Tuesday, January 22, 2013


I'd heard some pretty good things about the game FTL: Faster Than Light in general and Sceadeau had recommended it on Vent while playing Blood Bowl at some point so when it went on sale a couple weeks ago I picked it up. I'd heard it was a roguelike in space and I like both space and ZAngband so maybe I'd like this too? I finally got around to giving it a go this morning (I woke up early with a sharp pain in my eye and couldn't get back to sleep).

Now, after playing it a bit, I'm not sure it's really a roguelike game. But it's definitely a fun game. The basic idea is you own a ship with a small crew and you fly around space blowing up bad guys for loot. You use that loot to upgrade different pieces of your ship, or to buy new modules for your ship, or to repair the permanent damage your ship takes. Your crew gains experience with different tasks (shooting the weapons, repairing things, punching boarding parties, etc...) as they perform them. So it is very much roguelike in that way. You kill things, eat them, and take their stuff.

The difference, to me at least, is in how combat presents itself. My idea of a roguelike has you opening doors in a dungeon and fighting gobs of enemies at a time. In FTL it seems like you only fight one thing at a time, and combat is more strategic. You choose where your guys stand, you choose where to aim your guns, and fights last a while. There's no standing behind a doorway chopping kobold after kobold. There's no shooting fireballs into a crowd of orcs. FTL seems more like a series of encounters than a full on dungeon crawl, and I'm ok with that. It actually reminds me a little of an old Win 3.1 Star Trek game I used to play way back in the day but I can't remember the name of it. Whatever.

At any rate, FTL seems pretty good on the surface, and I'm looking forward to sinking some more hours into it. I discovered an interesting aspect of Steam today, too, where it's willing to show you how much time all of your friends have spent playing a game. I have a friend with 97 hours of FTL played, and 4 more with over 30 hours played. If you consider I only have 11 Steam friends (Ziggyny is my name there) that's pretty impressive. Clearly FTL is a reasonable fun game according to my friends. It's no Civ V (398 hours, 388 hours, 267 hours...) but it's got a lot of playability.


Sky Roy said...

Check my Civ V time played... it is a wee bit abusrd.

Nick Page said...

I can't. You won't accept my friend request. 8(

Robb said...

My steam handle should be Quaznar, while we're adding people

James Shepherd said...

Wyatthaplo is my online persona and im all over the internet.