Mobile Week Day 3: How is FTL: Faster than Light on a mobile?
Game: FTL: Faster than Light
FTL: Faster than Light is a game that was originally released on PC and Mac and was eventually ported to iPad. The iPad version includes all the Advanced Edition content, and is basically the same game as the PC, but it is a brilliant port.
I’d held off buying FTL: Faster than Light on PC because I thought that one day, it would come to iPad, and it would be much better with a touch interface. This is true.
FTL: Faster than Light is a top-down pixel-art game that places you in charge of a group of people (including aliens and robots) on a ship as you attempt to get the Rebellion’s plans back to the Empire. To do this you have to pilot through 8 systems, each with a large number of planets. You have to avoid the Rebels, Pirates and other nasty folk in the attempt to get back to the Empire.
I should probably mention here that the game is a strategy, one that merges real-time and turn-based. Actions typically happen in real time, but you can pause the action at any time to select items and weapons to fire, which is nice. The game revolves around a series of random events, the majority of which will be fights, occurring on each planet in each system. Through these events, new characters, weapons, credits, and fuel can be picked up.
Battles occur most of the time on planets, and they involve choosing a weapon to fire and then tapping a room on the other ship to fire to. These weapons can damage said rooms, meaning that strategic planning can cause their shields to fail first, then their weapons, then their piloting system, and so on, until the ship runs out of health and blows up.
Of course, this happens while you have to manage your own ship, which involves repairing rooms that get hit by the enemy’s weapons so that your weapons can keep firing. This means that you have to rotate crew members around, and more intense moments happen when vital rooms, such as the oxygen room, become damaged because then your crew will start to loss health from the lack of oxygen. Weapons can also cause fires, which also suck the oxygen out of rooms, and there are two ways of dealing with fires: opening airlocks to the room to create a vacuum that puts the fire out, or sending crew members in to fire fight the fire, but this will cause the crew member to lose health.
All this juggling means that new players will fail. A lot. You will die many, many times while playing this game, but at the same time, you develop new tactics, new ways of playing, and you become better. I haven’t even finished the game, but its still a great game, and really suited to the touch interface.
Of course, that isn’t to say that the game isn’t without its flaws. The game is very hard, and it can be difficult to know what to do, or how to do some things. But it is a learning experience, and once you figure everything out, it does become good fun.
- Good Mechanics
- Good Port and Controls
- Randomly Generated means lots of stories
- Suited to the touch-screen
- Very, Very, Very, Difficult