Tag Archives: Slower Than Light

Slower Than Light: A depressing game about dying in space


In a scifi world that didn’t invent FTL travel, each player is captain/dictator of a huge generation ship launched centuries ago. The original purpose of the mission has long since been forgotten – colonization? military strike? flight from a Grey Goo scenario? – but it’s kind of a big deal now that the ships are almost at their destination.

Like its premise, the general tone of the game is grim with some dark humour. No objective seems worth sending a tin can of miserable astronaut families in outer space for generations.

Gameplay overview

Gameplay is a mix between an action point game and Galaxy Trucker, somewhat similar to the video game FTL. Players must:

  • Keep their derelict ship in working order. Between food riots, pvp combat, and surprise meteorite showers, the ship’s economy will naturally go into a downward spiral, and players will have to prioritize where to spend their precious few spare parts and spare workers.
  • Gather information to figure out the fleet’s objective, which is initially secret. There’s a Clue-like mechanic that will help them figure out which of several possible objectives is used in this game. Some objectives are fully competitive, others fully collaborative, others hybrid. And of course, gathering clues takes workers away from tasks with greater short-term utility.
  • Prepare their ship to fulfill that objective (e.g. get their population as high as possible if it’s going to be a colonization mission).
  • Trade with other ships and/or blast them off the sky (which could come back to bite them if they’ve misguessed the objective).
  • React to external events (supply caches, the aforementioned meteorite showers etc.).

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