Back before the popular starship sim roguelike FTL had come to the iPad, France’s Mi Clos Studio released a charming little game called Out There that scratched a lot of the same itches. Like a randomized choose-your-own-adventure novel with resource management, Out There allowed you to explore alien universes, learn extraterrestrial languages, fight an evil alien civilization, and more.
Not everyone loved the game, saying that victory in Out There was too random, but I always had a lot of fondness for it. It had an incredible sense of atmosphere, thanks to wonderful art and music. I’m delighted to hear, then, that Out There isn’t just getting a sizable update… it’s clso oming to the Mac.
Roguelike games are marked by four main things: randomly generated levels, permadeath , turn-based gameplay and (usually) ASCII graphics. They also usually have insane difficulty levels and absolutely unhinged gameplay mechanics that you simply can’t find in other types of games.
I’ve written about my unapologetic love for roguelikes before, but unfortunately, they’re very keyboard heavy games… and that means that the very thing I love most about them (their unhinged gameplay mechanics) tend to make them entirely unsuitable for playing on a touchscreen device like an iPhone or iPad.
It seems, though, that one of the best modern roguelikes out there has successfully made the transition to the iPad pretty much unscathed. It’s called Brogue, and whether you’re an existing fan of roguelike games or someone who wants to figure out what the fuss is all about, this is a game you should play.
So, I’m hanging out on Twitter, basking in the Tweet-flow (you know what I mean, right?), when I start to notice this thing happening. FTL. I see it in a tweet by a game developer I follow. Then I see it in a tweet by another smart person I follow. Then it’s almost everywhere. FTL. FTL. Starship captaining (is that a real word?). FTL.
I think, “For the Loss?” Well, maybe. Or perhaps, “Faster Than Light,” says my inner sci-fi geek. Looking it up on the interwebs, I see that it does, indeed, refer to the speed at which we cannot go, and it is for sure a sci-fi geek’s dream. I also notice that it came out today, which is why everything’s all a-twitter.