FTL: Faster Than Light




Space-themed strategy game is difficult but rewarding.

What parents need to know

Ease of play

A well-designed tutorial sets players on the path, but it doesn't make things easy. The game is hard and unforgiving -- and players will certainly fail many times, even on the easy difficulty setting. 


Ships explode, and minuscule crewmen die, but there's no blood, gore, or suffering. When they die, crewmen simply vanish. 

Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

You're not required to enter any personal information to play, but a privacy policy is not readily available to explain what, if any, information is automatically collected from your device.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know FTL: Faster Than Light is a strategic simulation game that puts players in charge of a starship trying to outrun and fight off enemies, as it salvages resources and keeps the ship running. It's a hard game in which defeat is frequent, your crew dies, and your ship explodes, but none of this violence is graphic. Players also encounter slavers, which might raise some questions from kids. Although the game does appeal to space hero fans, it's a strategic exercise -- and those players who think ahead tend to last longer than others. 

What kids can learn


Thinking & Reasoning

  • strategy

Engagement, Approach, Support


FTL's challenging and habit-forming play will engage strategy-loving kids, especially if they're into science fiction.

Learning Approach

Players are forced to think before they act -- and must prioritize emergencies. 


In-game instructions should prove sufficient for most players. Little official support exists outside the game, but there are plenty of online help sites. 

What kids can learn


Thinking & Reasoning

  • strategy

Kids can learn about logic, strategy, and problem solving as they deal with the challenges of this space game. They'll need to prioritize emergencies and budget their resources to keep their ship and crew healthy -- and, even then, they may find that's not enough. Similarly, they'll have to carefully choose which items are best to upgrade their ships. FTL: Faster Than Light demands strategic thinking and planning in an entirely enjoyable way. 

This Learning Rating review was written by Chris Morris

What's it about?

Players control a starship carrying vital information back to central command by charting strategic jumps from one system to the next, each loaded with potential battles. Accessing the systems is as easy as tapping the screen, but you'll need to plan out attack strategies to last. Events happen in real time, but you can pause the game for as long as you like to consider and issue orders that will be enacted once you resume play. Firing weapons and handling other functions of the ship are done via screen swipes, which are clearly explained in the tutorial.

Is it any good?


It's not often you get to role-play Captain Kirk. FTL: FASTER THAN LIGHT takes those sci-fi fantasies and injects a degree of strategy and reality into them, keeping players on their toes. You'll die -- a lot. But that not only teaches you how to play better, it's also part of the fun of the game. The war stories you can tell -- such as how you destroyed an enemy's ship just as their minions boarded yours, defeating your crew -- give the game a sense of community. 

The game can certainly be unforgiving, but dedicated strategy fans will find a lot to love here. 

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the importance of thinking ahead. Are there any lessons from the game that could apply to real life?

  • Families also can¬†talk about the issues raised in the game, such as piracy and slavery.¬†

App details

Pricing structure:Paid
Release date:April 3, 2014
Category:Strategy Games
Topics:Space and aliens
Size:173.00 MB
Publisher:Subset Games
Minimum software requirements:iOS 6.0 or later

This review of FTL: Faster Than Light was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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