Conclusion: Concept: Build a ship and crew as you flee across the cosmos, fighting enemy starships as you go
Graphics: The art is simple, and the U.I. capably presents much-needed info
Sound: The music and sound effects match the classic sci-fi staples to which the game pays homage
Playability: Smartly implemented touch controls, but little in the way of tutorials.
Pros: Tough as nails difficult level that earns the right to be difficult through respect for the player. A slew of play options and styles that take days an days to really mine. An ethos that rewards creative thinking by making divergent strategies truly possible. Immense care and attention paid to sci-fi tropes both narratively and mechanically. Absorbing soundtrack.
Cons: Mass of clicks and right clicks necessary sometimes feel unintuitively implemented. Virtually no tolerance of disorganization or patient decision making. A lack of cohesion between otherwise well themed story beats.
Excerpt: I’m going to do something new here. I’m going to be the first games journalist in the world to write a review of FTL without my first paragraph being an ‘in-game’ story about my adventures in space.
Pros: Engrossing space fun, Enjoyable space combat
Excerpt: FTL boldly attempts to recreate space opera’s harder, procedural edge in miniature. If you recall the most electrifying space battles from Star Trek, with all the split-second crew-boarding, power-system-rerouting, and sensor-jamming, you’ll get precisely what it’s going for. As an early Kickstarter success story, this painstakingly-wrought product of a two-person team is cruising on high expectations. Does it soar through the stars, or flounder on dead engines?
Excerpt: Battles between spaceships are pretty common in the video game industry. Not as common as Zombies, sure, but they're not too hard to find. Scroll to the side and destroy the enemy as quickly as possible with plentiful lasers and missiles is usually the drill. Far less common are games that force you to think not only about killing your enemies but dealing with all the dangers that come with fighting in space, like enclosed quarters and the possibility of hull breach.
Excerpt: Just when we'd decided that CD burners had become boring in their old age, the innovative Yamaha CRW-F1 puts a new spin on the market. In addition to unprecedented performance, this CD rewriter can etch graphics and text onto the surface of CD-R media. The CRW-F1 offers a whopping 8MB buffer and true CAV (constant angular velocity) operation.
Conclusion: Fortunately, the game stays interesting through the randomly generated galaxy and by offering new ships to campaign with. For some reason you will still find yourself going back for more, albeit in smaller, more sporadic doses. Eventually you may even win a campaign, and in doing so rediscover that initial excitement. While being far from perfect, FTL remains entertaining for those able to shrug off many, many defeats.