Space – the final frontier. In space, no one can hear you scream. Space is boundless, and it squashes a man’s ego.
Okay, that’s quite enough of that. In case you couldn’t already see our Indie Game of the Week takes place in – you guessed it – outer space.
We’ve got a real treat for you this week! It’s a cross between a space simulation game and a rogue-like. If you must know, rogue-like games are usually difficult to play and have a steep learning curve. They are a little more complicated than that, but that’s alright you get the gist of the genre.
Our Indie Game of The Week is called FTL, or Faster Than Light.
Indie Game of The Week: Faster Than Light
“FTL is a spaceship simulation roguelike-like. Its aim is to recreate the atmosphere of running a spaceship exploring the galaxy (like Firefly/Star Trek/BSG etc.) In any given episode of those classic shows, the captain is always yelling “Reroute power to shields!” or giving commands to the engineer now that their Warp Core is on fire. We wanted that experience, as opposed to the “dog fighting in space” that most videogames focus on. We wanted a game where we had to manage the crew, fix the engines, reroute power to shields, target the enemy life support, and then figure out how to repel the boarders that just transported over!”
The general premise of the game is fairly straightforward, in the beginning you are given a set of valuable information that must be delivered to the Federation Fleet at all costs. Along your trip through various space sectors, you encounter randomly generated events, and enemies. Your supplies are limited, and your enemies are hot on your tail, so you have a choice to make; you can either fight your way through to the finish line or trudge onwards to your goal in hopes of finding more supplies along the way.
What Kind of Game is FTL?
According to the developers, here is a brief description of what FTL gameplay is like:
“The game is split into two major parts: exploration and combat. You explore by travelling instantly with your FTL drive between discrete “Jump Beacons;” every location contains a text-based event that has a variety of choices and outcomes. Your ship can be upgraded with advanced weaponry and equipment purchased with collected scrap metal, while your crew will improve with experience. Fighting enemy ships involves real-time management of crew, power distribution and weapons. It can be frantic with many problems thrown at you at once, but you can pause the game at any time to give orders to your crew (much like Baldur’s Gate). Check out the video on the front page to see it in action.”
In most space combat games, you spend your time hiding in a first person view, or third person view from outside the rear of the ship. Dogfights are more action oriented, and you don’t have to manage large crews or resources. Usually, you only have to worry about clicking a mouse fast enough so that your blasters can defile enemy ships. That is not the case with FTL, at all.
In FTL, you essentially are the ship’s Captain, and you must bide your time by managing the entire crew.
FTL is considered a rogue-like because it has randomly generated game worlds, all of which are changed every playthrough, permadeath (when you die you’re gone for good), and short single-player focused sessions. Rogue-like games typically include short playthroughs because of their increased difficulty and permadeath features. You play the game, you die, and then you start over from the beginning. The idea is that, with every play session, you will get better and better, ultimately lasting longer than you did the first time around.
Most of the time you spend playing FTL, you will be stressed. The game is unusually tense, and there is always the looming risk of death.
Supplies are always scarce and, at a moment’s notice, you can come under attack from one of the randomly generated enemy types or exotic species. In combat, your ship can be damaged considerably forcing you to pause your counter-attack and repair critical systems. Boarders can enter your ship and slaughter your crew, and foreign diseases and infection can sometimes render your crew helpless.
Nevertheless, FTL is tremendous fun, especially thanks to those stress-inducing events and high tension encounters. They certainly help the game stand out from others, and give you a one-of-a-kind experience.
FTL is unquestionably a game you want to play, or at the very least, try.
FTL is Available Now
Faster Than Light is available now, but unlike most of our other indie games, you have a choice about where to buy the game.
- If you have an existing GOG.com account, you can buy a DRM free Windows version alongside exclusive bonus content like a soundtrack and concept art.
- If you prefer to take advantage of Valve’s Steam, you can purchase Windows and Mac versions via that digital distribution platform.
- If you want to buy direct, you can obtain a DRM free version from the developer’s website for Windows, Mac OSX, or Linux (the developer site also offers a redeemable Steam key).
Whatever your flavor of choice, FTL is available for $9.99. If you buy the game through Steam, the platform will convert USD into your home countries’ currency (£6.99 / €9.99 / 249 rubles / $7.99 in CIS territories).
If you like games just as much as we do, we also recommend trying the rest of the games in our ongoing Indie Game of the Week series.
The Tech Labs Indie Game of The Week Series: