In the last decade, so many games have been released on the App Store that the questions of “What are the best games?" or even “What are your favorite games" have gone from quick and easy answers to long, drawn out discussions. My response these days typically ups the ante to, “Well, if I was stuck on a desert island and I could only have three games…" as otherwise the list of bests and favorites can go on for hours. Inside of that context, an iPad with FTL: Faster Than Light ($9.99) is always where I start. Hell, I feel like I could make a pretty good argument that FTL is one of the best iPad games. I still totally stand by my review from 2014, and arguably only feel stronger about the game having played it for the last four years. I’ve even done long-haul international flights where the only game I played was FTL.
If for some incredible reason you’ve never heard of FTL before, it’s a spaceship management game with many randomized (dare I say, roguelike) elements. You manage everything from recruiting crew members, firing weapons, powering up shields, and loads of other subsystems that must be mastered to put out a seemingly endless onslaught of both literal and metaphorical fires. The iPad version includes the FTL: Advanced Edition update which adds new ships, events, subsystems, alien races, and more.
As a total FTL newbie, I’d just hop in and play on the easiest difficulty setting and start learning the game. There’s tons of resources out there on every aspect of the game which has been intensely deconstructed by fans… But there’s so much discovery in the game that doing this can cheat yourself out of those experiences.
FTL is such an unbelievably fantastic game I wish I could delete it from my brain to experience it all fresh again. Please do not miss this game while it’s on sale. Two dollars for a game I’ve spent hundreds of hours in is one of the best values you’ll see on the App Store this year.