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Games : Highly Recommended
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Release Date: April 3rd, 2014 Movie Release Year: 2014

FTL: Advanced Edition

Overview -

Hold your butts, faster than light travel just got better. Subset Games initially released 'FTL: Faster Than Light' in 2012 after a successful Kickstarter drive and immediately captured the attention of every 'Star Trek' dreamer with an eye for creative indie games. Would-be Jean-Luc Picards emerged from the shadows to lead their ship through space, cutting power to the life support and beaming crew members into harm's way in a quest to save the federation. 'FTL' is not your typical space-sim. The original game was a challenging roguelike from the top-down point of view, asking that you manage your crew members and ship's systems as you battled one enemy after another, each more difficult than the last. Progress-wiping death, as in any roguelike, is expected as you encounter a randomly generated assortment of enemies and events while you jump across space. You learn, maybe unlock a few things, and go again.

The 'Advanced Edition' layers on the additions, ranging from new ships, weapons, and augmentations to an entirely new species. With so much new content, it's important to recall the original's game balance, which while enormously challenging, towed a very careful line between acceptably difficult and downright frustrating. More important than simply packing in the goodies, the update needs to maintain that balance.

Highly Recommended
Rating Breakdown
Tech Specs & Release Details
Video Resolution/Codec:
1280 x 720
Release Date:
April 3rd, 2014

Video Review


What visual upgrades come to 'FTL' in the update aren't that of style or fidelity. It's never been a breathtakingly visual experience. Instead, Subset Games chose to pick out some pragmatic upgrades, such as icons used to represent fuel, drones and missiles on offer during any given event instead of text. The UI now actively lights up as crew members improve skills. The map screen has also seen some slight improvement, but nothing too drastic.

Most notably, crew sprites now vary in color, while the Lanius themselves bring a similar alien nobility as the mysterious Crystal species. Their ships are angular and futuristic, even in a game about space travel. Importantly, they fit, visually, into the 'FTL' universe while still feeling new.

Audio Review


Far more impactful than the slight visual alterations are the brand new tracks guiding you through 'FTL.' The four of them, to be exact, have been composed with the confidence of someone who knows this time around that people are going to listen, which is to say they come across with more personality and less subtlety. Ben Prunty is that composer, and he's continued to do a fine job of setting the stark and desperate tone of seemingly endless space.

The rest of the game's sound design remains as stout and usefully informing as ever, whether it is sucking sound or an oxygen depleting hull breach, or single pulse of ion weapon.

Final Thoughts

The game hasn't been broken, only improved, and to improve upon something already so great is a multilayered achievement in itself. Subset Games throws this freebie at us like it's nothing (well, except as a possible way to promote the iPad version), and we should do nothing less than consume it.

'FTL' is one of the best Roguelikes among a small era of Roguelikes, a genre which in turn is meant to be played over and over again. Unfortunately, the 'Advanced Edition' hasn't availed my tragic ailment, and thus I remain thoroughly addicted. Everything new is a compounding of that addiction. I am forever lost in a quest to save the Federation.