We have seen a lot of games on the kickstarter platform, but only few of them may be described as absolute success. Faster Than Light (FTL) is surely one of them. FTL is a space adventure game with rogue element in it. You are playing for the space ship and your ultimate goal is to survive. So why is this game so addictive? Why do you want to replay this game over and over again?
That means each time you play a game you have a different level map and different events. Games of this genre also include permanent death. When you die, you can’t load checkpoint and you should start from the beginning. Only the fact that FTL is a roguelike game means that this game has a replay value.
Absense of dominant strategy
Each time you play the game, you should adapt your strategy to the stuff the game gives you. Different crew members, different weapons, different shops and even different amount of scrap (in game money) you are gathering through the game session. All this makes you think over your strategy each play-through.
The battle of the space ships plays a big role in the overall game process. If such a big part of a game is repetitive or just isn’t fun then you have a problem. How to avoid this? The answer is variety. FTL on the whole has a lot of enemy ship types. Each type of enemy ship has different loadout and a different crew on it. Your own ship evolves though the game session. All of this changes your battle strategy. It’s very hard to be tired of battle in FTL.
FTL has an enormous amount of text dilemmas. Each dilemma has a big amount of possible choices and consequences. Moreover part of the choices is hidden before you equip a certain weapon, gain a certain crew member type or buy some parts for your ship. It is interesting and fascinating to explore this big world.
Content unlock probably the most run-of-the-mill way to ensure replay value in your game. But even here FTL succeeds. The game has nine different ships on a player side. Each ship has 2 different layouts. To unlock a new ship you should complete a nontrivial task. But when you suddenly complete the challenge and get a new ship, you can experience the game in a new different way.
I do not mention Achievements as a major way to ensure a replay value. A faceless badge doesn’t impact the experience of a player. It’s just a badge with no meaning at all.
FTL is one of the greatest game over the last years. And for those who like such kind of games, for the mid-core audience, FTL would be a perfect game to spend time. And for me personally FTL is one of the best roguelike games I have ever played. I’ve invested a lot of time in it and will never regret it.