FTL: Faster Than Light
What parents need to know
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
Engagement, Approach, Support
FTL's challenging and habit-forming play will engage strategy-loving kids, especially if they're into science fiction.
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'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.