Merciful

January 4, 2013 by Tim

I stayed away from FTL for as long as I could. I love hard games with harsh penalties, up to and including permadeath. And by association, I love roguelikes. And I also knew that FTL stood to be potential crater of a timesink, so I put it off.

And then it was on the Steam sale, and therefore I could no longer simply not buy it. And then it was in my library, so there was no excuse not to install it. And then play it. And then lose hours upon hours as I sent tiny ship after tiny ship to their doom, thinking maybe this will be the time the galaxy doesn’t totally fuck me over.

If you’re unfamiliar with the roguelike genre, it can be summed up fairly simply: It is not a game you play to see if you die, rather it is a game you play to see how far you can make it before you most certainly die.

And that possibility, that unknown “could this be the best run I’ve ever had” feeling is somehow even more powerful and intoxicating than a game with regular save points and a definitive end. You know when you fire up a roguelike that you will lose. Your character(s) will die, one way or another. But damn if something doesn’t make you hit the restart button every time it happens and give it another go.

It’s still up on sale for another couple of days. At a mere eight bucks (down from the incredibly reasonable price of ten), unless you already know you hate roguelikes, it’s well worth the pocket change.


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