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FTL: Faster Than Light. A Hands On Review.

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Ethelyn Brye is an award-winning author and blogger. Growing up in Switzerland and influenced by renowned Swiss design and a lot of fresh mountain air, she attended and completed design studies in Geneva. Post graduation she moved to Washington State to work for a design firm, but her love of writing brought her to Cyanosaur. She's highly interested in strategy rpgs, mountain climbing, board games with friends and skiing. She lives in Seattle, Washington, with her lovely cat Armstrong.

Meet Faster Than Light, otherwise known as FTL, a modern space strategy Roguelike game.

FTL is one of the years best indie games, with a difficulty level that’s very high, yet perhaps this is what draws me back in for another round of fighting alien ships to yet die once more to an overpowered ship in the middle of an asteroid field.

ftl2

 

FTL is quite unlike any other game I’ve played. You’re the commander of a ship and it’s crew as you navigate known galaxies, enemy ships, overpowering sensor nebulas, and thick guards in an attempt to warn the liberation at the final level of the incoming attack by the rebels. The catch, when you die; (and you will) game over.

It’s quite annoying to have built your ship to maximum levels and then die when your crew is overpowered at the hands of a philosophy debate with the rocks gone bad. Yet another permadeath game to drive you crazy and keep you coming back for more…if you enjoy the pain.

 

The game is largely text based and very driven by different answers you can choose for random outcomes. Choosing the same answer is always random and at times can force you to leave behind your best characters to overpowering spiders. Apparently the spawn of Shelob comes back to haunt the skies and has a taste of blood for humans, and other aliens. But of course there’s the random picks that you’ll get a large prize and come out with fantastic guns to update your ship. It’s all random.

ftl1

 

Developed by indie studio Subset games and launched in 2012 after an successful Kickstarter drive; It’s a great example of a Kickstarter project that delivered on its promises. Whether it’s a game you’ll enjoy largely comes down to whether or not you ever wanted to be a captain on a spaceship. Firefly fans, Star Trek fans, roguelike gamers, and any fan of seriously challenging games should find much to love.

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