FTL: Faster than Light), one of the first indie successes to do phenomenally well on Kickstarter, raising over 2000% of their initial goal, has finally been released, both on Good Old Games and the Subset Games’ own website. It’ll be hitting Steam in a few hours, and I’ve been having a play around with it.
Ok, so it’s pretty good. Scratch that, it’s pretty great.
If you didn’t follow the development, either through being a backer or an interested observer, FTL is a rogue-like where you control a single spaceship, complete with rooms and subsystems, each of which are individually controlled and targetted. You assign your crew to a system each, and just hope they’ll survive enough missiles and laser beams to keep everything running. You upgrade as you go, and once you’re dead you’re dead, with a new randomly generated galaxy to explore.
It’s incredibly systemic, which means you have dozens of wonderful, dramatic stories emerge just out of things going wrong, and things going right. You vent your doors to clear a fire, only for the door control to be damaged in the blaze, meaning you have to repair it in a vacuum with your crew holding their breath.
You surrender your ship to boarders, locking your last crewmember, the pilot, in the cockpit, in the hope that the lack of air will kill the invaders before they kill you. You limp through a galaxy looking for that one shop to repair you up. You hover in space, out of gas, just waiting, praying for someone to come along and rescue you.
Then there’s random events that occur in each and every system you travel to. most of the time it’s just a pirate or a rebel you have to kill, but it could be stranded friendlies, civilians to rescue, or even aliens to escort across the sector. It feels like a small, throwaway casual indie game, but it’s got depth, enough to keep you trying over and over to get to that final sector.
So throw down $9 on it, because it’s well worth the price of admission.