FTL

Captain’s Log
Star date unknown

My crew is dead, my ship’s systems badly damaged, and I’m out of fuel. The rebel fleet is out there, coming closer. Escape is unlikely. My mission is a failure. Tell my wife I love her.

This is the typical end in FTL, an indie game I bought from Steam over the Xmas holidays. Starting out with a ship and a three-person crew your mission is to bring critical information across the galaxy to your fleet HQ, and, if you make it that far, to defeat the rebel’s flagship.

In dozens of times playing through the game I made it to the confrontation with the rebel flagship just 3 times. And each time it defeated me. All other times i didn’t make it that far, my ship was blown to pieces in combat, or my crew died from asphyxiation, or were killed by an enemy boarding party, or burned by fires. The game is difficult even on “easy”. All your encounters are random. Your map and route are different every time you play. There’s no going back to an earlier save. You just accept what happens and move on, or you start right back at the beginning and hope things break your way this time.

The graphics are very basic, but they do what they need to do. The keys are the random element to the game, and its speed. Paying the whole way through might only take and hour or two. These factors combine to make it incredibly addictive. So tempting for me, that after over 30 hours of gaming, I had to delete the game from my system to keep from going back. After all, maybe this time would be when everything breaks right.

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