Why We Play

video games | culture | technology

(607) 279-9770

Visit the Cosmos! See Strange Worlds! Meet New Species, and Kill Them!

FTL: Faster Than Light is a difficult game. No, make that a brutally unfair punishment. No, that's not right either. FTL is challenging. So challenging that you'll rarely complete it. But you'll love every moment, even as your crew asphyxiates, fires rage across your decks, and your starship blows apart, its fragments scattered among the stars.

FTL is a sci-fi space exploration game in the genre known as Roguelike: it's got an RPG-esque progression in which you fight enemy ships, gather rewards and resources from your conquests, and upgrade your ship and crew. Every time you play, the galaxy, its inhabitants, and the events you encounter are randomized. No two play-throughs are identical.

My crew of noble Rockmen take on a Mantis scout ship

My crew of noble Rockmen take on a Mantis scout ship

The game was one of the first Kickstarter success stories; FTL developers Subset Games raised more than $200,000 in their campaign. And they put it to good use, releasing an addictive, highly replayable game that was one of my favorite games of 2013. The team is tiny, composed of just five members. But they've crafted something I'll be playing for years to come. And they've just made it even better.

Released today, FTL now includes additional content, which Subset calls FTL: Advanced Edition. Free for anyone who bought or will buy the game, this expansion adds new weapons, ships, modules, systems, and features. It's a refinement and iteration of what makes FTL great, and I've really been enjoying it.

As if that weren't enough, FTL: Advanced Edition also released today for the iPad. I bought the game again so that I can take it with me anywhere. I won't soon regret that decision, but you may when you discover how much time slips away while you're playing. You've been warned. And you're welcome.