Title: FTL (Faster than Light) Advanced Edition
Developer: Subset Games
Publisher: Subset Games
Genre(s): Top down strategy, roguelike
Platform(s): Windows, Linux, OS X, iOS
Ever since I saw the trailer of FTL and a few videos of people playing it, I knew the game was made for touch devices (whether intentionally or not). After FTL was finally available on Steam, even doing the tutorial made me wonder why this wasn’t on iPad in the first place. Barring my annoyances with it not being on iPad at launch, FTL is a phenomenal game. There’s a reason it has won tons of awards.
For those unaware, FTL is a spaceship simulation game with rogue-like elements. While most space themed games resort to just destroying other ships, FTL adds an insane amount of depth. You don’t just worry about destroying an enemy. Your main aim in FTL is to get your important data to the Federation headquarters in one piece. You are on your toes at all times making important decisions to reroute power or extinguish fires in rooms on your ship among other things. Nothing is certain in FTL which is what makes it amazing. One small wrong decision and you’re journey is over.
I was more excited for the launch of FTL on iPad than I was for XCOM: Enemy Unknown on iOS. That port was phenomenal but FTL takes it to a whole other level. The interface has been streamlined to work better with larger touch targets and touch and drag to navigate some sections. Since the interface is fully touch based, the game feels slightly less forgiving in the insane sections where way too much is going on at once. If you’ve played World of Goo on iPad after playing it on PC, you will know what I mean. Even for someone used to playing this with a mouse and keyboard, being able to tap and swipe to control makes so much more sense. The iPad version is the definitive version of the game.
FTL: Advanced Edition (henceforth FTL:AE) is a free update to the original game and there in the first iPad version. It adds new systems and subsystems and changes a few things but before you luddites raise your pitchforks, you can still play the basic FTL game after the update or on iPad. One of the notable additions barring new layouts to ships as an option is The Lanius. They are scavengers and they drain oxygen from rooms so they need to be disposed off immediately. FTL:AE update brings the total number of starting ship designs to 10. The original ships also have a new third layout that takes full advantage of the AE content. It is great to see such a popular and well received game get a wealth of new content and tweaks long after original release.
As with vanilla FTL, the advanced edition soundtrack was done by Ben Prunty and his music definitely enhances the game. It is great to listen to separately while working as well. He has done an excellent job again. As of this point there is no save transfer functionality but there are desktop apps that let you move files to certain folders inside in app on the iPad and those seem to work for save file transferring for most people.
FTL:AE is definitely worth playing. I know FTL is nearly perfect in its vanilla form but the new shiny stuff is great. If you own an iPad, this is easily one of the best games available on the App Store. If you’ve put in countless hours on the PC version and own an iPad, you will want to delete the PC version and say goodbye to your social life with FTL:AE for iPad.