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FTL: Faster Than Light

Developer / Publisher: Subset Games
14 September 2012
FTL: Faster Than Light - cover art
Glitchwave rating
3.62 / 5.0
0.5
5.0
 
 
800 Ratings / 3 Reviews
#705 All-time
#23 for 2012
The Rebellion is making rapid advancements across the galaxy and appears to be on the verge of final victory against the Galactic Federation. A Federation ship just intercepted information that could be capable of turning the war effort around, but they are far away from the Federation's headquarters. The ship must traverse entire galaxies to deliver the information, or else all may be lost.
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I'm biased because I sort of grew up playing this, but man, I haven't played something this charming in so long. The music, the combat, the tension (when you haven't put a couple hundred hours into it) — a landmark for me and hopefully others.
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vvvvvvvvvv 2021-07-02T01:51:17Z
2021-07-02T01:51:17Z
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Faster Than Light (FTL)'s graphical style is a throwback to 16-bit gaming. The game-play is also retro, playing in a similar style to games like Oregon Trail which relies on random events and luck to progress. Well, FTL is much more complex than that. Sure, you need a bit of luck, but there's a lot of strategy involved too which means you need to get familiar with the mechanics in order to form a plan to survive.

The story sees your vessel on the run from Rebel forces, fleeing with a secret that must be brought to the Federation. The galaxy map is made up of a series of sectors which are comprised of interconnected nodes of star systems. You jump from each star system to traverse the map in order to reach the end of the sector. After each jump, the rebel fleet moves closer. What this means is that you generally need to move horizontally, but may have room to explore other systems in order to find resources to upgrade your ship. You can enter a system occupied by the pursuing fleet, but this results in a tough battle, so your 'turns' are limited within each sector.

After each jump, a random event occurs. It could be nothing, could be a (potentially) good thing, or could be a battle. Usually, you are presented with a choice, to attack/take the quest or move on. The results of some scenarios are random, so it's a case of risk vs reward. For example, there are scenarios where if you are lucky, you may acquire a crew member, but the converse is that you may lose a crew member.

The games currency is scrap, which is acquired by destroying ships. You also need to stock fuel which is used in each jump, rockets for your missile based weapons, and drone parts if you wish to use the drone system.

You can invest your scrap in ship upgrades. Every time you upgrade a system, you must upgrade your reactor too which gives you an extra unit of power. Power can be reassigned as you wish, even in mid-battle.

The UI shows an overhead schematic of your ship, and you can move your crew members between the rooms. Placing them in a room gives a bonus to that room, and this can level up your crew's skill over time. You will need to move them around the ship in order to fix your ship, put out fires, or attack boarding hostiles.

The backdrop shows what kind of system you are currently in, such as a planet, nebula, or asteroid field. These areas can have an affect on the battle. In the asteroid field, you may get hit with asteroids which damages your ship if you have no shields. The nebula can hinder your surveillance, or drain your power to your ship. Solar flares can set fires and damage your ship. It can be a good idea to make the jump away from these systems when you can, rather than staying to fight.

Battles run in real time, but you can pause in order to plot strategies. You can target your weapons at individual rooms to damage enemies, or systems such as: shields, weapons, engines, sensors, and oxygen. Damaging their weapons is a good idea, but you may want to attack other rooms tactically. Damaging the cockpit will stop them fleeing, damaging shields will allow you to do full damage from your weapons, damaging engines will reduce their probability to avoid missiles, and damaging the oxygen supply will damage the crew unless they repair it.

In addition to the standard systems, you can purchase upgrades to give you extra systems. These include stealth (temporary invulnerability), transportation (send your crew to board enemy ships to fight the crew or damage systems), drone control (use all sorts of drone units; defensive or offensive).

Missiles ignore shields but are limited in supply. Lasers can take down shields before doing damage to the ship. Beams can damage multiple rooms but are negated by the shield, breach weapons do double damage to systemless rooms, ion temporarily disables shields or systems. Weapons need various power supply and have different recharge rates.

Even on the easy difficulty, the game offers a tough challenge. The random aspects can mean the difficulty varies between games. You can go for long periods battling away without finding a shop to replenish fuel and missiles, but can go on a run racking up high rewards of scrap or free weapons and crew members.

The game doesn't take too long to run through, and it's one of those games where your save file is wiped if you are destroyed, forcing you to start again. It doesn't feel anywhere near as brutal as games like Don't Starve and is much easier to learn too.

FTL is a simple game, yet offers enough complexity to make it fun and interesting. In my opinion, the permadeath is done well, because the game is short enough so that you feel like you haven't lost too much, but feel determined to come back to do better. There's various ships and layouts to unlock for those determined enough to persevere which will require a change in strategy to adapt to the alternate ship designs.
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CaptainClam 2019-08-17T16:20:33Z
2019-08-17T16:20:33Z
4.0
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This game is pretty good at first, but you once you learn what to do in each situation it pretty much just plays itself. The "choices" are so bad in that regard it's kind of unforgivable. All that's left for you is the combat, which is decent but nothing to write home about. The variety of ship layouts you can pick adds some spice to to it, but these only make a huge difference early on and by the end most runs will play out in a similar way.
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Catalog

Abelton FTL: Faster Than Light 2022-06-30T23:50:48Z
2022-06-30T23:50:48Z
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
majorasminion FTL: Faster Than Light 2022-06-30T03:31:20Z
2022-06-30T03:31:20Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
benf4 FTL: Faster Than Light 2022-06-26T11:20:13Z
2022-06-26T11:20:13Z
6.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
MoonSlick FTL: Faster Than Light 2022-06-24T08:09:31Z
2022-06-24T08:09:31Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Margaritea FTL: Faster Than Light 2022-06-23T10:11:02Z
2022-06-23T10:11:02Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
CoffeeFairy FTL: Faster Than Light 2022-06-19T05:06:14Z
2022-06-19T05:06:14Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
capybara666 FTL: Faster Than Light 2022-06-16T08:57:30Z
2022-06-16T08:57:30Z
2.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
TheAllGolden FTL: Faster Than Light 2022-06-12T23:44:37Z
2022-06-12T23:44:37Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Swaylius FTL: Faster Than Light 2022-06-12T17:46:21Z
2022-06-12T17:46:21Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Noelcis FTL: Faster Than Light 2022-06-07T12:18:19Z
2022-06-07T12:18:19Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
LandonAlex FTL: Faster Than Light 2022-06-05T11:39:04Z
2022-06-05T11:39:04Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
QuakeRYM FTL: Faster Than Light 2022-06-01T06:04:14Z
2022-06-01T06:04:14Z
4.0
3
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
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  • Tintin_au_Congo 2019-07-30 11:40:32.649784+00
    It's a miracle how these guys managed to go from this randomfest to the perfectly crafted Into the Breach
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    • alliterativeAlpinist 2019-11-19 21:40:02.980831+00
      Into the Breach also had three times the dev time put into it compared to FTL
    • the_lockpick 2020-01-09 17:21:31.689159+00
      to their credit, not many games with this level of randomness are this engrossing on a mechanical/world-building level
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  • PoisonYad 2020-03-26 11:24:46.437082+00
    i wish i could get into this, but it just feels like a door management simulator
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  • Spherallic 2021-02-15 15:06:50.172318+00
    Man, this is not quite as good as I remember it being. Maybe I just had better luck years ago, but replaying it now it really does feel way too random at points.
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  • ... 2021-07-15 18:28:22.692581+00
    i wanted to play this for a long time and i wont lie im kinda very dissapointed like its good but its a bit boring too but maybe i need to get into it more,, amazing soundtrack tho
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  • FollowingLeader 2021-10-04 17:23:43.100475+00
    Absolutely love this game, but the better you get at it the less fun it is, and every flagship fight is incredibly similar to the last. Every run boils down to: get burst lasers/beams/flaks, scrap recovery arm/pre-igniter/long ranged scanners, grab an Engi or Zoltan if you need them. Upgrade shields and engines consistently, weapons as needed. With those couple sentences you can win on pretty much any ship.
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