You start off in a warehouse choosing a ship, difficulty and naming your crew. Setting off you come across a usually empty system while a H.U.D appears over your screen, displaying Scrap, Fuel, Hull Strength, FTL Jump, Missiles, Drone Parts, your ship’s upgrade system button and most importantly systems and power distribution and of course your ship in the centre.
You have several different systems and subsystems to control and distribute power to making the game considerably more tactical when you must make sure that you have the best possible defence, attack and fallback techniques. Then you will see the big yellow jump button at the top of the screen, pressing it will take you to a STARMAP!
Anyway, excitement aside, you see on the starmap several “Beacons” which will take you to a point on this map from which to navigate from. At any one of these beacons there could be a multitude of things from enemy ships to wise old men but let us focus on the enemies. When you meet them, the enemy ship will appear on the right of the screen and with your sensors upgraded you can see inside the ship. However, as they aren’t when you begin you can only see the systems they have – usually a cockpit, weapons, shields and some empty rooms.
Then, you use your weapons to select targets to prioritize over and to eliminate first while making sure you have enough power and ammo for your weapons while keeping your shields and your oxygen going.
The best way to deal with lack of power is to upgrade your ship via the “Ship” Button at the top of your screen giving you various options and the like – this is starting to sound like a walkthrough rather than a review now isn’t it! To be honest, that’s the beauty of the game in that it is totally random so you can’t really describe the scenarios but you have to choose wisely…
The game takes your previous choices into account and it may also throw seemingly the same scenario at you several times in one game with totally different outcomes which is a mixed bag really, as you want to have a bit of randomness and unpredictability in a game but you don’t really want to do the same thing again and again.
I really enjoyed FTL, with its brilliant music, old graphic style, unpredictability and the sheer hours of addicting gameplay you can get out of it. 4.5/5
You can get FTL off FTLgame.com and Steam (of course!) for 10 USD.