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FTL: Faster Than Light, a roguelike RTS

Basically, this game is about you controlling a spacecraft that’s capable of traveling faster than light, therefore, the name: FTL: Faster Than Light. It’s an RTS with roguelike elements, released in 2012 by Subset Games.

Plot

The spaceship you’re controlling belongs to the Galactic Federation, which is on the verge of collapsing after a devastating loss in a war against an exclusively human and xenophobic rebel faction.

The crew of the spacecraft intercepts a data package from the rebel fleet containing info that could throw the rebels into disarray and thus ensure the victory for the Federation. Your goal is to reach Federation HQ, that is distanced several space sectors away while also avoiding hostile ships. The final sector ends with a battle against the Rebel Flagship.

The Unique Gameplay of FTL

At the start of the gameplay, you choose a spacecraft with several specific systems areas (Piloting, Engines, Weapons, Life Support, etc.) and a crew. The eight space sectors are randomly generated. You then must jump the ship into light speed between the waypoints in these sectors. The ship accumulates currency, crew members, ship enhancements.

You can revisit waypoints, but each warp jump consumes fuel and causes the rebel fleet to advance in each sector, and therefore take over more beacons. Once a beacon is taken over, when you jump to that specific beacon, you will encounter a rebel cruiser.

FTL: Faster Than Light Gameplay
FTL: Faster Than Light Gameplay

As the game progresses, encounters are more and more dangerous, but give better rewards.

There are 8 races of species in FTL:

  • Humans
  • Engi
  • Zoltan
  • Mantis
  • Rock
  • Slug
  • Lanius
  • Crystal

The races can be both acquired by the player, and fought against on the enemy ship. Each race has unique strengths and weaknesses. For example, the Rock race is more resistant to damage and fire, but is slower than other races.

Combat

In combat, you can manage the systems on the ship by distributing energy, order crew members to fight in specific rooms or repair damage, and fire weapons at the rebel ships. Successful weapon strikes cause damage, while also disabling some of the ship’s systems. A ship is destroyed once its hull points and reduced to zero, or defeated once the crew is dead. When you achieve victory, you earn resources for bartering, upgrading, or combat.

You may also avoid combat if you choose to. To do this, you jump to another waypoint after your ship’s engines are fully charged.

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