It is best described as a Golden Age of Sail-era version of FTL: you have the sector-by-sector exploration, one-on-one ship duels where you target each other's vulnerable spots, random events resolved through text and a menacing threat that'll come after you if you spend too long in one sector. Here, it's a massive Kraken, which is powerful enough to be worshipped by a cult that makes up the primary power in the world. Your captain has rebelled at the start of the story, however, and must now find the way to slay the kraken to break the cult's stranglehold over the world.
Compare to Convoy for a Post Apocalyptic take on the FTL formula and Crying Suns for a more narrative-focused version of the same. If you are looking for a more serious and narrative-driven naval roguelike with Lovecraftian elements, check out Sunless Sea and its successor Sunless Skies.
Tropes present in this game:
- Acid Attack: You can have an acid mortar as one of your ship's weapons. It leaves a hazardous pool wherever it lands onto the enemy's deck, ensuring that their crew will stay away from that spot until it clears. Shooting this shell onto the enemy's gun emplacement will thus temporarily disable it, and provide you with a heavy advantage.
- After-Combat Recovery: Your ship may have had half its deck on fire while also taking on water from a hull breach like crazy, but once you had sunk the opponent, minor problems like these are automatically considered resolved on the world map.
- The Cult: Kraken worshippers are the primary antagonist of the game. They'll even refuse to disband the death of their idol, though by that point they should have nothing special to offer as you proceed to mop them up.
- Damage Over Time: Any shots that hit the hull below the waterline will result in the ship taking on water and sinking. This can be mitigated by sending some crew to man the pumps (while also repairing the breaches), but only up to a point.
- Likewise, incendiary shots from mortars will set the ship on fire, which will again result in a continuous damage unless it's been put out.
- Fog of War: Once you arrive to a new area, all of the markers will be initially hidden by such a fog. Visiting a lighthouse instantly reveals the entire map, however.
- Lovecraft Lite: There is a huge tentacled abomination worshipped by a cult all over the world for sure. However, it is also eminently beatable, to the point there's an extensive post-game after you have taken it out, devoted to mopping up the remains of the cult.
- Morale Mechanic: Present, and it can be adversely affected by events like stumbling across a derelict ship whose crew had starved to death.
- Patrolling Mook: Some of the enemy ships are assigned an area to patrol, and will start pursuing you if you venture into it.
- Shock and Awe: There are electric guns mounted on swivels, which can potentially stun much of the enemy's crew with chain lightning.
- Sniper Rifle: Getting one and assigning a crew member to it will allow you to pick off the enemy crew one by one. If you have already destroyed their own cannons, you can potentially finish the combat entirely through sniping, without needing to risk getting your crew killed or wounded during the boarding action.
- Subsystem Damage: You can attack gun emplacements, sails, hull, etc, and your enemies can do the same.