Abandon Ship splashing into early access this month


Hoist the brig! Swab the powder! Fire the stew! Yes, it’s soon time to see how good you are at captaining ships in the high, low or medium seas. Adandon Ship, the FTL-inspired roguelite of managing oldy-worldy sailors on a map of the ocean (actually a giant painting) is smashing a big bottle of early access champagne across its bow. That is to say, it’ll be playable on February 21, say the devs. Here be krakens and upgrades and ship-to-ship combat. You will probably go on fire and die, as you are a notorious… *checks crumpled grid of pirate slang* … seal sniffer? I, on the other hand, will be an excellent captain. You there, reload the compass! We have crabs and such to plunder.

The creators, Fireblade Software, also send an announcement trailer. It’s more or less an amalgamation of the things we’ve seen before, with some fancy lettering, but it appears to holler all the features in a concise way.

The game had been scheduled for late last year but was delayed. It’s got a few features that seem fun. Tidal waves can knock your crew overboard, morale can diminsh to the point of mutiny, and should your ship be sunk you’ll get a second chance to survive. The game casts you adrift on a small lifeboat with perhaps a crew member or two, and from here you’ve got to regain your illustrious uniform and position on a new ship.

Another thing the creators are offering is to put your name in the game if you sign up for their newsletter. Now, I’m not suggesting people sign up with names like “Rolltheol Chariotalong” or “Johnathy Blokebeard” but I am pointing out this opportunity for any sea dogs who would like to use this form with utmost legitimacy. Quiver me lumbers!

Abandon Ship will be on Steam for £14.99/$19.99.


  1. wwarnick says:

    At first glance, it looks like a “Sid Meier’s Pirates!”-alike, which is not a bad thing. Am I way off, or is it pretty similar? Does it scratch the same itch?

    • madquills says:

      I’d say – probably? Not that the mechanics are that similar, but hopefully some of the same feelings! We obvs. love SM:P! + FTL + a barrel of other influences. We’ve got some longer form/mode detailed playthroughs of exploration and combat on the youtube page :)

      • wwarnick says:

        Thanks for the reply! Nice to hear from one of the devs. SM:P! and FTL are good influences to have. I’ll have to check out your YouTube channel.

  2. PancakeWizard says:

    I wish them all the best for their eventual official release, but nope! This is not the kind of title that should be Early Access.

  3. golochuk says:

    My first reaction is that this looks like Bomber Crew, not FTL. Also, I hope this is like Bomber Crew in that in that you can’t issue commands while it’s paused.

    • golochuk says:

      Update: it’s not. Too bad, try again next game.

      • AttackRabbit says:

        You could always just not issue orders whilst paused (or even never pause the game) yourself….

        • golochuk says:

          That won’t work, because pausing inevitably makes real-time games much easier. If the game is correctly balanced for pausing, it’s going to be too hard for anyone except outlier good players to enjoy without it. I’m justified in saying this because about a minute into the combat video the presenter extols the virtues of pausing in combat to get a handle on things.

          More generally, even if I can do something to bodge together a playable experience without pausing, no-pausing players are probably going to be neglected second-class customers in some way. Why put up with that?

          • madquills says:

            This is a tricky one…it’s definitely something we thought a lot about. I think though our combat gameplay is less about sheer reaction speed and more about strategy and odds so pausing doesn’t really make it drastically easier, but of course it gives you a bit more time to make the ‘right’ decision. Always going to be a balancing act though!

    • Captain Narol says:

      For my part, I prefer it this way. Less stress and gives time for careful planning.

      I prefer games that challenge my brain rather than my fingers agility, your mileage may wary.

      • golochuk says:

        I am a big fan of turn-based games like XCOM and authentic roguelikes, but real time with pause is an ugly compromise between patient deliberation and thinking on the fly that, at best, allows an inelegant approximation of turn-based play.

        Maintaining a level head and taking appropriate actions under pressure is a superb life skill everyone should exercise. It only becomes a feat of the fingers’ agility when the appropriate action is always pausing.

        • MrEvilGuy says:

          While I generally agree with you regarding games, I would suggest that pausing to think before acting or speaking is just as important a life skill as thinking on the fly. Unless you’re a pirate or a jet fighter pilot or something along those lines.

        • Vilos Cohaagen says:

          My life requires frequent pauses in playing games these days so real time with pause makes it more appealing to me. Each to their own, though.

  4. poliovaccine says:

    Oh well, now I don’t feel so bad for “missing” this one, I didn’t realize it wasn’t even out yet haha.

    Btw I’ll have to make a point of remembering the name – Abandon Ship, Abandon Ship, Abandon Ship – so I don’t keep resorting to “that FTL-pirates one with the kraken in the trailer.” Because I realize that, for some people*, the game is about more than just the appearance of the kraken.


  5. melerski says:

    I hate it when trailers show only two seconds of gameplay.

  6. empty_other says:

    Watching the world map exploration made me start whistling the ol’ Corsairs: Conquest at Sea theme.

    A mediocre game with a good soundtrack is unforgettable.