FTL: Faster Than Light
Space adventures are awesome. Being a space cowboy, doing what you want while cruising the stars is a dream plenty of us share. Faster Than Light (FTL) gives you a taste of what it would be like to fly through space while battling pirates and rebels in a quest to save the universe.
The plot of FTL is rather simple. You are a Federation ship that has stolen some data from the Rebels. The data is information on how to defeat the Rebel Flagship. It's basically Star Wars Episode IV, but we aren't pulling for the Rebels this time.
Faster Than Light is a 2D game with well drawn graphics. The ship models are well designed. There is a distinct minimalistic approach to the artwork that I think goes with the setting rather well.
The music is fantastic. The electronic tunes are calming and reflective of the empty space you are flying in. Once in combat, the music ups in tempo a bit to give a good background track for ordering around your troops. The music does a good job of accentuating the game appropriately.
The gameplay is where Faster Than Light Really Shines. You start by choosing a ship. At the beginning there is only one ship, but as you will unlock more ships by playing the game. You have crew members that you can assign to certain tasks. Your crew members can man the weapons, engines, controls, and shields. They can also repair damaged ship systems and fight off boarding parties. As your crew members perform these tasks, they will gain proficiency in them.
The goal of the game is to travel across ten star maps and then fight the Rebel Flagship at the end. You traverse the star maps by selecting various points and warping to them. Each time you arrive at a destination, a random event will occur. You may be required to fight off rebels or pirates, solve a problem on a planet, or one of many other events. As you journey across the maps, you will buy or find upgrades, weapons, systems, and extra crew members to help you get to the end of the game. But beware: if you die, the game is over and you have to start from the beginning.
Combat is simple, but engaging. Each of your weapons has a charge up time. You can have your weapons target certain systems on the enemy ships, such as the shields or weapons. There are ion weapons that can disable systems, basic lasers that deal damage to hull and systems, laser beams that can set fires, and hull-damaging missiles.
Faster Than Light is an incredibly enjoyable game. It is a very difficult game and you will likely lose many more times than you will win. If you're easily frustrated by losing, this may not be the right game for you. FTL is addicting. After every turn, I just want to give it one more shot. The replayability is very high, since every game is a new experience. I highly recommend Faster Than Light if you are a fan of rogue-like games and space adventures.
Faster Than Light is available on Steam for Windows, Mac OSX, and Linux.