A Decent Little Game
This game has it's issues, but I don't think it deserves the low rating that it got. If you want sea and land based combat in the age of sail, buy CA's Empire or Napoleon, both great games but have a rather simplified trade system.
If you want something a little different with a heavier focus on trade and mercantilism, this is a good choice. The markets are a little tricky to figure out, but there is an interesting challenge there trying to get your revenue producing colonies up and running while managing your fleets and engaging in combat with rivals.
You have a little more input on ship design than you do in other games (ships can be tailored and customized to allow more guns, cargo, etc) and captains and crew memebers can be assigned to fleets to improve business or combat.
It's a little less action-packed than some other similar games out there if you tend to shy away from combat, but it certainly is not a terrible complement to your existing games library if you have found that you enjoy playing games that simulate this era. You can have a little bit of fun during combat commanding from the bridge of your vessels too, although the visuals are not quite as detailed as Empire or Napoleon.
I certainly got more than my share of enjoyment from the PC version, so I bought this a second time for my Mac.