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 (1,239 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!


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:




Google Play


"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 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.


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

18 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
Dark Sailing
Harmonium Over Matter
Oceana Lonissima
Khan's Heart
Storm, Stone, Salt
Hull is Other People
Vox Zombius
Fluke's Fathoms
The Sea Does Not Forgive
Hope is an Anchor
The Surface
Sunless Sea


Which piece of music in Sunless Sea is your favourite?

14 comments Read more


“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


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

Mac OS X
    • 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
    • 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
60 of 64 people (94%) 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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39 of 57 people (68%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
114.6 hrs on record
Posted: April 16
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17 of 19 people (89%) 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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7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
63.3 hrs on record
Posted: May 2
We'd been at zee for a long time, running dark to conserve fuel and avoid the attention of the pirates and great beasts. Despite my best efforts -- spinning tales of comfort for my zailors, brazenly defying Nightmares, even initiating an affair with my engineer -- I'd managed to let my Terror get all the way to 100%. The achievement pops up; "Lose Your Mind". This doesn't bode well, but I'm a mere ship's length away from home port, and docking will reduce terror to 50%; a much more manageable level. Surely I can hold out just a little--

I'm instantly presented with a choice between murdering my entire crew (with 12% chance of success), or attempting to win them over (9%). Failing either one, I was told, would end my game. I did the only thing I could do, and somehow managed to kill everyone aboard, save two. We made harbor and, with a fresh batch of new faces, set out to zee once more.

Time passes.

An adventurer whom we've been running jobs for finally announces that he has all of the supplies he needs to make his final journey and I, having proven my capability, am his first choice of transport. There's just one problem...my trusty ship lacks the capacity to hold his cargo with room for food and fuel. We're going to need a bigger boat.

I buy a bigger boat and hire on twice again as many zailors as I already have. We load up and set sail, but not before I accept just one more smuggling job from my "friend" with the bad eye and the concealed knife. Corsair's Forest? I've been there a dozen times; consider it done.

It's not until we're two days out that I realize my new ship has half the speed of my old one, and my triple-size crew are a hungry bunch. We're running low on supplies before we've even reached our initial destination, but we make the drop and start to head home.

Then the realization strikes. If we dock in London now, before finishing that smuggling job, I'll have to cough up the fee plus a hefty chunk of interest, not to mention lose a valuable connection...but the nearest trading port is in the opposite direction.

It took every scrap of food we had, but we managed to reach Mount Palmerston without resorting to cannibalism...again. We traded with the devils for supplies and loaded up on coke freshly dug from Hell. On our way home we made port at Pigmote isle, where a civilization of guinea pigs threw a banquet in our honor -- their returning saviors, though this time we were the ones in need of saving.

After a harrowing encounter with a manic Jillyfleur brought hull integrity to 1%, and a misbehaving Clay Man took five lives before we subdued him, we were desperate for rest and repair. An ill-fortuned shore leave on Gaidur's Mourn pushed Terror to worrying levels, but we had our package. As we pulled out of the port, a straggling pirate ship fired one last shot across our bow -- but the shell missed by an arm's length and we were homeward bound. Two days later, limping into port with a skeleton crew, I breathed a sigh of relief that I'd narrowly escaped losing my mind for the second time in the space of a week. My sweetheart and child welcome me home. I say nothing of the suicides -- surely they were suicides? -- that only I had been privy to. I pass on an uncanny artifact to my son; someday he, too, will be a zee captain, with enough cares of his own. No need to trouble him with details.

My friend has another job for me, and the Admiralty has need of news from the outlying colonies. I take a loss on a purchase of a smaller ship, name her after the one I'd traded to begin with. Eighth of my house and 211 days at zee, I sail on.
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7 of 9 people (78%) 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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5 of 6 people (83%) 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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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
15.9 hrs on record
Posted: May 5
Well lets list some adventures my zee captain has embarked upon

I was tricked into eating human meat, now im a cannibal
I chased a small child naked through the jungle
I sold my soul to an ape
I ferried some mummies up to their colony
I smuggled illegal human souls
I also was an illegal sunlight smuggler
I shot pirates in their stupid face
I got killed in a mutiny
I helped rats win a war against guinea pigs
I was cursed by a god of the zee who murdered my sweetheart...twice
I burned a house down
I wore a frog mask and took part in weird rituals
I terrified my crew so bad we killed eachother
I traveled to the surface and had a nice day in Vienna

Then as usual I died again.

Giant zee monster/10
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
16.0 hrs on record
Posted: May 1
A decent game, but for $20 it's a HUGE stretch, and comes off as a huge ego on the part of the devs.

So for $20 you're getting a text driven game with next to nothing graphics. I'm not a graphics snob, I'm fine with that, but for that kind of money I'm expecting a lot of variety and depth to those text interactions and it wasn't there. Honestly, and I'm only slightly exagerating, I'm only 6 hours in and I feel like I've seen about 95% of what this game has to offer.

Locations change slightly from playthrough and despite tons of different characters the only real interaction with them is being told what fetch quest youhave to do for them. I'd rather have fewer characters and actually get to know them. On top of that, the UI takes a lot of getting used to and has a lot of unneccessary information (you mean I can't repair if I'm at full health?! WHAT?! Thank god you put that information there for me devs)

This lack of detail follows into the execution of some generally well done writing. Non-Playable characters don't remember you. You can do a thousand favors/missions and it has absolutely no effect on the way the npcs react to your character. For the $5-$10 this game should have cost I'd be ok with that, but for $20 I expect the devs to do something as simple as type in new dialouge for when favour hits a certain value. A stripped down game like this should naturally focus on making me care abut my crew...and it doesn't

Overall, it's decent game, but a very poor value for your money
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
98.2 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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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
13.2 hrs on record
Posted: May 3
I died a lot. Wondered if I should stop playing. But a week later I figured maybe I'd learned enough to stay alive for a while. It's actually not that hard. This game is really fun if you:

* Run away (use the extra fuel to the boiler)
* Buy extra fuel (see point 1)
* Explore everywhere
* Click cautiously, if there's a red "no way" you probably don't want that option unless you want to die.
* But DO click. If there's nothing warning you away, click it. See what happens. A lot of the random encounters are directly positive or unlock ways to get more cash, fuel & supplies.
* Play slowly and pay attention. I recommend getting a cup of tea before playing.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
21.0 hrs on record
Posted: May 5
Sunless Sea is a trade and exploration game set in an underground ocean environment chiefly inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft, with a dash of Neil Gaiman and perhaps a touch of Hinchcliffe-era Doctor Who? Not sure about that last one. In any case, it's dark, funny, macabre, sometimes touching and never less than atmospheric. It's also, depending on your taste, slow, frustrating, and a bit light on content. But I'll get into that later.

The good first. Sunless Sea is primarily an exercise in atmosphere and imagination, and on those terms it's very well built. The game encourages you to avoid straight combat and stay illuminated or close to land at all times, forcing you to weigh consuming more fuel with a roundabout route against trips into dark waters that will slowly drive you and your crew insane. The result is a well-defined sailing environment which is easy to comprehend but never friendly. The imagination is lovely, too: settlements built into the carcasses of leviathans, an island of alcholic monks, an economy which thrives on storytelling and rumor. You get to hunt terrifying sea monsters, learn forbidden secrets, conduct espionage between Londoners and underground Mongols...

It's great stuff, and what's best about it is that it duplicates the Lovecraftian trick of making the universe utterly indifferent to you. You're not the Chosen One, you're not the revealer of all things or the savior of worlds. You're just a captain with a boat and a dream, and fate - or whatever force governs it - could crush you like a bug without noticing.

All of this is sweet and awesome and correct and I'll be playing this game for a long while. But there are, inevitably with a game this complex, some issues.

The first hurdle is speed. You can never sail at anything faster than what feels like a snail's pace. The reason for this probably has something to do with preventing the player from discovering too much of the game world too quickly, but while it's undoubtedly a relaxing experience there's just large segments of playtime when I'm not really engaging with the game. The process of uncovering the map early in a playthrough compensates for this, but once you're no longer a beginner it really starts to grate.

The sailing speeds feel like they hit just the right spot of too uninvolving to be rewarding and yet too involving to let you, for instance, pop into the kitchen and get a snack. This is why fast-travel systems were invented, people. Still, a fast-travel system would hardly be fair in a game so heavily dependent on immersing yourself in the actual business of sailing. I might recommend something like a waypoint system, letting you predetermine a path that you can set your ship to automatically follow - but that risks cutting the player out completely rather than simply weakening engagement, so what do I know.

I'm not entirely certain I like the text interface, either. Once you're used to it it's not that hard to navigate, but a beginning player especially is going to look at their journal and see a whole bunch of icons with meanings utterly mysterious to them. Discovering gameplay as you go is all well and good but for a long time I was essentially making decisions at random, which felt more frustrating than rewarding.

The book item that explains things is all well and good, except I'm not sure it's wise to put a beginning player through the process of pausing, finding their way to their inventory, picking out the book, finding the particular passage, et cetera et cetera. For use as a reference or a reminder on certain topics, yes, but I feel like I shouldn't have to basically stop playing to find out how to play for the first time.

The game economy is lovely and intricate, though occasionally it feels like there are gaps. That basically anything can be traded in the right venue - even "experience points", news, stories and memories - is pretty friggin' sweet. As a player you aren't just a sailor scrounging for bigger numbers of things - you're a witty raconteur, a spymaster, and a scholar of terrifying secrets. The trade really is the story. That's kind of brilliant.

Making the trade system work for you, on the other hand, is kind of difficult. Of course there's an intentional element of trial and error to be had here, but I do get the distinct feeling that there isn't enough variation in demand for different commodities to allow a player to figure out more than three trade routes (and at least two of those take advantage of the fact that parts of the map don't change in subsequent playthroughs). There are a couple of conspicuous dead ends where content was cut (e.g. the Antiquarian thing, which apparently doesn't go anywhere), which makes me think the developers are still getting a handle on the dizzying complexity of the economy and environment they built. No bad thing in a fairly ambitious indie project, but you can see the seams on occasion.

I suspect the game's main flaw is that its world is just a bit too small. Reshuffling parts works with a roguelike structure, but the fact that you can quit the game and keep going where you left off means that there are going to be playthroughs which succeed for hours upon hours - perhaps indefinitely - and content and sailing will inevitably start to get repetitive and - dare I say it - grindy. A bigger world would allow for faster sailing that wasn't overpowered, as well as more room for interesting strategy in setting up trade routes.

Overall, though, this is still a remarkably fun and intriguing game - if I wrote more about the negatives than the positives, it's simply because it's so damn hard to speak for gameplay that speaks for itself, and so much easier to spot flaws than triumphs (otherwise we'd all be master artisans, wouldn't we?). Point is, I'm looking forward to discovering more of Sunless Sea and what the developers plan on doing with it.

Highly recommended.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
17.3 hrs on record
Posted: April 15
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.

  • 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.

  • 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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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
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!

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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
18.5 hrs on record
Posted: May 1
I want to like this, I really do. But the game's economics are so punishing, and the sheer amount of grinding, is so high, that I can't enjoy the wonderful world the writers have created. To have a chance to survive, you have to play boringly; if you seek out adventures, you'll die quickly. Even simply trying to make money, you stand an excellent chance of dying. And then it's a long slog back.

There is this fashion for extremely punishing games. But it really takes the fun out of it for me.
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2 of 3 people (67%) 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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3 of 5 people (60%) found this review helpful
86.1 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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5 of 9 people (56%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
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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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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