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Generally favorable reviews- based on 1141 Ratings

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  1. Dec 9, 2012
    I want to like this game, I really, really do. But it's so frustrating that I'm not willing to take any more time to play it.

    Yes, it's a rogue like- and yes, rogue likes- are heavily dependent on randomness but FTL takes it to the extreme. I lost and lost and lost (and losing sees a restart from scratch - only the hardcore need apply); it's not even that there isn't a component of
    skill. One does need to be skilled: managing your crew, sub-systems and power takes a lot of effort whilst also pinpointing attacks on the enemy.

    But chance and the increasing difficulty curve as you venture further across the universe outweigh the skill component solidly.

    Rather save money, get a dice, roll it till a six; then declare yourself a winner. It'll be far less aggravating all 'round.
  2. Sep 18, 2012
    This is an indie game, made by two fellas like you and me, and because of that, I'll try to be as constructive as possible in this review. My rating is 2, and it's OBVIOUS that this game would deserve more. So, why do I give it only two? Well, there are a couple of reasons. A bit more actually. As someone else pointed out, this game is interesting and provides a strong "sci-fi experience". This is for the bright side. I've backed this game on Kickstarter, and I've had the chance to play it before its release. According to steam, more than 18 hours. To be honest, I must have spent the first 15 hours almost in a row, right after downloading it. The rest corresponds to a few tries I gave it from this moment until now; to see if the flaws were corrected yet. In fact, once a wave of enthusiasm has passed, the game becomes really boring : its main problem is re-playability. The experience which feels great at start becomes repetitive really rapidly. Each play-through is really not different. And the game is quite difficult, you find yourself dying all the time (this is relative to the genre, I think), which doesn't help at all about that. Indeed, the difficulty lacks a normal mode : the easy mode is damn easy, and the so called "normal" mode is kinda hard. The second complaint I have is : things are WAY too random. The fact that you flee before an entire fleet means that you don't have the leisure to explore your surroundings. As a consequence, you either are lucky enough to find some weapons, a new crew member or some good stuff; or you have bad luck and your only outcome is usually to start a new game. I could throw dice instead, I would have pretty much the same feeling. And because of the "balance" of the game, you often don't have the choice but to upgrade your shields ASAP, and pray to find good weapons soon enough. So the "freedom" upon upgrade choices isn't really there, at least if you want to survive. Your skills are very rarely involved, it's only gambling. To such extent, that after a hundred of games or so, the only new things you have are a bunch of unlocked ships which don't modify game experience that much. Same goes for the music : it's really entertaining at first, pleasing and so. And after some time, you find yourself muting it, and listening to Internet radio or so. So, even if this game is made from good ideas and obviously a lot of work, it lacks a lot of polish to reach the intended replayability. I was hoping something really different and way more satisfying. I really hope I will have to rewrite this review because the developers corrected these mistakes. Until then, that's not worth buying, really. Expand
  3. Sep 16, 2012
    This is a great roguelike, but not a fun game by any stretch. You win or lose by the flip of a coin you have no control over - you might run into a (literally) unbeatable enemy, you may or may not find the upgrades you need, etc. It is incredibly unfair and this is exactly what they were trying for - it's a great gambling sim and addictive as heck because of that. The music's nice and the graphics are decent. Once you get past the (again, intentional) unfairness, the biggest problem is that almost all combat is a tedious "click same keys over and over" thing. However, if you get boarded - and you will, a LOT if the coin flips go against you - it turns into intensive micromanagement with a UI that is not very responsive - not fun. Collapse
  4. Sep 22, 2012
    The people writing the high reviews have played the game for maximum of 2-3 hours. FTL seems fun when you first start out, but as you repeat the game over and over and over and over and over and over again you realize the entire game is rubbish because your chances of winning a particular run are controlled very minimally by you. All you do is steer the ship and click on parts of enemy ships. I had a run where I had nothing but the starter guns all the way up to the 7th sector, I explored many beacons and found nothing. The game is rogue like but fails to provide even a reasonably fair amount of random chance. Other times the game will reward you with something amazing that you can't use at the most inopportune time - one run I was given what was claimed by the game to be an amazing laser - but I had no means at all to operate this gun on my ship as I found it in the 1st sector. On another run I did great, but could not find a weapon like that laser to save my life - and was shafted by random chance. This SOUNDS like it could be fun sometimes, but after you play the game over and over you get real sick of "oh look, no weapons, oh look no new crew members" and you end up eventually running out of fuel and scrap and dying helplessly or you somehow get far then are ill-equipped for the higher powered enemy ships and die extremely quickly. The game has terrible pacing and while the mechanics operate fine, some things like the AI leave a LOT to be desired. I don't know why people feel like they must love indie games no matter how good or bad they are - if you give them false praise you're only hurting them. The game could be improved with patching, but somehow I sincerely doubt the odds the game will ever see an update - the developers got our money and have so far shown no real interest in doing much else with the game based on statements they've publicly made. For a half-working title like this I would not pay the price it's going for, $10 is too steep for a broken indie game and as gamers we should demand better quality from indie studios if we ever want them to replace corporate studios that just create more franchise games. Expand
  5. Oct 22, 2012
    This game has so much potential it could be a ton of fun, but most games are ruined by simple bad luck. In order to win you MUST get the right weapon upgrades or you are doomed, but getting them is a matter of pure luck.

    This could be resolved by re-balancing the sectors and allowing people to explore more, or making weapon drops more common. Until this is fixed I would avoid the game
    unless you want to lose or win based on pure luck. Expand
  6. Sep 20, 2012
    The single biggest factor in this game is luck. As every encounter is completely random it removes any real sort of skill or challenge from the game, or a sense of achievement to more accurate. When you do 'finish' it you realise it wasn't because you did anything in particular, but because you happened upon the right encounters. The gameplay is fun, but the sheer amount of luck in the game completely detracts from it Expand
  7. Oct 10, 2012
    A glorified waste of time which punishes any poor sap the longer he sticks around. Poorly designed, with all the addictiveness of a flash game. Steer well clear, you'll be glad you did.
  8. Dec 8, 2012
    People have far too romantic a view of games depending on the source, or having been an early supporter of the game pre-release are unwilling to look at it with a truly critical eye. As a marketing exercise it's been fantastically successful, but as a game it fails miserably. It is no better than a slot machine. Yes, there is some strategy and tactics involved that improve your odds, but they're so outweighed by random circumstance as to be virtually pointless, it's like buying two lottery tickets instead of one. It needs to be fixed and that won't happen as long as people are willing to put a smiley face on any old rubbish. Expand
  9. Oct 27, 2012
    Game is really fun when it works, but random crashes to desktop destroy this game as it is now. There is no ability to save, so when you crash to the desktop (random), then you've lost your game and need to restart. This has happened to me now two games in a row and I'm giving up. The ability to save games, or at least auto-save after every jump so you can resume after a crash would at least make this game playable while they work out the bugs. Expand
  10. Dec 24, 2012
    There is a big difference between hard and unfair, this game is unfair and not hard because the outcome of the decisions you take ,your rewards and enemies are random. It doesnt take any skill to beat the game is just having a lot of luck, every time you die because of bad luck you will have to start all over again so the game becomes boring very fast. Pirate the game,play it on normal and if you like it buy it, that way you will understand what all the negative ratings mean when they say this game purely about luck. Expand
  11. Dec 10, 2012
    I know it is a roguelike, but even on those terms it is completely and impossibly stupid. This is not Dark Souls or Ninja Gaiden, where the difficulty comes from the intense challenge to learn how to play the game right. Here the difficulty comes from the programmers laughing at you while they slap unfair situations in your face. Almost every situation is decided by pure luck, especially when you have learned to multi-task. Avoid this game at all costs, it is frustrating and pointless since the good premise and slick production conceals a game that is not fun, entertaining, rewarding or actually challenging (having good luck is not a challenge) in any way. Expand
  12. Jan 13, 2013
    In this game, you click rooms on your ship, watch timers move, and do little else. There are some reading sections, but as far as gameplay, it's a bland, uninventive game. It is extremely over-rated.
  13. Feb 4, 2013
    It is fun to explore in this space adventure, but your success is mostly random. Unlocking new ships is mostly an exercise of hoping for 3 random events to happen in succession or you finally get that one good run where your ship stays more advanced than your enemies. Then, when you beat the boss and get an advanced ship that is 10% better, then enemies get 25% harder making a negative progression. At first, the main game is hard to the point of frustration, but not too hard to discourage you. Spending a half hour running around in space only to have some elite ship come out of nowhere and kill you in 3 volleys of shots is infuriating. It wouldn’t be so bad if you could spend your “score” on permanent upgrades or be able to customize your ships with the load out you want. Score is meaningful in a skill based game but has no place here other than a consolation price when the difficulty doubles for a particular battle. If you are like me, you’ll stick with it to beat the boss by which time you’ll have seen 90% of all mission content. I thought that I’d finally have a 4/10 chance at having a good run rather than a 2/10 chance after unlocking the ship you get for killing the boss. But now, the chances seem to go down to 1/10. And then, you’d just be killing the boss again unless you are lucky enough to unlock some other ship. I suppose that’s why they made it harder (lack of a second quest). My time is valuable and I expect at least something to improve if I pour my time into it. You’ll learn what missions have a higher success rate and can make better decisions, but mostly failed missions gain you nothing. Overall you’ll feel mostly frustrated, a little helpless, and then have a few moments of triumph. Expand
  14. Jan 8, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Well, at first I was lured into this game and I enjoyed it. But after 3 weeks of games I found that it's a game based mostly on LUCK, not on skill. I made it to the last boss 9 times. All lost because I didn't have enough firepower, enough shields or enemy shots hit me all in the right rooms while mine missed 3-4 times in a row. Well, I suggest you of restarting game each time you reach 4-5 zone and you don't have the right equipment. Another font of disappointment is the random encounters. Some are matched to your strenght. Others are IMPOSSIBLE to kill. At least 4 times in a row I found 3 enemy ships with 4 (FOUR) shields. After third my missiles were gone, so the fourth killed me without any hope. Well, It's a nice game, but sometimes it seem only a loss of time. Expand
  15. Dec 31, 2012

    Okay if you like games of skill and being able to not die to sheer randomness then avoid this game. It starts off fun enough, the graphics are functional enough and easy to see what is going on, the sound is decent enough too. A brief summary of the game's plot is you're a ship from the Federation outrunning the evil Rebels and you must reach a set stage
    and confront and kill the Rebel's flagship. It has a nice sci-fi space opera feel to it but where it goes wrong, very wrong is that more or less your chance of success or failure is based on pure luck and even then when you get the Rebel's ship on it's last legs it's clear the programmers are messing with you as it suddenly fires off a load of lasers. The only way to win is pretty much get a right combination of weapons and ship upgrades that are very much luck dependent, not on your skill as a player. This sours the overall experience and yes so what if they claim it to be rogue like but really if all you want to do is die to the end boss again and again and the other stages seems pretty much repetitive after a while. At first I thought the game was fun but it became very clear it's just designed to kill you off and then becomes just repetitive. Nice ideas, sloppy end game, once beaten no real inclination to go back and play it again. Some hope for the games redemption is with mods but as the games stands on it's own merits, it is far too random to be fun. Expand
  16. Sep 30, 2013
    This is easily the worst game I've played in recent memory. Imagine fetch missions, a la WoW, set in the Space Quest universe, and lacking the tongue-in-cheek humor of that universe. This game tries to appeal to our nostalgia, but it fails on a visceral and basic level. Should you choose to waste your money, take this very basic primer on "advanced" tactics: buy a second tier weapon ASAP, target weapons first, then shields--often this is enough. In case of boarders, move your little 8 pixel crew around into a secure room, pretend that one of the pixels is Mal, and vent your 2D Firefly class ship into space.

    See? I summarized a "tactically challenging" and "textually deep" game in about 100 words, and saved you $10 to find that out. There is no challenge and no replay value. There are better games on Facebook, and you don't have to pay for them. Save your money.
  17. Jul 17, 2013
    Absolute garbage. There is so many design flaws on this game, it sure feels unfinished. Units and doors often do not respond, or the unit/door next to where you clicked responds instead of what you clicked on. The randomization routine really needs an overhaul. Just about every play through you will be shorted at least one crucial type of needed item.
  18. May 12, 2013
    The game starts off as fun, but once you peer past the curtain you quickly become annoyed/frustrated. Once you realize that every single action in the game is random, it quickly dawns on you that there's little point to playing the game. Its like solitaire, everything is pre-determined, you simply go through the actions and pray the RNG comes out in your favor. There's absolutely zero strategy involved, each turn you 'pull the level' and hope the slot machine rolls in your favor. Quite disappointing. Expand
  19. Mar 14, 2013
    The most painful aspect of this game is that there is evidence of a game hidden deep inside FTL that I really want to play. The dominant part of the gaming mechanic interferes with my ability to play the game I want to play. There are numerous random elements which have overwhelmingly powerful consequences. This is not a game you can complete with sheer determination. It seems that the developer mourns the absence of games that make us lose more frequently. Desperately wanting to play the game which I saw with my mind's eye, I applied cheats and save game editors. No matter what I tried, I was not able to find a way to have fun playing this game, hence my score. Still, if you can get a free demo, I would encourage you to try it. Evidence suggests some people enjoy this kind of gameplay. Expand
  20. May 15, 2013
    Faster Than Light is either a boring hardcore game or a casual game ruined by tremendous moments of frustration. The experience is sandwiched between a woefully inadequate starting ship that sends many straight to rage quit and a disproportionately difficult end boss. Everything in between is random, but generally simple and repetitive. The point is to keep unlocking new ships, but even that becomes tedious without a consistent map. Expand
  21. Aug 2, 2013
    Very arcade and annoying game. To bad that this crap is only about HIGH SCORE. 1/10
    1 small point for ship management.
    It is annoyind piece of troll game. Sometimes player spend hour or more and then he is killed and every progress is lost. If someone is annoyed by this here is tip. After quiting game go into profile folder in my documents and my games. Find "continue" file and copy it
    somewhere. Like into created folder. Then if you want to save just quit+save. Go into that folder, copy "continue" somewhere so if you die go to that folder and copy it to original place. Repeat that every time you want to save. Now maybe this crap will be less annoying for you. If you want to increase something then use cheat engine program. It is easy to learn. Then little fun can be taken out of that crap game. Expand
  22. Feb 13, 2013
    FTL is addictive alright, but for me that lasted about 10 hours. Even on "easy" mode, the game becomes exasperating quickly. With a little help from various tips on the web, I can get through five sectors before getting summarily clobbered by an enemy ship. Once I space-jumped into two consecutive suns (which shut down some systems and start fires) and got destroyed by the enemy (which seemed less affected). One time my oxygen room got hit by enemy fire and I couldn't repair it for some unknown reason, so all my crew died and the game ended. Every time I'm doing just fine, rolling along, then a ship more powerful than mine in some way shows up and crushes me. Easy mode should be easier than this; I should at least be able to get to the final (8th) sector before I get wasted. Also, the game offers no help or tips and you can't save it as you go. That's right, when your ship dies you have to start all over again. I, for one, have had enough. Expand
  23. Nov 10, 2013
    It's been said by the top reviews: game starts out a lot of fun, you feel that if you'd just got that shield upgrade in time you'd take on the entire galaxy, so you try again, and again, and again..

    Then it hits you: winning has very little to do with you and more to do with a RNG decreeing whether or not you get that upgrade, or the store sells the weapons you want need.

    are always the same: target weapons, disable them. Then shields. Accept surrender, proceed.

    The difficulty curve is non existent: it's not a curve, it's a series of grades you are forced to climb.
    First level, ok getting the gist of this.
    Second level: well this is getting heavy.
    Third level: "holy where did THAT come from?".
    Fourth level: "oh COME ON, how am i even supposed to fight that? Time to run away"
    AND I'm not mentioning the completely cheap three stage final boss (well, I kind of am, aren't I?)

    I ended up feeling cheated.
  24. Jul 14, 2013
    I had to make an account to finally write my first review because of this game, to warn anyone else who got lured in by all the good reviews. If you are a PC gamer that does not enjoy watching hours of your time go down the toilet because of RNG, do not play this game. It is just a glorified slot machine with a GUI, not a game. You can be the most seasoned veteran of strategy games, and still suck at it, simply because everything in the game is randomized and has a built in chance of success/failure. The "quests" you get can easily be broken on each random map, sending you to planets you can't get to because of the "rebel creep" mechanic, you can be destroyed by a much lesser ship just because they landed 2 lucky shots with OP missiles, etc. Is it fun? Sure, kinda. Will it be enormously frustrating? Absolutely. I realize it is cheap, but your wasted time is the real expense. Expand
  25. Jul 19, 2013
    Overall, FTL is worth the money. Until 22nd of July it's 5 bucks on steam, and I would suggest you try it out if you haven't. But I will say, i'm glad I did not pay more for it. FTL is simply to random and way too frustrating for the average player. And that's a shame, because the game has the potential to be very entertaining and enjoyable. But it seems the game designers, out of some misfit idea of game design or general stubborness, on purpose have made it so. A shame because most books on game design written by the professionals, will tell you to avoid exactly these frustration points, if you don't want to trow away customers. That's why I can only give it a 4.

    FTL forces you to abandon all progress you have made in a game, if you die. Be that by mistake on your own or random chance. And the game is way to random. Here's an example: On one try I entered a fight in the 2nd sector in my basic Engi ship. Then 3 rockmen beams on board, while a solar flare is erupting in the background. I have only 1 human and 2 engi (all worse than rockmen) to fight, so they loose almost by default, and in the meantime the solar flares are setting most of my ship on fire that the rockmen isn't destroying. Not really much of a chance. 10-15 min of gameplay... complete waste due to random chance. And this happens ALOT in FTL.

    The bad things about this game could have been fixed in a rather simple way. Introduce saving when out of combat for example, maybe just on easy mode but not on normal (or make a hard without it). But taking away the choice completely is not clever. Reduce/remove certain ship/encounter combinations on easy mode, corresponding to your chosen ship layout (I.e. the above example would be OK in the mantis ship, but not on a Engi ship). Oh, and introduce higher resolutions, this isn't 1990 anymore.

    It's too bad, cause as it is, FTL only makes me annoyed when playing. Succeeding 1 times out of 5 mostly because of bad luck is not good game design.
  26. Jul 21, 2013
    Frustration. If you wanna a game to get your space full loaded and shine, forget, this game is a simple one chance strategy game for you train your detachment by your items and game progress. You will die easy by chose the wrong sequence of upgrades and get a stronger enemy without any advice. You have no options for randomness enemies encounters.
  27. Feb 22, 2013
    After getting swarmed by all the hype of this game and playing it for myself, I can only call this title a mediocre experience and that's saying a lot considering how much I usually like these kind of games but at the end of the day, it had the same disappointing qualities as the latest XCOM minus the save-abuse which is replaced by mandatory "hardcore" mode frustrations instead where if you die, you die permanently and same goes if any of your crew also die. You begin by being thrown into a stringed-together series of space locations consisting of small "dots" as "locations" where random sh!t will happen, be it getting raped by some random enemy ship or just driving into some scrap (currency). And that's it. This is all that the game expands upon. A randomized stringed-together pile of event that gradually just gets harder and harder until you fail while having you abide by a timer (Invading rebel fleet "chasing" you). Looking at it now in retrospect, I guess a more fitting description for this game would be Tetris. But in space. So is it a good game? It's mediocre. Why? Because it's good enough to kill time, even if the fashion of killing this time is not very desirable which strives quite a stretch from what a GAME is supposed to be. FUN. Expand
  28. May 10, 2013
    two words. BULL Ive tried to play this game. I really have. It just is not fun in the least for me. I guess I'm missing something because everyone seems to love it but I, for the life of me can not play it. First time i played it i had my oxygen supplie taken out and a boarding party come on my ship. my entire crew was killed either by the boarding party or the lack of oxygen. second time my oxygen was taken out again and it couldnt be fixed because everyone who tried to suffocated. thrid time everyone was killed again by a boarding party. I have tried probably 30 times to squeeze any incling of enjoyment out of this game but I simply cannot do it. 0/10 Expand
  29. Apr 7, 2013
    To give a short description, this game feels like Candyland IN SPAAAACE! Fundamentally, this game feels like it was only half-built, and all the parts that should have been actual gameplay that made the game fun were replaced with completely arbitrary dice rolls. Games are short to the point of feeling abrupt and unfulfilling when you complete them, but the reason why is obvious: Once you have any halfway-decent equipment, all challenge to the game is over. Basically, the game is won or lost in the first sector, and you'll be restarting the game 10 times for every 1 time you get past the second sector. It's a game you don't so much play as have happen to you. You can screw up the game, definitely, but you can't win it through any of your own power you just have to keep restarting until the game lets you get lucky and suddenly be handed powerful weapons that let you beat the game easily, and from then on, it's just a matter of not screwing up what you have. I just wish there were more actual GAME in this game to play. Expand
  30. May 6, 2013
    A very solid concept executed very poorly. FTL takes random number generation to a whole new level, oftentimes deciding the fate of an entire playthrough based on some luck of the draw. More than a little unfair, this game is downright infuriating. There's no way around it. But despite this, FTL is not actually "difficult". In fact, it's very straightforward and simple to play, but there is such a disconnect between player action and successful execution of those actions that more often than not you'll feel like you're doing nothing at all.

    A prime example of this is weapon hit registration. On more than one occasion I have simply stared at FTL while my crew and ship tried valiantly to hit their opponent, sometimes elongating battles that should have taken a less than a minute into three or four minutes of doing nothing while all of my lasers and missiles flash a cheerful "miss" over and over. And over. And over.

    And over again.

    This terrible "enemy favored" randomness plagues literally every aspect of this game.

    Aside from this basic fundamental flaw, the game is lacking in almost every other area as well. There is a generic, half hearted "goal" that actually takes more out of the game than it puts into it. The ships, races, and weapons are all bland copy/paste sci fi with no real aesthetic customization options. I managed to beat it once and it was a wholly unsatisfying experience, both because of the general lack of story and the fact that you're rushed from system to system because of an entirely unneeded "you're being chased constantly" mechanic. You're forced through the game at a pace that doesn't allow you to explore even half of what is available to explore, oftentimes being pushed out of a system entirely unprepared and low on supplies.

    I could ramble on and on about FTL, but here's the bottom line:

    The designers here just didn't know how to make a good game. I think the few things done well in FTL are really just a blind squirrel's nut.
  31. Aug 7, 2013
    Frustrating. People are quick to point out that the game is this or that. It's a "roguelike." It's brutal. It's unforgiving of mistakes. All these are true, but what does that add up to? Pure frustration. Yes, the game is fun for a few hours, but once you realize that you can do everything right and still lose the game due to random chance, then all the novelty is gone. No matter how hard you try, the game will always decide your fate for you and without a real sense of fair play there's no point in playing the game at all. Expand
  32. Jul 13, 2013
    This game is crap. It's all random, and everything is designed to kill you. Don't get any weapons on the first two levels, you're dead. Don't find enough fuel, you're dead. Down to two crew members, you're probably dead. Enemy boards in your oxygen room, dead. Spend resources upgrading the wrong thing, dead. Don't find a store, dead. Don't upgrade enough, dead. Don't save enough, dead.

    And take note: there is NO SAVE FEATURE. You can play for two hours, feeling like FINALLY you might win EASY MODE, and then you equip the wrong weapons for the final battle and you're dead, no retry, just start the entire game over.

    A lot of random encounters waste your resources and give you nothing back. You can't upgrade your actual weapons (just hope you find more), there's very little way to repair your ship, and there's absolutely no way to stop some enemy weapons.

    The thing is, this could be really fun if they'd make it more about skill than dumb luck. (Crew members gain abilities, multiple battle strategies, each play is a little different, and there are no time sinks at all.) And I'm sure we all get tired of games that force us to memorize what enemies are where and how to beat them. But they make it just too stupid and frustrating. if you want a game that is winnable based on clever or crafty playing, don't even waste $5 on this one.
  33. Aug 7, 2013
    The game has merits but it needs to be noted that this game is intended for people that have a great deal of time to sacrifice as you could easily become attached to a ship & crew you’ve built up, only to have it completely annihilated during a random stacked encounter. This can literally fill you with anger and frustration, something adults prefer to avoid when playing games.

    important to understand that "spaceship simulation roguelike-like" means there's no saves or checkpoints, whatever time you invest can be easily wiped and you need to start from scratch simply because of bad luck.

    Pros include an enjoyable ambient sound track, an intuitive interface, a varied experience due to the random nature of the game and plenty of unlockables with achievements.

    Cons include a poor method of enhancing longevity by introducing an artificial roadblock in terms of checkpoints which really aren’t necessary what with all the unlockables and achievements the game provides.

    I’d probably rate this game considerably but the minority of diehard fans that troll anyone who innocently asks on forums how to save has soured my experience of the game and thus I’ve advised my friends to avoid it.
  34. Aug 13, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Like others here, I really enjoyed the game at parts. Unfortunately it is not quite finished, and extremely unbalanced towards the end. (spoiler alert). The endgame consists of 3 battles with the enemy mothership, however the second encounter is impossible to finish. For some reason the enemy ship will board endless times, and also extremely often, so you cannot defeat the first one before the second comes on. Also the enemies are unable to suffocate via the doors for some reason And as if that weren't enough for some reason the ship loses it's shields every 10 seconds or so, and it's impossible to stop this from happening. When developers fix this bug, I will raise score to 8. It's really annoying, because when you're defeated at the second endgame boss encounter, you realize you've wasted 10 hours of your life because of this bug. Hope this will be fixed soon. -Ursa Expand
  35. upi
    Sep 25, 2013
    It is my fault, really, for picking up this game. I guess the "running the spaceship" and "saving the galaxy" part got me confused. Or perhaps the "strategy" and "simulation" categories made me think that the actual gameplay would involve either of these. I must admit, that I missed the "rogue-like" part mentioned in passing on the steam store page. (BTW "saving the galaxy" part is the galaxy is never in peril throughout the game. It's there in all its randomness, and it's feeling just fine.)

    So please, if you do not have a deep love for the rogue-like genre, do NOT pick up this game. Being at the mercy of the random-number god for scraps (literally) will not be fun for you as it was not fun for me. The game goes out of its way to make running your starship feel static and lifeless. The scenery never changes: there's your ship on the left, there's a smaller enemy ship on the right. You wait for some bars to fill, and occasionally pause to ponder where to shoot next. The interface follows the "hover over icon if you want to understand this" principle. (Except when it doesn't, in case you want to know the systems or weapons of an enemy ship, you have to look for a similar icon on *your* ship. In case of weapons, just forget it.)

    The soundtrack starts feeling repetitive about 10 minutes in and is basically the same two tunes over and over. Ugh.

    Gameplay 2/10 (ymmv, more if you enjoy a Random Events Plot)
    Sound: 5/10 (decent quality, but very repetitive and gets boring quickly)
    Design: 3/10 (see above)
    Visuals: 3/20 (very 90's)
  36. Jul 21, 2013
    This game is good for about 4 hours of entertainment and that is about it. The game is fun until you realize how random it is and how a stroke of fate can make your playthrough impossible and you have to start over. The worst is randomly you'll move to a new location and there will be a star close by starting fires all over and at the same time a ship is attacking you along with teleporting crew onto your ship to kill you. In this situation it's basically a coinflip if you die or not, and if you do survive most of your crew will be dead and make future encounters hard to catch up. One playthrough can take about 2 hours and if you get to the final boss, even on easy, there is no doubt you will lose and have to start over.

    Though no doubt as you play more you learn to curb the randomness to a degree as the same situations come up every playthrough as there isn't that many of them. After about 2 hours you will find yourself not even reading the dialog as it's just meaningless and timewasting to read since no matter what you do, more times than not you will find yourself near a star while another ship teleports everyone over and kills your crew so it burns to a crisp.

    If you do end up liking the game, first piece of advice is get blast doors so enemy crew has to break down doors and fires can't spread as easily. 2nd, get as much crew as possible since they will mostly be dying due to random encounter choices or having 5 seconds worth of life bars. 3rd, get lucky enough to find a weapon that shoots 3 or 4 shots consecutively, otherwise you will never be able to kill the ships that have 3 or 4 shields.

    All in all, it's good until your get bogged down with the random constant deaths and realize that if you decide to exit the game without saving, you will start from the beginning again..
  37. Apr 12, 2014
    A very boring game that is difficult to enjoy. It is filled with many circumstances that ruin your game, simply to force you to keep playing their game as it is near impossible to beat. I would recommend not wasting your time with this "indie" piece of garbage.
  38. Jun 14, 2014
    Combine shallow, difficult, and (totally)random game-play with weak graphics and little to no story and you have FTL. FTL is one of the most over rated games to come out in the last few years. The game draws you in at first until you realize that sooner or later the random generator will get you and then you have to start again from the beginning. Winning or losing via a toss of a coin or roll of a dice does not make a good game. There are _many_ better made games out there that are actually fun to play. Expand
  39. Jun 21, 2014
    Reposted because of steams one-sided review system.

    Gameplay: You play in a top down view of your ship as you jump to different star systems to warn your Federation of a Rebel invasion fleet. From here you control your crew to man stations, you fire weapons, repair systems, manage power output, defend against boarding parties, and can even have boarding parties of your own.
    If you like
    games where the majority of the events are determine by the RNG, you'll love FTL.
    Resources, rewards, events, maps, enemy encounters, shop location, shop items for sale are all determined by the RNG. After playing for 34 hours I have determined that very little is left up to player control.
    You may have a run where you get tons of resources and upgrades gifted to you, or where you're left a pauper scrounging for scrap to repair your ship. Standard fair if you've played Binding of Isaac.
    The biggest issue I have with this game is that it takes control away from the player.
    Binding of Isaac you took direct control of Isaac and had to aim your shot manually.
    Combat in FTL is largely turn-based where you sit around waiting for your weapons to charge.
    After that you target a system on the enemy ship and fire. It's up the RNG whether your shot will hit or miss. If you have transporters you can get guarenteed shots by porting crewman into their cockpit to attack their pilot so there is a way to mitigate this.
    But the word is "IF"
    If you had the scrap, if you found the shop, if the item in question was for sale.
    That is the one thing that every "strategy guide" fails to mention is that all encounters, loot, etc is determined by the game.
    Many [strike]fanboys[/strike] fans of the game will argue it's skill based rather than luck.
    Please don't be fooled.
    Every strategy I've seen on FTL fails to mention that pulling it off is contingent on HAVING the right gear for it. If the game doesn't give it to you during an encounter or for sale in a shop, you can't do it.
    Other useful "protips" include not repairing your ship to full health, juggling power between systems rather than spending money to upgrade your reactor to save money for future upgrades.
    Both those "strategies" are going under the assumption that you will run across a mission that will result in free hull repairs, or free system upgrades. (Which can happen)
    CAN happen doesn't mean it will. If you happen to run into an enemy ship that gets a few lucky shots it could kill you. What they're doing is playing the odds, but a card-counter can still lose.

    FTL's most impressive accomplishment is the psychology based around it.
    The gameplay is tedious and repetive, but addictive. This is accomplished by rewarding the player at random intervals with scrap, weapons, new crewman. Sometimes just for jumping into a system.
    By bestowing these rewards upon the player, it encourages the player to continue pumping in hours of their life into the game. If you're having a good run you're motivated by greed and a sense of empowerment. "I want more weapons more scrap, give me MOAR!! I am invincible! HAHAHA!"
    If you're having a bad run you're motivated by hope and desperation. "Just have to make it to a shop to repair. I can do it. Maybe this the next system."
    The point being to get the player to get sooo close to victory or even die based on bad luck so you’ll run it back.
    Regardless of whether you're having the most amazing run ever, the final boss can still curb-stomp you into the dirt with just a few well placed shots.
    I had one fight where the Rebel Flagship couldn't hit the broad side of a barn and every shot that did connect would hit systemless rooms.
    On the other hand I had encounters where I couldn't hit the Rebel Flagship to save my life and everyone of their shots seemed to hit just the right system at just the right moment.
    There are intances where the boss fight will rage on and it feels like you're both on equal ground, or somethings his first volley will cripple every system you have and you'll die in mere minutes.
    FTL is a game where you can do everything right and still lose.
    That's not a game. Not a good game anyway.
    In FTL you win or lose based on the randomness of the enemy AI and everything that followed before that.
    It's not skill when you defeat an opponent who spent the entire fight teleporting bombs into systemless rooms.
    And it's not a lack of skill if you lost because you all your shots missed thanks to the RNG.
    It's luck, plain and simple.
    If this review keeps one person from buying this travesty I've done my job.
    FTL is more roulette than space simulator. Avoid.
  40. Jul 13, 2013
    Take a bit of roguelike, mix in some sci-fi and a dash of completely unfair game mechanics and you have Faster then Light.

    The game's set up is completely randomized, so much so to the point that it's completely unfair. It's quite possible to start a brand new game and die in a matter of moves, not because you are being stupid, not because you are a bad gamer, but simply because that's
    how the game generated.

    I have already encountered completely decked out prison ships or bounty hunters and all over manner of enemies that I would never have a chance against.

    The game uses the term "roguelike" as an excuse for it's excessive amount of difficulty, but the reality is most roguelike games, allow you to build up in order to face new challenges. You won't encounter a God on the first floor, you won't encounter a level 20 Beholder on the first floor, because most roguelikes understand that you need to be given a little bit of time to breath and grow, unlike Faster then Light..

    If you want a completely unfair, unbalanced game, because the developers didn't have enough foresight to actually have some sort of checks and balances in place, then be my guest, for the rest of us, avoid at all costs.
  41. Dec 12, 2013
    Very mixed feelings about this game. On the one hand it's a great example of what indie games can achieve with just 2 developers. The general idea is good. GFX are "old school", but that's certainly not a problem in itself (I like retro gaming in general) and has zero bearing on my score.

    On the other, as others have said, the mechanics are more about luck or "dice throwing" than skill
    or strategy. It's not "hard" in the positive sense of "if you make a mistake you can learn from it and improve", it's hard in the tedious sense of "what a random number generator decides no matter how well you play". When you get "dealt a bad hand" something like 14 times in a row (happened to me) right from the start and there's no manual save, the game gets very tedious very quickly. And playing games should be about enjoying them, not killing off all enthusiasm during the first couple of hours.

    The game also crashed twice, which further underlies the need for a manual save/load, as after the second crash, I just couldn't be bothered to replay it all after losing all progress through no fault of my own. If the game had a better balance between skill & luck (say 75% skill, 25% luck) it would be really good, but right now it's almost 10% skill, 90% luck, which greatly detracts from the gameplay.
  42. Jul 20, 2013
    My friend liked this game and I decided to check it out. It reminded me a lot of those java games where you have to fill an order in a cafe or a burger place. In fact I've played better java games with similar settings. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. This game has no depth. On the other hand if you want a really simple game with absolutely nothing more to offer to you than what you're given at minute 1, then be my guest. Expand
  43. Apr 11, 2014
    First I want to begin by saying that I really wanted to love this game, however after playing though for many many hours I can say with confidence that this game is completely luck based. If you wanted a space exploration game based on skill and cunning look elsewhere. I was able to beat the game on one of my first five playthroughs, ever since then I have not been able to beat the game once! I have been playing the game for months now and I just give up. I hope they patch the game to make it more fair soon, because I like the mechanics of the game and would love to play a fair version of it. Expand
  44. Aug 19, 2014
    I'd like this to be formally renamed to FTL: **** than XCOM.
    Now that it's out of the way, let me explain why. The game is about 95% luck based. I think the only real skill is knowing when to restart because your luck ran out. I spent about 5 hours playing consecutively, and I only made it to the 8th sector once. Most of the time, it was because I would find a ship with 3 layer shields in
    the 1st sector, or all 3 of my crew would die in a single event, etc. Games like these need to understand that relying solely on luck make a game bad. You can have something like XCOM which incorporates luck into skill-based gameplay, but when your entire game is a living random number generator, you know you have a **** game. See: FTL. I wanted to like the game. Arguably, the most fun part is boarding. But, until you unlock ships that start with the capability of boarding enemy ships (Which can only be unlocked if you get LUCKY enough to find the sector the RANDOMLY placed event is in. Emphasis on the luck part. There is NO WAY that involves the slightest amount of skill or understanding of the game.), you have to be LUCKY enough to stumble across enough scrap, and then lucky enough to find a shopkeeper who will sell the teleporter bay, letting you board. Oh yeah, and you'll need to be lucky enough to find a suitable crew for boarding.
    If you couldn't tell my by obvious subtlety, let me give you a metaphor on how you win or lose. A computer rolls a 24 sided dice. If it lands on 20, you win. Anything else, you lose. If you try to roll the dice yourself for better odds, the computer burns your house down. If you're a person with a lot of luck, and you just won the lottery, go buy a car. Don't waste your time on this game. Even at 10 dollars, it was a pathetic waste of money.
    This is the constructive part of the review. The game has a nice way of telling you what happens, albeit a lazy one. You get a text box. But, the text box is charming, and less generic than the game is. So, 1/10. Other than that, dog **** Your entire experience is based around a random number generator. It's like if a game took the worst part of a strategy game, combined it with the worst part of an mmo (grinding), and then combined it with the worst part of Dungeons and Dragons (Random, uncontrollable outcomes), an then had it brained on the wall, you'd get FTL.
    Don't pick this game up. Ever. It's abysmal. And this is coming from someone who LOVED the luck-based part of XCOM. My only hope is that I'll be able to obtain a ship that lets me board from the beginning of the game (Because boarding yields more scrap, meaning more upgrades, meaning an easier time. It also triples the chance of recovering a ship augmentation, a potential crewmate, a weapon or a quest trigger), and until the unlocks are based less around throwing a dice at a speeding train, I'm not going to bother. Even the combat, the ONLY part that requires skill comes off as half-assed and generic. The starting ship has a gaping weakness to missiles, as enemy weapons charge 50% faster than yours, meaning they ALWAYS get off a first shot. If a missile hits your shields, it takes you 50% longer to repair it than the enemy ships, meaning that you might as well restart, because you're boned.
    TL:DR; A game that is only luck, with generic combat, and NO progressive rewards. So, nothing ever gets easier. There is no progression. There is no real plot. It's 3 words. "Run from rebels". There is no GAME. Just a number generator. And that is why FTL: Rapist's Delight is one of the worst "games" of the decade. It's definitely the worst strategy game.
  45. Jun 28, 2014
    This 'game' is not even worth playing unless you have a thing for either A) Modding files and making things easier, B) having the luck of a dozen leprechauns or C) enjoy failure. The game is mind-blowing difficult, requiring a restart from square one. No second chances or back-up saves. The difficulty starts out well for the first few sectors, but then it jumps to near-impossibility, even on easy mode. I would have liked an option to turn the perma-death off, but until the producers add in an option to respawn at, say, the start of you current sector, I'm not wasting any more of my life on this game. Expand
  46. Sep 16, 2012
    This is a great roguelike, but not a fun game by any stretch. You win or lose by the flip of a coin you have no control over - you might run into a (literally) unbeatable enemy, you may or may not find the upgrades you need, etc. It is incredibly unfair and this is exactly what they were trying for - it's a great gambling sim and addictive as heck because of that. The music's nice and the graphics are decent. Once you get past the (again, intentional) unfairness, the biggest problem is that almost all combat is a tedious "click same keys over and over" thing. However, if you get boarded - and you will, a LOT if the coin flips go against you - it turns into intensive micromanagement with a UI that is not very responsive - not fun. Collapse

Generally favorable reviews - based on 42 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 41 out of 42
  2. Negative: 0 out of 42
  1. May 27, 2013
    Fulfill a sci-fi fantasy by becoming the Captain of your own starship! Don't expect great graphics, but do except to lose many hours to FTL and expect to lose your ship ... a lot.
  2. 85
    Kickstarter has accomplished its mission in this one, giving the opportunity to an original, non-mainstream title to go public and meet its well-deserved success. Especially for sci-fi fans, it’s a no-brainer; buy this game at once and live the life of a courageous pilot that only has one mission: survival. [November 2012]
  3. Nov 24, 2012
    Quotation forthcoming.