So. You might have heard of a thing called “video games.” If not, continue reading anyway, though the contents of this blog post may be rather confusing. Hi, Grandma!
Now, when you hear “video games”, your mind might be the kind of mind that immediatley wanders to the big titles. Halo. Assasin’s Creed. Call of Duty. Grand Theft Auto. FIFA. Gran Tourismo. Farmville (or “Hay Day”, certain person who may not even read this, pfft, whatever, it’s Farmville). If this is the way you think, you are a bad person. Somehow. Not sure how. You’re probably not actually a bad person. Whatever, sit down, it’s time you got yoself educated on the topic of choice.Let me describe to you a game you probably haven’t heard of, then.
You control the crew of a space ship. This space ship and it’s crew have only one goal: Get to the other side of the galaxy before the perusing enemies blow your ass to bits. Along the way, you’ll do battle with enemies, aid friends, aid enemies, and do battle with friends. You’ll board the enemy ship and defeat the enemy crew hand-to-hand, while defending your own ship from similar incursions. You’ll compare and contrast your ship’s weaponry, working out if you can time and aim your laser shots to *just* overcome a particularly defensive opponent. You’ll have your shields taken out by superior firepower more times than you can count, yet still be able to scrape away a victory with an incredibly lucky missile.
As your crew succeed, you’ll cheer for them.
As they die, you’ll mourn for them.
You’ll probably do more mourning than cheering.
And after countless runs, you’ll finally make it to the end boss, and then you’ll be utterly smashed to bits. And you’ll do that twice more, before finally being able to kill it and defeat the game proper. And then you’ll do it again, and again, and again, maybe winning but probably still losing, because it’s entirely randomly generated and insanely addictive.
The name of this game is “FTL: Faster Than Light.” It’s technically a rougelike(-like, according to some). But the gameplay behind this thing is absolutely amazing. And it’s not produced by some company – no EA, no Ubisoft, no Microsoft were involved in this. FTL was made by two people, and pretty much self-published.
As a result, it’s not pandering to sales or stockholders. The game is, at times, legitimately hard, legitimately punishing. There will be moments where you look at the screen and the only thought that comes to mind is “THIS IS FUCKING BULLSHIT!” The game isn’t interspersed with “cinematic” quick-time events. It’s a consistent experience. It is, in every way, an uncompromising implementation of the vision of the developers.
And, as a result, it’s seriously one of the best games I’ve played in a long, long time. It’s truly one of the most engrossing, enthralling experiences I’ve had with electronic entertainment in quite a while.
Currently, it can be purchased for little under 5 USD from https://www.humblebundle.com/, as part of the “Humble Indie Bundle 9”. I highly recommend that, not only because it’s cheap as fuck, but also because it comes with a bunch of other similarly brilliant games, such as FEZ and Bastion. And also some/none/all of your self-defined price can be allocated to charity. However, the HIB 9 is only available for the next two days (after this post was made.) So get onto that thing quickly.
If you missed that boat, go pick it up from it’s own website: http://www.ftlgame.com/. It’s a bit more pricey, at 10 USD, but that’s what, half a sip of a beer here in Melbourne? The faint wiff of a rotting fast-food burger? As opposed to hundreds upon hundreds of hours of enjoyment. Hard choice, I know.
If you’re still not convinced, go watch some YouTube videos of gameplay. Maybe pirate it, but of course if you enjoy it, be sure to then buy it.