LOSE YOUR MIND. EAT YOUR CREW. DIE. Take the helm of your steamship and set sail for the unknown! Sunless Sea is a game of discovery, loneliness and frequent death, set in the award-winning Victorian Gothic universe of Fallen London.
User reviews: Very Positive (1,232 reviews)
Release Date: Feb 6, 2015

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Recommended By Curators

"A narratively driven rogue-lite, perhaps a more story-driven FTL? Whatever the case the world is fascinating and the writing sublime and funny."
Read the full review here.

Recent updates View all (35)

April 23

Soundtrack out now!

Welcome, new captains who’ve found us via the Steam sale!

SUNLESS SEA SOUNDTRACK IS OUT NOW!

21 pieces guaranteed to inspire haunting dreams, wistful reveries for captains lost, and sea-sickness. Each track has been remastered especially for this release and many are extended from the versions you hear in-game.

The soundtrack is now available through:

Bandcamp

Amazon

iTunes

Google Play

NEW CONTENT

"In the heart of the wood there was a ring of bones, standing in the earth like dry saplings. In the heart of the ring there was an egg, the size of a coach, the colour of a bruise. In the egg there was a voice..."

Glory's Bones, an additional quest that reveals more of the Chelonate's past, is now available.

ZUBMARINER

Zubmariner will be the first piece of DLC for Sunless Sea. Art director Paul Arendt is exploring the depths of the Unterzee in his pre-production work on his tumblr.

TOPIC OF THE WEEK

Who is also playing Fallen London, and what’s your character up to?

16 comments Read more

April 17

Zubmariner art and soundtrack listing!

This week, art director Paul Arendt has been looking at the Zee floor... see a morsel of new Zubmariner concept art at his Tumblr.

The Sunless Sea Official Soundtrack is almost ready! We can now reveal there will be a glorious 21 tracks, each lovingly remastered. Most are also extended versions of the ones you hear in the game.

We've been working on this with our composer for a number of weeks and are exceedingly excited to share it with you. For now, to whet your appetites, here's the full track listing:

Opening Screen
Wolfstack Lights
Submergo Viol
Elegiac
Benthic
Lowlands
Sultry
Dark Sailing
Harmonium Over Matter
Oceana Lonissima
Khan's Heart
Infernal
Storm, Stone, Salt
Hull is Other People
Vox Zombius
Fluke's Fathoms
The Sea Does Not Forgive
Hope is an Anchor
The Surface
Undulata
Sunless Sea

TOPIC OF THE WEEK

Which piece of music in Sunless Sea is your favourite?

14 comments Read more

Reviews

“Sunless Sea's method of storytelling isn't unique, but it has never been realised with such impact and elegance.”
10/10 – Eurogamer

“Absolutely the best writing in any video game since, well, as long as I can remember.”
10/10 – PCGamesN

“a very compelling and satisfying adventure... The realm of possibilities seems endless, and every time I set sail I find something new.”
9/10 – Destructoid

About This Game

LOSE YOUR MIND. EAT YOUR CREW. DIE.

Take the helm of your steamship and set sail for the unknown! Sunless Sea is a game of discovery, loneliness and frequent death, set in the award-winning Victorian Gothic universe of Fallen London.

If the giant crabs, sentient icebergs and swarms of bats don’t get you, madness and cannibalism certainly will. But that old black ocean beckons, and there’s loot for the brave souls who dare to sail her.

Betray your crew, sell your soul to a Devil, marry your sweetheart. Survive long enough and you’ll achieve your life’s ambition.

You will die, but your legacy will live on…

Key features

  • A deep, compelling world packed with 200,000+ words of stories and secrets. Find your father’s bones. Determine London’s destiny. Defy the gods of the deep sea.
  • Beautiful, hand drawn art - castles of sparkling ice, prisons perched on lily pads, fog-shrouded lighthouses and the DAWN MACHINE.
  • Your captain will die. But you can pass on resources from one generation to the next. Acquire a family home and a hoard of heirlooms. Build up your own story across generations of zailors who braved the sea and lost - or won...
  • Real-time combat against ships and Zee-beasts, spider-crewed dreadnoughts and sentient icebergs.
  • Light and dark, terror and madness: stray too far from the gas-lamps of civilisation and your crew will grow fearful and eventually lose their sanity.
  • Upgrade your steamship with powerful engines, cannons and pneumatic torpedo guns. (Or buy a bigger, better ship.)
  • Hire unique officers like the Haunted Doctor and the Irrepressible Cannoneer. Each has a story to tell, if you can draw it out of them.
  • Choose a ship’s mascot: the Comatose Ferret, the Wretched Mog, the Elegiac Cockatoo, and more!
  • Trade or smuggle silk and souls, mushroom wine and hallucinogenic honey.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP or later
    • Processor: 2Ghz or better
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 1280x768 minimum resolution, DirectX 9.0c compatible graphics card
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Hard Drive: 700 MB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c compatible
    Minimum:
    • OS: Mac OS X 10.6 or later
    • Processor: 2Ghz or better
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 1280x768 minimum resolution, DirectX 9.0c compatible graphics card
    • Hard Drive: 700 MB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c compatible
Helpful customer reviews
56 of 59 people (95%) found this review helpful
30.6 hrs on record
Posted: April 8
I know exactly why I love this game, and it mostly just boils down to stoking imagination. If I had to take a step back and think about the bigger picture, I would attribute that success to these qualities:

Text placed along single pictures that barely represent a person or place, letting our minds fill in the rest
Areas with names but no descriptions (essentially places with no point but infinite possibility)
Choose your own adventure style questions with no backsies, many posed through actual dialogue
No main story, everything is tertiary and yet also essential
An in-game presence so that each journey still feels substantial, weighted appropriately by time and risk

I have never been so smitten with a game, and if the above traits are not enough to make that point, consider that it also manages to blend meaningfully rich text with brilliantly haunting music in a setting that oozes inspiration. Give the game time to sink into your bones. It's worth it!
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77 of 108 people (71%) found this review helpful
9 people found this review funny
2.4 hrs on record
Posted: April 4
Luke or Han?

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, (or more accurately, about 30 years ago right here on Earth) there was a burning question being asked in playgrounds across the lands.

Would you rather be Han Solo or Luke Skywalker?

This wasn’t a question to be answered lightly; there were pros and cons to both choices.


Use the Force?

Luke was a Jedi Knight, you’d get to use the force, and you’d get a light sabre!

On the downside, Darth Vader was your dad and you just couldn’t get away from the fact that Mark Hamil came across as a little bit... well... dorkish.


Go Solo?

As Han Solo, you’d get to be captain of the Millennium Falcon, the fastest ship in the Galaxy and you’d get the girl (a princess to boot!)

No Jedi mind tricks and bouncing people around with the force for Han though and although a blaster is cool; it’s just not a light sabre.


Rouge Like

After much deliberation, I’d choose Han Solo, the anti-hero with a heart of gold.
He might not have been a Jedi, but he was a Captain and more importantly, he was cooler than Luke, He was a rogue!

So I’d established pretty early on in life that I fancied myself as a rouge like captain, exploring the darkness in my ship, maybe doing a little smuggling and helping a person or two along the way.


Call It Fate, Karma or Luck

Whatever you want to call it, I’ve finally found my niche in a very unexpected place.

I’m a captain; I’ve got my own ship (and crew!) and I can head out on adventures across the darkness, but it’s not the darkness of space, it’s the inky blackness of the sunless sea where you’ll find me, a speck of light leading my ship into the unknown, each voyage might be my last, who knows what treasures or dangers lie ahead.

It’s this sense of exploration, of shaking off the shackles of civilization and waving goodbye to the safety of port that makes Sunless Seas so alluring.


Free Fall

You’ll start the game in what’s left of Victorian London, I say "what's left of" because following a cataclysm of hellish proportions, London now rests on the shore of the Unterzee, that dark ocean under the world. Hell is close, immortality is cheap and the screaming has largely stopped...

If you'd like to explore this wonderfully gothic setting before taking the plunge into the Sunless Sea, then you can, for FREE!

Fallen London, the literary RPG and pre-curser to Sunless Sea, is a free (and also very excellent) browser game where every choice has a consequence.

Set in this same Victorian Gothic world, Sunless Sea gives you the chance to explore beyond the boundaries of Fallen London and out into the dark and forbidding Unterzee.


Shallow Waters

When you first fire up the game, you'll find yourself at the "Captain Creation Screen" although don't go expected a crunchy RPG level of stats and traits here. This is a bare bones affair and one which you can skip completely if you like (although this will also be reflected in your game experience...).

After quickly creating a Captain with the briefest of bespoke back story, you’ll buy your provisions, recruit your crew, wave goodbye the glowing port lights and set sail into the depths of darkness.
Here you’ll find treasures to satiate the sole and terrors to drive a man to despair, here you’ll find death.

But before death takes you, you’re going to be in for an interesting ride.


Captain Birds-Eye

The game itself takes place from a bird’s eye view of the map, you’ll sail your ship out into the unknown where you’ll discover foul monsters, foreboding islands and forbidden ports.

When you encounter a Zee Monster you'll could well end up in a battle to the death, but this isn't nearly as exciting as it sounds.
The combat mechanics are certainly the weakest part of the game, you'll fire at the monster, wait for the guns to reload and fire again, over and over until one of you is dead.
You can upgrade your guns in port to add a little more depth but it's still an extremely simple and lack lustre affair.


Don't Forget To Pack

There's also some simple but vital resource mechanics at play here.

You’ll need to worry about fuel and food supplies when you leave the safety of London, run out of fuel and your ship will be stranded, floating in the darkness until madness finally takes hold... maybe.

Run out of food and you and your crew will starve, although there is meat on the crews bones, it’d be selfish to let it go to waste when it could sustain others...


Remember to Write

Beyond this basic resource management aspect, this experience is all about narrative and what wonderfully written and atmospheric narrative it is too.

Each Island and port reveals its own secrets, its own story fragments and its own harrowing decisions to make. Each and every one of those decisions will impact what comes next.

You might get to recruit a new officer for your crew, who’ll likely have their own back story and agenda; you might end up dining with some mysterious sisters or bargaining for your very soul.

The quality of writing here is superb, but be warned, you’re going to be doing a lot of reading in this game.


1000 Words Paint A Wonderful Picture

All aspects of the story are delivered to you in constant blocks of narrative. You should approach this title as more interactive novel than game. If the sound of all that reading puts you off then this probably isn’t the game for you, but you will be passing up on a rough gem.


Don't Fear The Reaper

As a rogue like title, no matter how cautious you are, your first captain will die.

Then you will find yourself back in Fallen London creating your second captain, again with his ambitions and background story and maybe he’ll even have benefited in some way from your first captains adventures.


The Zame but Different

You’ll set sail across the unterzee again.

As you move out, you might feel disheartened that you’ve lost nearly everything and you have to experience the same story elements again, but you’ll soon discover that the island you’d set sail for, the one that Captain number one had discovered is no longer there, just empty “zee” awaits you.


Cruel Zee

Did you bring enough fuel to get back to port from here? You could push on and try to find another island, maybe you could turn back to London.... you need fuel to keep your ship light burning too, maybe you could stretch out your reserves by turning it off.... it’s so dark out there though.... the crews terror levels are rising... Could you risk insanity in the darkness?


The Calling of the Zee

As a rogue like title, no matter how cautious you are, your second captain will die and you will find yourself back in Fallen London....

You get the idea, each time you start fresh with a new captain the world shifts around you, you can’t expect Islands to be found where your previous captain left them.


Different Tides

Whilst it’s true that the core elements of the narrative will remain the same, each decision you make will have an impact on what will follow.
Choosing a different narrative branch will give you a different perspective on fragment of the tale you’ve previously played through help keeping things fresh and adding further depth to the experience.


Fresh Waters

There’s a lot to explore out there too, you’re not going to run out of content too quickly, that’s not to say that there won’t come a time when you’ve experienced everything sunless sea has to offer, but that’s true of all games and in sunless seas case new content is still being added, so even if you think you’ve .... [snip]


For the full review and others please take the time to visit http://www.review-well.com
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17 of 18 people (94%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
8.5 hrs on record
Posted: April 12
A breathtaking yet endlessly frustrating experience. Sunless Sea is a world explorer's dream - you pilot your ship around a vast subterranean cavern and meet astonishingly well-written characters.

In the end, however, after several hours of play, I am still completely lost as to how to progress in this game. It tells you almost nothing about its requirements, and the price of failure is starting over. How to win? No idea. What is my goal? No idea. What can I do to live longer / get further out / improve? No real idea.

However, the experience of piloting my little steamer around those strange, lethal waters is something I will take with me for the rest of my life. I am very glad to have played Sunless Sea. I just wish I could have explored its depths.
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36 of 53 people (68%) found this review helpful
7 people found this review funny
114.6 hrs on record
Posted: April 16
...WHAT YEAR IS IT?!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
6.6 hrs on record
Posted: April 11
Battle sea monsters, smuggle souls, sacrifice everything to survive.
Sunless Sea is a dark, enchanting game with oodles of content and a steep learning curve. The writing is fantastic and the world itself is large and full of mysteries. The amount of work and creativity that has gone into this game is amazing.
If you want a taste of what this game offers, try the free browser game set in the same world - Fallen London. If you enjoy that, buying Sunless Sea is well worth it.

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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
75.5 hrs on record
Posted: April 23
Unlike many, I don't play games for the joy of figuring out mechanics and strategies. I don't play for the rush of defeating the boss (although it is a nice feeling), or to waste time, or to get bragging rights.

I play for the stories. And Sunless Sea is a game of stories. Yes, it's about the terror you feel when you're at 5 hull and low on supplies and you don't know if you'll make it back; it's about trying to survive; but mostly it's about the stories. (Like the time I was being chased by a Lifeberg, backed my way into the channels that block the north, and sat there shooting at it happily until it died, frustrated and unable to reach me. But more like the island full of insane postmen, and the one with the spiders, and the one where they only speak in questions. What /is/ the difference between a question and a riddle?)

Ultimately, it's not for everybody. And since I often binge-play it and then don't come back for months, I occasionally forget my current goals, which is frustrating. But this is one of the few games I'm happy to give up cumulative days of my life to.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
97.3 hrs on record
Posted: April 24
Rogue-like in a beautiful lovecraftian setting where there's nearly limitless stories to discover. A lot of fun.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
17.3 hrs on record
Posted: April 15
Overall
Recommended to fans of indie games, roguelikes, and even fans of flash games. It really does remind me of flash games where you will improve over time, and calmly go through your tasks in the face of danger. However, it really does have more depth than any flash game.

The idea of the game is to become an explorer and meet everyone one could meet. One might have different identifiers (essentially boolean characterstics), companions, etc. Money is only a means to this. In my opinion, discovering everything and progressing the story is primary, but I need money to do it, so sometimes I am coerced into going back to Whither for some extra cash for recon.
The game relies on fuel and food. Neither are too scarce if you scout for the royal navy a lot. Be careful though.
Watch like 5 minutes of gameplay, it's pretty straightforward.

Pros
  • Great music; quite surprising
  • Very atmospheric, the setting is immersive More like submersive, amirite? with a Dickensian England style, even altering English to accomodate the setting. (Even if it's just replacing "Sea" with "Zee", it still is cool)
  • Storyline is intriguing and very mysterious. The multiple choices for each encounter, along with skill checks, ties everything to you and your choices. Nothing is truly unfair and all choices are usually valid.
  • Discovering a new world really is rewarding and fun, with no real annoyances once you discover how to make money. It was awesome to find a culty Church and accidentally become a cannibal for free food; and not punishing when it shouldn't be.
  • Great quest system with lots of different effects, items, etc. centered around exploration for the Admirality.

Cons
  • Quite difficult to begin with, I actually gave up after two hours but tried again later. Basically you've got to rely on scouting places and important research reports.
  • Some people may not like the permadeath (although there is a manual save option) or the game in general. Can't do much about that.
  • Combat is essentially "Who is stronger? You or them?", because boats are hard to steer and getting attacked by two enemies sequentially is devestating.
  • (Not a real negative) There's a gap between when you have money and when you don't. It could be easy to go too far away if not paying attention.
  • The ship is pretty slow sometimes.
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4 of 7 people (57%) found this review helpful
6.2 hrs on record
Posted: April 29
When The Holy film director decides to take a look,
refers to the pages of his holy book,
sends the warm rain falling from the sky,
If you've never been a sailor better try,
If you've never been a sailor better try.
If you've never been a sailor better try.
If you've never been a sailor better try.
If you've never been a sailor better try.
If you've never been a sailor better try.
If you've never been a sailor better try.
If you've never been a sailor better try.
If you've never been a sailor you'd better try.....
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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
81.8 hrs on record
Posted: April 21
This is not a fast game.

If that does not turn you away, you will devour this game. Intriguing and thought-provoking worldbuilding, and the very best narrative, quantity considered, i've ever seen in a game. Sometimes it is hilarious, often it is charming, and usually it is laden with sinister purpose that perpetually leaves you a shade below terrified. The gameplay is the delectable, perfect mix of challenging but fair. It's worth your twenty bucks if you have some time to kill. It's a no-brainer if it's on sale.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
11.9 hrs on record
Posted: April 25
Holy f**k, this game's narrative is really good! If you like the whole H.P. Lovecraft, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman style of writing, you WILL LOVE this game.

It's a mix of Lovecraft with Pratchett and some steampunk visuals with the feel of Gaiman's Neverwhere London. Like there's a whole civilization on a dimension just below our own.

I cannot recommend this game enough, if you like this kind of lore.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
48.2 hrs on record
Posted: April 27
This game combines Failbetter's excellent writing with Roguelike elements and Sid Meier's Pirates! to give us a very engaging Lovecraftian steampunk adventure. It's pretty much up to you to choose the playstyle that suits you, and it's best not to get too attached to your first few captains. Once you've gotten good enough and lucky enough to open up most of the map though, there's quite a lot to do and the experience can be very rewarding. One caveat though; you'll spend a lot of time in transit between ports. If extensive travel in open-world games is a deal-breaker for you, this might not be your cup of tea.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
4.5 hrs on record
Posted: April 28
This is my all time favorite game EVER. BUY IT NOW. It deserves WAY more love than it gets.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
17.9 hrs on record
Posted: April 29
Deeply atmospheric. Does require a lot of reading, but it's worth it.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
11.3 hrs on record
Posted: April 29
There are a LOT of reviews for this game, but here's another one. I can't recommend this game enough.

So far in my 11 hours of play I've: had "sex" with a squid thing that cooks, fought off a living ice berg, infested islands with fungus, and sacrificed several members of my loyal crew for gasoline. Gas prices are outrageous!

10/10
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1,670 of 1,754 people (95%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
43.9 hrs on record
Posted: February 7
My crew attempted a mutiny, upset and frightened from being out at sea for too long. When their mutiny failed, I sailed them back to London. Once home was in sight, and they gathered at the rails to sing praise, I promptly turned the ship around and sailed it in a circle. And then another circle, this one wider. Then, a third circle, this one smaller.

No one commits mutiny on my vessel.

Time moved swiftly as the circles continued. My crew only had a faint understanding of what punishments were in store for them as I spent the night in my cabin, fornicating with our surgeon. Around and around and around we sailed.

It soon dawned on them what was happening when the nightmares came, when the food and supplies began running low. Once the food was gone, the madness came quick; the frightened tears, quicker. One member wanted to kill herself, but I wouldn't allow it. Another begged me to stop the endless circles, so I sailed them faster, sloppier. Once, I sailed close to a zee-beast. It swam away, wanting no part in the theatre of suffering I was producing. An entire meal, the crew's last hope of staving off death by starvation, had gone. Only the circles remained.

If they wanted to live, they had to eat. Keeping their humanity was no longer an option. They knew what little choice they had, and what little they could do to control it. Out of food, cannibalism quickly took hold on the decks. Crew members butchered and ate each other after yet another failed mutiny. And back in my cabin, all I could do was muse with my sultry lady in lilac, the crewmembers' wails of grief a very, very potent aphrodisiac for more fornication.

We sailed, ate, sailed again. The rhythm never broke. A circle without end.

Soon I took part in the feasting of a brazen zailor who tried to shoot me and failed spectacularly in doing so. The few remaining crew and I ate him and we said nothing of the incident. They knew better. The silence was terrible for them, and it pleased me. Nearby, a cargo vessel sailed past us without pause. You could almost smell the bounty of food and fuel aboard it. They never knew what we were doing, or what we've become, circling without end. Then, they were gone, and my remaining crew came undone.

I shot a crewman who attempted to abandon ship, and I tossed his body overboard. I did nothing as another member leapt overboard soon after, only to be swallowed by the waves, screaming about Salt's curse being set upon us. I dined with the lady in lilac again as the second to last crewman wept and succumbed in his sleep to nightmares, alone and misbegotten.

I believe his corpse is still decomposing in its spot, somewhere in the dark in the lowest corner of my vessel, the Unsinkable II. He shall remain there as a souvenir until I see fit.

Finally, when it was just me and one broken crew member left, I turned the ship portside and set us off. Time to stop the circles; home was near, just at the edge of the screen. I paid a hefty fee for a tow and returned to port, to my zeeside mansion, where I slept like a baby that evening.

London was oblivious. Or unmoved.

Tomorrow, thirteen new crew members await orders to set sail. They haven't the foggiest of what to expect.

No one commits mutiny on my vessel.

10/10
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543 of 573 people (95%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
25.6 hrs on record
Posted: February 12
The Pirates laughed.
They laughed as they sunk my ship. None but I were alive on that ship. I sunk into the depths for the second time. That is when I swore that I would have my vengeance. I was no longer Promthelius - a dapper chap of Fallen London.
I was Ahab - and this game; my great white whale.

I started from scrap. I had nothing but a ship and a gun. I started trading Sphinxstones. I brought them to London for a nominal fee. It was not living, but surviving. Pirates swarmed my trade-route. I tried to avoid them for a time, but my ship would not take me further with the holes in it's hull. It slowed to a crawl, and five Pirate-ships sank me with an impressive display of teamwork for a bunch of thieves. I heard the laughter as I sank into those obsidian depths below. Was this how it ended? Was this how Ahab would be remembered?

No.

I would not succumb there. I was Ahab. I was the reckoning of Promthelius. I was two generations of seething disdain for this world, and all that inhabited it.

I started again. I threw caution to the wind, and traded wildly. With naught but two hundered echoes and two barrels of fuel, I found the Salt Lions. I once more started trading in sphinxstones.
Pirates swarmed, but I mostly avoided them. They laughted, jeering and taunting me. Was I a Coward? Perhaps.

I traded sphinxstones until the Salt Lions ran out. And thus began one year of sunshine. I traded empty boxes of mirrors in the city of Khan's Shadow, and captured the sunshine from the Neath in droves as I emerged there from the Cumaean canal. Three boxes turned into six. Six turned into sixteen. I bought a new ship - a trading vessel with one hundered and twenty units of cargo-space. My Empire of sunshine on that opaque expanse.

My plan was not without fault. Pirates tried and failed to sink me. I faced much danger upon those waters. Men and women so uncouth and guileful that they should like to rob me were swarming those waters. But with purpose, I sank or avoided all that followed.

In the end, ninety boxes of sunshine at each time was delivered to the Isle of Cats. I netted tidy sums of money. The Isle of Cats was a sun upon my obsidian empire. But the age of sun could not last. My last run ended in roaring success. Sixty thousand echoes filled my vault.

Once back in London, I had only one purpose.
With my money, I bought an Eschatologue-class Dreadnaught, and all the battle-gear that Fallen London had to offer.
It was expensive, but vengeance is a dish best served with overwhelming firepower.

And through my cannons, upon the deck of that Dreadnaught, my justice had finally come. I ended the reign of Pirates in a single day. Unfinished revolutionaries, Pirate Steamers, Republic Dreadnaughts and Glorious Dreadnaughts. It made no difference. All were sunk. All plunged to the depths under the sound of my cannons. Some say that they can still hear me laughing. There are no Pirates upon these waters, Friends. Only death.

I am Ahab. And I have taken my great white whale. My vengeance is complete.
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562 of 705 people (80%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
33.3 hrs on record
Posted: February 9
The biggest disappointment with this game is the thing that I see praised endlessly in the positive reviews - the writing and stories. Yes, the writing is pretty good and yes the stories are interesting. The problem is that they are only good and interesting the first time you read them. The true horror of this world hit me on my third captain when I realized that nothing was ever going to change. You come to realize that everything is always the same, and nothing varies. Get port reports for the Admiralty, with the same cute flavor-text repeated ad-nauseum. Go ashore to repeat one of the exact same 1-3 random events every time. Go to sea and realize that the exact same monsters will continuously appear in the the exact same positions forever. Recruit the same paltry handful of officers, with the exact same stories, resolved the exact same way every time. And then you can go the really stand-out islands with in-depth stories and mysteries, only to again realize that these are played out in five minutes through random-chance screen-prompts with maybe two or three alternate paths. In about 30 hours (as of this writing) I really feel like I've seen pretty much every single thing it has to offer. And this is simply unforgivable for a game that sells itself on the fact that you will die.

Based on that, I expected that characters would change and cycle. That only a few officers would be available to any one captain. That entire islands would disappear from the zee, and whole new ones would appear. That Fallen London would be teeming with traders, demons, nobles, thieves, naval officers, etc who would constantly change out and be replaced. That the trade goods and prices would change and your new captain would be forced to again explore and seek out the best suppliers and the best buyers. Areas you previously considered "safe" would now be home to vicious beasts. Basically, that playing as a new captain would feel rewarding and new. That's the sad part. It isn't. Nothing ever changes. Considering that the game is basically all text and random chance prompts, there should have been hundreds, if not thousands of stories and events that you could potentially see. There's really no excuse for how utterly static the world is.

That might be something you could ignore (though not forgive) if the game was fun to play, but it's not. Trading is so utterly pointless I don't understand why they even bothered adding items to the game. You will never be able to make more than three Echo per commodity, and you'll inevitably have to spend that profit plus an additional markup to replace the food and fuel you used to trade those goods in the first place. Exploration is a complete crapshoot because more often than not finding something valuable will require you to pass a skill check and you will never have enough skill points to have even a decent chance. When it comes to fighting monsters, just get to the edge of them, flip the boat in reverse, and then keep blasting the engines as you shoot them. You'll basically never be hit again.

I will say, just like everyone else, that the music is excellent and the atmosphere was very intriguing while it lasted. That is not enough. If you still find yourself interested, then please play the browser game instead. It's free, and it has a lot more content than you will find here.
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129 of 140 people (92%) found this review helpful
10 people found this review funny
29.3 hrs on record
Posted: April 2
After sailing around for an hour or so, killing some huge crabs and collecting some reports from new islands I had discovered, I was running low on fuel and supplies. The game reminded me of this with a prompt titled "Desperate Measures," so I was left with little choices on the matter.

I tried to use my last two boxes of supplies in a vain attempt to desperately scrape together some fuel so I could reach the port of Fallen London -- I failed. Now I was faced with the problem of starvation, on top of the whole fuel fiasco.

Fear was setting in, as was hunger, fuel was low, as was hope, so I decided to beseech the gods of the Unter-Zee for help, and help they did. I was, for lack of a better word, teleported to some kind of temple dedicated to the gods, and that was where things went from bad to worse.

This temple couldn't be further away from Fallen London, and therefore aid, than I could have gotten on my own. So I decided to beseech the gods again, this time my pleading went unanswered, a cruel cold-shoulder delivered to an ingrateful neophyte. The only purpose my inane begging to a higher power served was to unsettle my crew and drive us all to the brink of sanity.

So I abandoned ship and we all died, lol. 11/10.
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148 of 172 people (86%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
82.6 hrs on record
Posted: February 6
Early Access Review
Sunless Sea is absolutely wonderful. I honestly can't praise the game enough. Why is that?

The writing is sublime. The atmosphere, sound and setting all incredible and haunting in equal measure. In navigating the lonely, dark seas, one can't help but be completely immersed. Whether you are ferrying bandaged Tomb Colonists to distant islands, or sneaking mysterious fungi into remote outposts, you'll be having a terror-tinged blast.

Fuel and supplies will run low. Huge, ferocious creatures will stalk you through the dark. Terror will slowly creep in. The game is difficult, perhaps even a little too daunting at first, as some have found. But just diving into it, venturing as far as you dare and exploring the remarkable amount of content on offer will see you reap the rewards. Both in monetary gain in-game and satisfaction out-of-game.

The development during Early Access ironed out the majority of the last remaining kinks, and has left the game in a fantastic place. If you appreciate a wonderful atmosphere and truly original writing, and have the urge to explore the wonders of a unique underground ocean, definitely check out Sunless Sea.
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