Abandon Ship is basically what you get when you take FTL and stick it in the age of pirates. There's sailing exploration, naval battles, tons of customization, and frantic crew and resource management. Anyone who enjoyed FTL will be stoked with this.
Story & Flow
In most pirate/naval games, you are the captain, manning a ship with a motley crew, and Abandon Ship is pretty much the same, only your crew consists of some escapees from a cult bent on world domination, apparently via the use of krakens, which is interesting and awesome. Each character has a specialty, but the Captain himself is like Mario, doing everything pretty well. Assigning your crew to stations will help them level up in those areas, but don't get too comfy with ol One-Eyed Rick manning the cannons... in the chaos of battle, your crew will be moving around quite a bit.
The game is broken into two main sections: sailing and combat. In the sailing mode, you traverse the map, dispelling the "fog of war", which is pleasantly represented by your ship literally painting in a map on a framed canvas. To move from one map section to the next, you have to unlock the gates at one of the four sides. Each gate has a number of "events" which must be completed before the gate will open, forcing you to engage in various encounters on the map. Your choices can change the flow of these encounters, leading you to avoid combat, lose a crew member, get more rations, or sometimes just setting up you up for a disadvantage in combat, and you've gotta be careful; much like FTL, this game does not let you save manually, so any decision you make is permanent.
The navigation itself, while pretty, can be tedious. The game has a zoomed out map for navigation, but you can only move on the close-up map, which means a never ending back and forth between clicking to go, clicking to check the map, clicking to zoom, clicking to move, etc. There easily could have been a better system here.
The combat, on the other hand, is addictive and fun, though there is plenty of room for improvement here as well. While the game offers an impressive number of armaments that allows you to experiment with various combat choices, like crippling a ship for a reward vs sinking them, or shelling a boat from afar vs attempting to board them, you can only handle six crew members at a time. This wouldn't be so bad, if the enemy didn't have upwards of 12 at times.
Weapon and ship upgrades are key elements to victory in this game. Not only do they make the battles easier, but you can occasionally win a battle automatically if you have the right upgrade. They're also vital when dealing with various weather conditions, which can have myriad effects on combat. Lightning may cause fires, fog may obscure your enemy from view, or tidal waves may wash crewmembers overboard. Paying attention and having the right equipment for each climate is key.
The game has two modes, the main campaign and a "pick-up-and-play" mode called Battle Campaign. This mode is basically just the main game without the sailing and random events. You're after a pirate that stole your sister and are given limited chances to go to port for ship repairs and upgrades or filling out your undermanned crew. It's a fun mode, but nothing too different from the main game.
The story is... adequate. No spoilers, but be forewarned: there is nothing particularly compelling about Abandon Ship's story, especially in the combat campaign. For now, the main campaign is incomplete, but there's quite a bit of game here already, although the game does send you back and forth to opposite sides of the world map, padding the time, even with fast travel.
Graphics & Sound
The music is certainly good and really gets you in the mood for pirate action, which is great, because that is pretty much it for sound. Voice acting is (as of now) limited to two phrases, which isn't as bad as it sounds, since most of the game's aesthetics seem to rely on simple graphics with complex mechanics. As for the rest of the graphics, the game presents its story elements with still pictures and text boxes, which are pretty but sterile. The fog of war paint on your map, however, is a visual treat.