I really was looking forward to this game being a fun, exploratory and great mechanics but it fell short on all three accounts.
At the start of the game I had a great feeling and energy that this was going to be fun. Granted, the first 3-4 times I had trouble surviving and making it as a scurvy seadog. But then I figured out the game and then everything was a breeze to progress from early game to mid and late game. That is also a downside with the game, a lack of any kind of useful tutorial, you just have to read and read alot of text in a help screen (which to me screams the devs just wanted this game out, at whatever quality).
The second thing that strikes me is the horrible control scheme and GUI. You can only really precision control your own unit (the captain) and everyone else does their best to do what you tell them. Some commands are "drag" commands and some are "action" commands and I don't see a reason why the control of your crew should be this bad. When you order your crew to move, all run as fast as possible to that spot, meaning the fastest guy gets there first, but might not engage the enemy first cause they engage in wierd ways. The control of the crew and pets is aweful, have not been thought out and when boarding ships with a crew, some can fall into the water directly killing them or makes them unavaiable for a time if you're lucky. Another minor gripe is the constant is the constant nagging if you want to "save", and you can just tell it to not ask you in the next 10 minutes, but then you can't save in over 10 minutes which is real bad.
Your crew can be trained in skills aswell as your captain, like fishing (which is useful as it gives you free food), and cooking (to coock the free fish). This system is extremely flawed and if you would like to have a crew that can both catch & cook fish and clean, they will be almost useless. This is because fishing takes a bit of time, and while the rod is out in the water, the desire to clean (tossing poo overboard, fitting description later on?) comes on and ABORTS the fishing. So a sole crewman with the fishing skill is required to catch alot of fish. This could be okay if not for items on your ship disrupt your crew in the same manner. Yes, items on your ship like playing cards, sword practice or reading books stops your crew randomly from doing what they can, just to give them some morale or more Training points. It's flawed once again, you can work around the broken mechanics, but what's the point if you can't play the game as you want?
I have many more gripes about this game and I just think this game becomes an utter disappointment at the end. I like to make my captain a strong soldier alone in my second playthrough to have control and it was a breeze to clear ship after ship with just him. even the bosses. And getting there was soo boring and repetitive. The potential for what could have been is huge!!! But this is just a skeleton with no added meat or flavor to it, it is just not a good game i'm sad to say. I just can't recommend this game to my friends because then I would be ashamed and they would hate it, it just isn't worth any more time.
+ Nice pixelart
+ Good character customization, differnet voices and looks
+ Build your own ship, sail the seas (in the start)
- Slow paced. Going on land is slow and tedious and have to wait minutes to get any buisness done. More fun if paced more correctly with the actual content.
- Sailing. a core mechanic is "sail-time". You see your boat travel and you crew working, but is really a boring wait screen
- Random Generator. yeah, it works, but it doesn't tell what the worldcreator options really do and can make maps really hard or really easy
- Crew control. You really can't control them, commands are clunky and don't work as advertiesed.
- Crew. Don't see a reason for them unless they fish for you.
- Skills and Items. Both of them interupts other skills and jobs, making having both not an option.
- Lack of variation. both in what you explore, music and combat.
- Difficulty. Only challanging in the beginning, then a grindfest begins, then you can kill the bosses.
- GUI. Some icons you drag, some buttons you click, some commands don't work and no control over individuals.
- Boarding. Sometimes your crew could board the enemy just to fall off and die. You can board outside of the boarding phase.
There are probably more problems that I've forcefully pushed out of my memory. But this is not a well-made, polished game. But a broken mess of great potential. This game falls short and would get a 3/10 if I would grade it.