB of hard disk.
Annoyance: Nagging no save
You can’t save progress between space sectors. Well, you can, but if your ship is destroyed you can no longer load a saved game. This means that when you see the blown up to smithereens screen, you have to start from the hangar again. Add to that the absurd difficulty even on “Easy” setting, you quickly realize that only hard core gamers and those who have loads of time on their hands will eventually blow up the mothership.
Beauty: Plain looking pixels
Nothing to warp home about (he he, get it?). It’s fake 1990s’ graphics. Cute like handheld Pokemon, but you can’t make out the faces of your crew members or the rust on the ship’s hull. Sound is electric basic and repetitive, but not annoying on low volume. Explosions and lasers are about the quality of Star Trek, the original series…
The Old Video Gamer’s Prattle: Good but tough romp 7/10
Faster than Light a simple addictive game. You get hooked within minutes and you wanna play over and over again, until you drop without any mojo left. The difficulty is just way too high for old geezers like us and you’ll want to give up many times before the alien mothership gets blown to bits.