FTL is first of the games i backed on Kickstarter to be released. It has a fairly simple game play, simple graphics and a fitting sound track. It looks and feels like the kind of game, that you would have bought 15 years ago in your local computer store. As far as i am concerned that is a really good thing.
FTL has a very simple Background story: you have some vital information on your ship and need to reach your fleet before the enemy fleet catches up with you. To do that you have to travel through 10 Star Systems, each of these Systems contains multiple locations with randomly generated events. These events can be quests, fights or choices. You can get positive or negative outcomes to those, depending on your crew members and the equipment of your ship.
Unlike most other space games, FTL is not about flying your ship from A to B and killing the occasional enemy on your way. It is all about managing your crew. You can assign them different tasks: Piloting, Engines, Shields, Gunnery, Repair and Combat. Your crew gets better at the task the longer it does it. Combat happens in real time but you can pause at all times and give new orders. Combat is very tactical, your weapons need some time to charge before they can fire a shot and they also need energy, which means you may not be able to activate all your weapons at the same time. You have to decide when to fire your weapons and where you want to hit. You have to put out fires on your ship and repair damaged systems. Later on the enemy might send boarding parties onto your ship so you need some crew members ready to deal with the enemy. If you have a teleporter of your own you can also send your crew over, to take out the opposing ships crew.
You can only save the game when you exit, to continue where you left off. This adds additional risk to the game. Every random event can give you rewards, but there is usually also a risk. You could for example loose a crew member, or receive damage to your ship if you are unlucky.