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Game Review: FTL - Faster Than Light

Updated on April 20, 2014

Game Review Stats

Play Mechanics
System Mechanics
Who cares?


Faster than Light (FTL) has something to offer most gamers. Whether you grew up with 1st-gen consoles or wouldn't even recognize what they were if someone named some, this game is great.

Great for a casual evening of gaming, but also great for some hardcore, get-into-the-details, challenging, unforgiving game grinding.

The micro-managing can truly allow you to re-live nostalgic RTS experiences or give you new ones for years to come.

Play Mechanics

Rating: 10.0

Fun and challenging; easy to play but deeper diving needed to really become an expert.

No saves/checkpoints and nothing but your own brain carries on to your next attempt. This really is a throwback to old arcade gaming. However, with less of the rip-your-hair-out game features/designs that are really just poorly implemented due to limited engine capabilities rather than built-in challenges to push the player.

You can pause so it doesn't become an Actions per Minute (APM) grind and you can really think out your strategy. Of course, you're still at the mercy of the clock.

The many decisions you have to make are difficult, risky, and full of consequences. You can die at any time, but the struggle of survival has never felt so great!

Simple yet complicated. Outdated graphics, yet beautifully designed. You will be happy with out this game plays.

System Mechanics

Rating: 7.0
The core is definitely gameplay, not grinding. This isn't your typical "let's shove RPG mechanics into everything" game. While I often like that (and it seems so do many people) it works not having it in FTL.

Because the gameplay is so enjoyable, the system mechanics seem to matter less. However, there are in-game achievements and a not-too-shabby system of unlockable ships/ship layouts.

The unlockables aren't easy or fast normally, but of course, neither is the game. (Maybe try Easy mode?)

However, each different ship or ship layout will significant alter the strategy of the game which keeps things entertaining for more time. It will force you to do new things that before you may not have been comfortable trying out. (Especially if you're 1 hour in and you've already learned that 1 mistake can often mean game-over)

Overall, the system mechanics work just as the gameplay; simple yet complicated. For that I still give it a relatively high score of 7.

FTL Gameplay

This video will show you the basics in gameplay, start talking strategy, and of course let you see the struggles to be faced.

Although if you're willing to watch all 40 minutes of this video... just buy the game and try it yourself.


Rating: Who Cares?
It's how you use it?

The graphics really aren't special in any way. They aren't high-res textures, state-of-the-art lighting techniques, or even crappy graphics with a plethora of particle effects to make it look nicer.

Simple put, the game looks exactly as it needs to. It's clean and well designed. It's not winning and art awards but it knows it doesn't need to, and doesn't want to.

Any more emphasis on graphics would directly take away from what makes this game great.

Gamer Poll

Are games nowadays too nice/forgiving?

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Rating: 9.0
Not breaking your bank at all, plus Steam offers regular discounts.

For a base price of $10, or whatever crazy discount Steam is offering, this game packs more entertainment value than many AAA $60 box release that may only last 8 hours. Definitely a good deal even at full price. And an amazing deal during a sale.

Grab it, enjoy it. You won't regret it.


Overall: 9.0

Great fun for many types of gamers (Just check Steam top 100....) and for the price how can anyone complain. It can bring nostalgic RTS feelings and create a little catharsis. It's a great throwback to classic gaming while still pulling from contemporary game design concepts to combine into a unique experience any game aficionado should have.


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