Ok, I think I’ve found my game of the year. It may be premature to say that given there’s still an entire season left, but hey.
So, FTL. As you should already know, the acronym stands for Faster Than Light – in this context, FTL is a sci-fi “roguelike” (in that your crew will die, a lot) inspired by many of the major science fiction space series of the past few decades:
-Star Trek (overall technology, aliens, RE-ROUTE THE POWER!!!)
-Battlestar Galactica (running from an implacable enemy, constantly low on supplies)
-Firefly (overall scale of the ship/crew)
The premise: you and your crew are fleeing an advancing Rebel (!) armada, carrying vital information that must reach the remnants of your Federation’s fleet. Along the way you’ll be waylaid by rebels, hostile alien powers, pirates, and save (or not, you’re usually given a choice in the matter) friendly or neutral ships and colonists.
The experience ends up being a familiar yet thrilling one; it’s the sort of game with enough variety per run despite the single interface to generate the kinds of stories that only games that eschew cutscenes and rails can foster:
01:21 < Crusader> warped into an area of space where there was this insect race marauder ship attacking a space station
01:21 < Crusader> I intervened, but they beamed two troopers on board
01:21 < Crusader> they start rampaging through the ship so I open bulkheads to try and suffocate them while still trying to fight off their ship
01:22 < Crusader> finally destroy their ship but their soldiers are still destroying systems and crewmembers
01:22 < Crusader> finally end up with one person left who asphyxiates
It’s not just a great indie game, it’s a great game period, and I hope the developers continue to add content to it (or open it up to modding) for a while to come. I rarely personally recommend games, especially these days (due to lack of time to play anything, not because of some drop in quality), but I think you’ll be doing yourself a disservice if you skip this one.
FTL is available for purchase from the game’s website (facilitated by the Humble Bundle folks it seems).