Indie Game Review: Faster Than Light
Last Updated on Friday, 14 September 2012 02:47 Written by JCWaitWat Friday, 14 September 2012 03:00
The beauty of indie games is that they can be enjoyable but in essence be very basic. Think about Pac Man or Pong, both iconic games but dreadfully straight forward. However what happens when an indie game starts to get more complex, more intricate. Well Subset Games’ Faster Than Light (FTL) is exactly that. At the core of it you move from stage to stage in your space ship fighting enemies. However, when you have to control all the inner workings of the ship, from the engines to the shield, you get an entirely different game.
The two man, Kickstarted project was successfully funded back in April with a total pledge of $200,543. The game itself has you explore the depths of the galaxy in your spaceship the Kestrel with your trusty crew. While you explore each location of the multiple stages you can encounter either enemy ships, allies or loot. Similarly, the varied environments make sure that each new location is interesting as it is dangerous. The most commendable feature of this game has to be by the insistences where you have to protect your ship. These brief but intense encounters are quite predictable initially as, if you spend the upgrade points wisely, you can easily dominate. However, when you are dealing with an enemy better or equal than you this truly become a game of skill, choosing which part of the enemy ship to attack, dealing with fires on board and so on.
While the encounters are brief at best, because of the numerous locations that be explored a fight is never to far away. And even in those tragic moments as you watch your ship disintegrate, you feel compelled to go back, start again and avenge your deceased crew members. Other wining aspects of the game include the ability to make decisions- whether to fight or flee, to help or to ignore-, its retro aesthetic and the charming electro-pop soundtrack.
While Faster Than Light lacks a gripping story (or any real story at all), its classic arcade feel and look combined with its simple yet exciting gameplay will ensure that you will be exploring the depths of space for some considerable time.