Before we fell in love with FTL, we fell in love with all sorts of other things that involve spaceships and random encounters, because we're the sort of chaps who crave excitement and reckon that spending your entire life on one planet is cowardly. Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space is the second game I thought of when I first read about FTL - Space Alert was the first - and although most of the similarities don't quite penetrate to the hull, the randomised galaxy, node-hopping and portion-sized play are common to both. Weird Worlds fits a coffee break rather than a lunch break and isn't permeated with anxious doom, but it's worth a look. Particularly for the next 85 hours when it is available at a price of your choosing at IndieGameStand.
The game has just been updated to 1.30, although I'm not entirely sure what has changed from the previous version. Maybe they took out all the spaceships. I hope not!