We’re in the bottom half now and that means the games are only going to get better. For #4 we have an amazing title whose gameplay is just as fascinating as how it was funded.
Before Double Fine made developers and publishers stand up from their Kickstarter success, there was the first big success of a video game on Kickstarter. FTL was a project by Subset Games and they were only asking for $10,000. Instead, they raised $200,542 and became one of the most successful kickstarters.
Now the risk inherent with kickstarter is that the finished product doesn’t deliver on what was promised. But with FTL, we got one of the most amazing games of the year and our #4 game.
The hook of FTL is the innovative combat system: where you manage a space ship and its crew as it explores different galaxies. There was a certain tactical feel to the gameplay, as you attempt to damage the enemies’ systems before the y can do the same to you. The rogue-like nature of the game meant that no two trips were the same, forcing the player to continually adapt to different situations and items.
Unlocking new ships, either through quests or completing certain milestones gave the game decent replay-ability. As each ship had different components and inherent strengths and weaknesses for the player to work around.
While FTL was a great game, made all the more impressive given its development and funding, there were two main problems that kept it from ranking higher on the list.
First is the final boss, which has been the number one complaint that I hear from people. The problem as mentioned on the post about game breaking mechanics is that the fight is a set battle, which goes against the randomized nature of the game.
But worse, it restricts your choices for the end game down to certain tactics that work, with many that would get you killed. The knowledge of the final boss also affects how you play through FTL, as you know what items to look for and which ones to avoid which makes the game repetitive after awhile.
The other issue has been the lack of any new content for FTL, as the game just screams for more ships, encounters, weapons and more. Similar to The Binding of Isaac or Dungeons of Dredmor, the base game was great and open enough to lend itself well to the concept of additional content via DLC.
The developers have been surprisingly quiet about the future of FTL and I know that I, among many other people would grab any new DLC for the game in a heart beat.
FTL remains a triple example of the innovation from the Indie market, the power of crowd funding and how engrossing a well designed rogue-like can be.
Up Next: # 3