FTL is a top-down real-time strategy game created by an indie developer. The player controls a single spacecraft and its crew, which holds critical information to be delivered to an allied fleet eight sectors away. The ship is chased by a rebel fleet and has to jump from location to location while trying to stay ahead of them, all the while recruiting new crew, fighting other ships, getting new weapons, upgrading the ship and keeping up with the fuel demand. Combat takes place in real time and if the ship is destroyed (or the crew lost) the game ends in permadeath, needing the player to restart the game completely.
- Release date:
- September 14, 2012
How to play FTL: Faster Than Light
Difficult. While the game does contain a colour-blind mode and the option of adjusting the screen-size, for people with visual disabilities that go beyond that this game doesn’t really work. The letter types used could be a lot better and the contrasts between letters are good in some places but not good at all at others. The biggest problem of this game however lies in the fact that the player needs to visually pay attention to many things and factors at the same time (most of these things being very small on the screen). There is always the option for the player to pause the game and take their time in checking everything if they can, but they would have to do this many, many times and in this game being capable of getting a quick overview of the whole is important. Even if, with the pause function, it isn’t completely impossible for people who can get the information displayed if they are given time, it would leave the game very tiring and not much fun at all.
Outside of the soundtrack and the basic sound effects if something is hit, this game contains warning sounds/alarms. While it is visible on the screen that something is in a critical mode, the game contains so many factors the player has to keep track of that even if the problem is still visible, the warning sound is actually something fairly important. The game contains the option of adjusting the balance of sounds and background music which might make it still noticeable. Some other events also contain important sounds, like if there is a fire or if there is a breach somewhere. Usually the player can see this happening but the game contains the possibility that the ‘camera’s will fail’. In which case the player cannot see what is happening in most of their ship. In these cases the sounds of these events are the only thing the player has to check if there is still a fire somewhere.
The game is played with both keyboard and mouse but many of the mouse functions can be done through shortcut keys instead and all of the keyboard functions (besides pausing) can be done through the mouse. The pausing function is also very important in this game’s motoric accessibility. While the fights between ships are done in real time, the player can still pause at any time in order to change their orders & actions or give new ones. If the player has problems with controlling their input of strategies, they can simply keep the game paused until they have corrected it. This can be done at any time. Overall, for a game with so many options for input the motoric accessibility is fairly well done.
Not to be recommended to anyone with more than a slight cognitive disability unless this disability is such that it doesn’t influences the players ability with numbers and the ability to keep track of multiple factors. Being able to read English is also a must. The game does have easy/normal/hard modes but these mainly influence the rewards, challenges and the opportunities to go ‘game over’. In the end the player still has to be able to use the same game mechanics with every difficulty.
The game does contains a fairly strong tutorial from the main menu that the player can return to at any time. Random explanations also come up when the player comes across something new and when hovering over any of the ‘factor icons’ during the game small boxes with explanations pop up. That said, the game contains plenty of explanations, it is just that there is so very much to explain that has to be learned all at once in order to play.