FTL-like Abandon Ship fires broadsides in combat trailer

Jaws 2 has the most deceptive tagline of all time. “Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water”, it chortles, threatening you with an angry shark. The lie here, of course, is that it’s never been safe to go in the water. If it’s not a shark that gets you, it’ll be a jellyfish, and if it’s not a jellyfish, it’ll be a kraken or the ghost of a diver. It’s an awful place, the water, but Abandon Ship [official site] makes it look like a fantastic destination for adventure.

It’s a bit like FTL with waterships instead of spaceships, and the latest trailer shows us the combat. And some terrible, unpleasant tentacles.

I think it looks absolutely lovely and I’m all for a spiritual successor to FTL, even though it’s a recent enough game that the body is not just warm but down at the gym flexing its muscles. A few games have already tried to tweak the formula, either thematically or mechanically, but I haven’t found one that scratches the itch particularly well. Abandon Ship might just reach the parts that others can’t, and the style of its ship-to-ship hull-cracking certainly tickles my fancy.

And then there’s the sea monster at the end. Oh no. It’s never been safe to go in the water, which is why it’s very important to make sure your ship doesn’t collapse beneath your feet.

Abandon Ship is out later this year.


  1. Rulin says:

    Looks great!

  2. haldolium says:

    This looks awesome, might be the first proper FTL clone, depending on how it’s going to be fleshed out. I hope they do a lot of work on their art though, looks a bit bland except for the waves, which still look weird. Not sure what the art style is supposed to be here.

    Also it brings back memories from Overboard! which was much fun back then.

  3. dashausdiefrau says:

    I was never convinced enough by the videos of FTL to try it and the same goes for this. Is this really the whole experience? I see my ship most of the time and maybe some kind of map time to time and thats the whole experince?

    • steamhare says:

      You’re absolutely right, but that’s because the gameplay is more or less a management sim for a spaceship. Just like any management game, the view is typically affixed to the thing you’re managing. If you’d like me to sell it to you, I guess I’d need a better idea of why looking at your spaceship, enemy ships, and the system map alone is a problem.

      • syndrome says:

        I am interested as well!

        I’m not sure if I understand the problem well, but could you share with us some other game experiences?

        If possible, some that can’t be reduced to a sentence that is similar to the one you used to describe the problem?

        Do you have some game experiences that transcend using the computer, and its graphic representation of the game?

        Are they applicable to a game like this?

      • dashausdiefrau says:

        It is a problem for me because when I looked at it and I was wondering why would I choose it over Starfleet Command 3 or Bridge Commander or Nexus: The Jupiter Incident or Star Wolves or Star Point Gemini. And the gameplay in those vids definitely does not bring back the sweet memories of Bridge Commander. What I see from videos, and this is true for this game here too, that this is a game about ship combat, but it looks nothing like ship combat. In 2017 I want a more simmey Black Flag with cool world economy and large spaces, not toys like this :(

        • bills6693 says:

          I think the problem here is that FTL, or this, isn’t the kind of game you’re looking for. These games are about the story you have with your crew/encounters, clever ways to overcome enemies in a pausable tactics combat that is as much about crew management as the actual fighting itself, and a struggle against a world that forces you to take dangerous risks and is ultimately going to kill you more often that not.

          It’s not about trading, an open world (or at least FTL wasn’t), or the kind of action-oriented combat you’d see in a game like black flag. These games have deep gameplay in terms of overlapping needs and always more tasks than you have the resources/time to complete (in the ‘combat’ and world) but not what you’re after.

          Something like Naval Action or Man’O’War might be more what you’re looking for?

    • kwaylood says:

      I think of FTL as a computerised board game. A lot of the UI is kinda like game tokens, and the way you have your ship the, enemy ship and map, it just feels more like a board game. It does have real-time but you are expected to pause all the time so you have as much time to think about it as you want.

      If there was a shameless conversion of the Battlestar Galactica board game to the FTL style I would really dig that. But I wouldn’t consider it to be “Battlestar Galactica the video game”, for that I would want a cross between X-Wing and Mass Effect :)

    • theirongiant says:

      I find FTL a lot like Civ, each game creates a unique play-through that is built off the back of the constant stream of small decisions you have to make from minute to minute. You tend to get very invested in your ship and crew when you’ve shepherded them through 30 minutes of disasters and victories. For the couple of quid it must cost these days, it’d be practically criminal not to at least give it a try.

  4. JB says:

    “It’s an awful place, the water”

    Oof, you’ll be for the high-jump when Alice reads that, Brendan.

  5. AngoraFish says:

    I like that FTL-like is becoming a thing. At least it gives us two options now for describing games – Roguelike and FTLlike.

    The only problem now is that I’m going to have to sort through my game library and categorise everything into one or the other.

    • DarkFenix says:

      It certainly deserves its own sub-genre, sort of roguelike-meets-strategy. This looks like the first really good attempt at that genre since FTL itself, definitely on my wishlist.

  6. teije says:

    Oooh, this looks very promising. Wishlisted.

  7. mercyRPG says: