LOSE YOUR MIND. EAT YOUR CREW. Take the helm of your customised steamship and set sail for the unknown! Sunless Sea is a 2D game of discovery, survival and loneliness set in the award-winning Victorian Gothic universe of Fallen London.
User reviews: Very Positive (423 reviews)
Release Date: Jul 1, 2014

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Early Access Game

Get instant access and start playing; get involved with this game as it develops.

Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“NOW WITH TREMENDOUSLY IMPROVED COMBAT! See the update below.

This is a late beta with a huge amount of story content, waiting on more content, balancing changes and final polish. You can complete the game right now, but there are more stories popping every week. We have a road map here: http://www.failbettergames.com/sunlesssearoadmap/.

Sunless Sea is a game of exploration and discovery. We're providing a big world with a wealth of sights and stories out there for you to discover. It's the content that takes the time.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“Three to four months, with story updates weekly and major updates at least once a month. Here's our road map. The tl;dr version:

CORSAIR'S GOLD - our Steam Early Access release on 1st July. [COMPLETE!]

EMERALD - late July. [COMPLETE!]

STEEL - slated for release end September. A release focused primarily on the combat experience (including beastie AI and behaviour). [COMPLETE!]

CARNELIAN - late October. [COMPLETE!]

SAPPHIRE - end November. More complex and generous Legacies. The East: Irem and the Pillared Sea, the Empire of Hands, Frostfound and the sun-touched Calumnies.

DIAMOND - start January. Neutral vessels, wandering weather phenomena.The Sea of Statues and the Crying Heights.

PEARL – early February. Final release!”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

“The map will be larger. Story content will be correspondingly broader. Mechanics will be tuned and finalised, especially Legacies and combat.”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“Playable and completable; waiting on more islands and more stories. Our Kickstarter backers have been playing and enjoying it in closed beta for two months.”

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“Same price , but if you purchase during Early Access we commit to lifetime access to any extra areas or DLC we provide. We're committed to at least one piece of DLC from the Kickstarter stretch goal - a submersible expansion.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“We monitor, respond to and implement suggestions via forums and via a dedicated support address. There's an active and friendly community already: dive in!”
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Buy SUNLESS SEA

 

Recommended By Curators

"Far from finished, but its twisted adventures in a sunken world filled with unspeakable horrors, dark decisions and sublime words are not to be missed."
Read the full review here.

Recent updates View all (19)

November 19

Zail to Visage

The isle named Visage is now open, if you are prepared to go masked.

"All visitors must pass, one by one, through a room guarded by a person in the mask of a Moon-Moth…"

Our most enigmatic island yet. Learn the etiquette of masks. Ascend the ranks. Uncover the confessions of Flourishing-of-Years.

Emily Short writes many kinds of interactive fiction. She is a seasoned contributor to Fallen London and Sunless Sea. Tweet her @emshort, and read her blog.

It’s been an incredible treat working with Meg Jayanth, Richard Cobbett, and now the frankly legendary Emily Short.

We wanted the Unterzee to feel like a place full of unexpected wonders, and getting contributions from different voices has helped us make this trilogy of islands distinctive.

Your reactions are greatly appreciated!

5 comments Read more

November 13

Come to the Isle of Cats

Here, an invisible tiger stalks and deadly roses grow. Unravel a tale of memory, cruelty and desire, with the King's Claw, the Lady of the Cages, and a mystery from Fallen London's past...

A substantial story for Sunless Sea in the form of a guest island written by Meg Jayanth.

Meg Jayanth is a freelance writer and game-maker in London. Her recent work includes 80 Days - a decolonised, steampunk adaptation of Verne's adventure classic, for iOS - and Samsara, a rich historical fantasy of dream-walking and intrigue set in Eighteenth Century Bengal, which lives on our own StoryNexus.

Follow Meg @betterthemask
megjayanth.com

"Welcome to the Isle of Cats," the Wide-Eyed Dockmaster says brightly. "Would you like to bribe me not to write down your details in this nice official ledger?"

Click New Stories Available to get this story, and enjoy.

5 comments Read more
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Reviews

“Sunless Sea takes the excellent writing and world-building of Fallen London, and injects it into a 2D exploration, trading and survival game. It’s Elite but with steamships instead of starships.”
Rock Paper Shotgun

“A wonderful prospect: a game of exploration, loneliness, risk, adventure and madness taking place across a vast subterranean ocean riddled with islands, with dangers, with dripping trophies of the deep.”
Eurogamer

About This Game

LOSE YOUR MIND. EAT YOUR CREW.

Take the helm of your customised steamship and set sail for the unknown! Sunless Sea is a 2D game of discovery, survival and loneliness set in the award-winning Victorian Gothic universe of Fallen London. Will you succumb to madness and cannibalism on the black waters? Or return home triumphant with a hold full of precious loot?

Events can turn out differently every game - sometimes, even if you make the same choices. Will you lose your sweetheart to a curse? Redeem, betray or consume the Genial Magician? Sell your soul to the Wistful Deviless or spurn her advances? Is the Dawn Machine your salvation, or your doom?

You are the captain. It’s your call.

Key features

  • A deep, compelling world packed with secrets and stories
  • Beautiful, hand drawn 2D art
  • Light and dark. Stray too far from the gas-lamps of civilisation and your crew will grow fearful and eventually lose their sanity. But there is treasure out there in the darkness…
  • Real-time, pausable combat with dozens of different abilities
  • Leave a legacy! When you die (and you will) your next captain may choose to inherit a skill, a chart of discovered islands or a beloved officer.
  • Upgrade your steamship with powerful engines, flensing cannons, and pneumatic torpedo guns. Or just 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 from a menagerie of ship’s mascots: the Comatose Ferret, the Wretched Mog, the Elegiac Cockatoo, and more!
  • Trade silk and souls, mushroom wine and hallucinogenic honey...
  • Cross the wide black sea
  • Find your way home

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
10 of 10 people (100%) found this review helpful
126.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 6
Early Access Review
There are mistakes in a zee captain's life. This was not one of them. It had to die, if indeed it could be said to be living. It was a sacrifice not of its own choosing, but of something vast and compelling that had chosen for it. Had chosen for me. There were things I needed. Things I needed to know. Colours of memory and secrets that burn.

Far from my birth on the street I rested in my manse, contemplating a life of luxury, filled with light. No longer fearing each time we turned from the shore that we would be swallowed whole by the dark. No more red feasts. No more nights haunted by The Eye. No more hard choices. No more regrets.

From the frozen temple of Whither to the weeping stones of the Salt Lions I traveled. Laden down with the great treasures of the Tomb Colony of Venderbight and multi-hued scintillack from the Principles, the ship sped through the calm waters of the Unterzee. Above the deck, the enormous heart of something old and vicious and clever, dripping irrigo blood through the netting that held it. A king's ransom, gathered at great risk and expense from all corners of the Neath. The price agreed upon for the life of a nightmare. A thing. A friend.

There are mistakes that cannot be undone. I have made many. This was not one of them.
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7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
19.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 4
Early Access Review
Some of the mechanics remind me of Sid Meier's Pirates, but it's a really dark, story-driven game. One of my favorites.

And even though it's still early access, the devs have been putting great work into it. After lackluster reactions to combat, they completely scrapped and reworked the system. Can't wait to see the final product.
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8 of 11 people (73%) found this review helpful
7.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 1
Early Access Review
I feel bad reviewing it from Nov ember Early Access (final due in Dec) but as much as I like roguelikes and RPGs, I couldn't make myself like this.

Typical to a roguelike, the gameplay is punishing. Normally, that means if you delve too deep into a dungeon, you get mobbed and end your run. In this, it means you spent 10 minutes going in one direction, cruising by (beautiful) empty landmarks, running out a fuel and simply sitting there until you quit.

If you try to play more cautious - not go out too far, prepare before taking on challenges - you'll find yourself in a trading simulator. Go to A, buy 10 of Item, go to B, sell them and return to A, or save scumming to reload the pirate you have an 80% chance to actually get loot from. It literally takes hours of the same tedious gameplay before you can get even the first set of marginal upgrades (crew officers).

It takes forever to get anywhere - both in-game travel, and player progression. While other games may not have the same degree of world building, they more than make up for it in actual gameplay.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 30
Early Access Review
As a story Sunless sea is amazing.

Just as a very small example Im sailing along in the pure darkness of this vast underground ocean and suddenly a tentacle reaches up from the depths. You might anticipate a fight but no, all that happens is a crewman steps forward, completly unafraid of it for some reason and it gently grabs him and pulls him beneath the waves without so much as a sound or an ounce of struggle from the crewman.

And its never mention again. In the world of the sunless sea, this sort of stuff just... happens. And it will creep you the hell out. This game really really gets the concept of sublety and atmosphere.

What it doesnt quite get is the actual game part. The learning curve is so steep its a cliff, home to many murderous bats who do significant damage that cant be repaired cost effectively and will end your journey often and in unsatisfying ways that feel cheap and hard to combat.

The game is somewhat unintuitive and suffers from poor progression of skills and upgrades. Heck for that matter you'll often find that the rewards from completing a mission dont even go halfway to covering the costs you acrued in repairs, fuel and supplies.

If this were a novel I imagine it would be one of my favourites. But its not, its a flawed game with some interesting ideas. I'd still recomend Sunless Sea but only if youre into the subject material of steampunk horror as it cant really hold up as a game alone.
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13 of 22 people (59%) found this review helpful
4.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 29
Early Access Review
A game that woul be awesome if everything was rebalanced. Cargo space, Money value. Fuel efficiency. Ship speed and Handling. Because of these things, going anywhere is a challenge, which would be okay, if only you made any money from the trading. All in all, you end up with barely more fuel and food than what you leave with, if you're so lucky. Like it is right now, it's a 4/10, but if they fix at least a couple of things, it'll be a solid 8 or 9.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
17.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 1
Early Access Review
I find the game quite enjoyable. It's nerve-wracking to conduct business on a variety of fronts, hope for a good roll of the die, and still barely make a profit to adventure forward. The grind is rough, but if balanced a little bit more, it'll feel about right.

* There have been some noticable typos; such as a job requires 3 crew-men and only 2 are needed. I'm sure these will pop up every now and then.
* I haven't bought a new ship yet, but I find it frustrating that other ships and creatures can turn on a dime very quickly, whereas I still have to make a round around an island before making a 180 (I know there is a reverse, that's not the point).
* I think a nice addition would be a flare gun to send a signal for a tugboat that brings you back to port in case you run out of fuel just feet before docking. I could have got an oar out and paddled instead of needing to restart.
* The combat system flows well, but when two enemies are in range, I can't target the other.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
46.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 18
Early Access Review
If Skyrim and Black Flag had a Delicious baby, and that baby was born in an Indie hospital.... this game would brag about eating it.

10/10 Would Cannibal again!
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
15.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 1
Early Access Review
The game is simple, survive in the underground seas, make a fortune, retire. Your enemies are everything around you, even your own mind. Terror builds while in the darkness, while in the light of towns and bouys (spelling?) your terror stops. Battlke sea creatures and pirates, ferry the dead, even deal in souls. All of this can be done on the Sunless Seas!

Pros:
Music - Well done and easily matches the tone of the game. Fell in love with it right away.
Content - Thought not a high amount of ports things changes from time to time, so going back to a place youve been to may wield unexpected results.
Twisted Atmosphere - If it was only pirates Id have passed it up. Deep ones and dark creatures make this story a very interesting one.
Death - When you die, its game over like in any rogue like game, there is perma death though this is turned off in the merciful mode allowing you to save. However you can pass one of your Map, officers or skills to the next generation. I always recommend the map as its very useful.

Cons:
Text Based Game - Not for everyone, I didnt mind it as enjoy reading and usually read lore and such in MMO's but it is not for everyone.
Money - Making money in this game is a slow paced process, though easy, it can be long.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
33.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 2
Early Access Review
Despite being a game that is imperfect and unfinished, Sunless Sea is absolutely wonderful.

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.

There are gameplay elements that still need work, obviously, as the game is Early Access after all. But if you appreciate a wonderful atmosphere and truly original writing, and have the urge to explore the wonders of a unique underground ocean, definitely keep an eye on Sunless Sea.


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3 of 5 people (60%) found this review helpful
34.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 2
Early Access Review
Like Don't Starve with boats. 10/10
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3 of 5 people (60%) found this review helpful
5.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 30
Early Access Review
Would I recommend this game?
WOULD I RECOMMEND THIS GAME!?

It's a Fallen London game! It has boats in it! WHY DON'T YOU OWN THIS ALREADY!? WHAT HAS GONE WRONG IN YOUR LIFE!? WHO HURT YOU!?

Seriously though, it's great.
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6 of 11 people (55%) found this review helpful
2.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 6
Early Access Review
Sunless Sea is a top-down rougue-lite boat 'em up. Interesting in concept but flawed in execution.

The original combat mechanics were slow turn-based and kinda dull. Since the update combat is real time against cheating enemy AI (so best avoided although that isn't possible) The severe resource shortage will have you grinding for hours or failing, probably both. Fortunately the devs continue to update and support the game, unfortunately there is a long way to go before Sunless Sea feels fun to play.
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4 of 9 people (44%) found this review helpful
0.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 18
Early Access Review
Due to changes in the combat system this is not the game I thought I was buying. Oh well.
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3 of 11 people (27%) found this review helpful
4.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 30
Early Access Review
hit rocks - died
would die again
bats/10
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1 of 43 people (2%) found this review helpful
8.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 31
Early Access Review
Furious that I bought the prooduct on the 27th only to have the price reduced on the 31st via HumbleBundle. Seems to haeppen to me every time I buy a game online.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
100.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 30
Early Access Review
Sunless Sea is a great game that's in Early Access. Gameplay is fairly simple -- you are the captain of a ship in the port of Fallen London, which sits on the edge of the Unterzee, a vast lightless ocean. You have to manage four resources: Money (Echoes), Food (supplies), Fuel (fuel), and Terror, all while exploring, making money and eventually retiring from Seafaring life.

The narratives are very well written and interesting, and there are a variety of overlapping stories. I'd almost describe the game as a survival horror experience, as it never quite feels like you have enough of anything.

The primary downside of the game is that it's in Early Access, and clearly not finished yet. Currently a lot of ports are not particularly functional (or clearly have the wrong shops and dialog options), but the art is very well done and everything you see is interesting (I always find myself wondering about the story behind the different areas). In addition it's difficult to make money, especially in bulk, when you start. I think these are balance issues that will eventually be resolved, as opposed to serious detractions of the game. If this were a 1.0 release I wouldn't recommend it, but as the game is in Early Access I certainly see the potential and that the 'good' far outweighs the 'bad'.

If you liked FTL and also like HP Lovecraft, buy this game. You will not be disappointed.
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19.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 31
Early Access Review
Although this game is still in early access the current product is a great game. This game revolves around the zee of Fallen London (Failbetter's browser text RPG). The Unterzee is a dark, dangerous place and full of terrors. you are a Zee Captain and you must navigate these waters while trying your best to keep you & your crew sane enough to prevent any murderous rampage.
At present you can have multiple origins and differing end games depending on your own choice, although currently in Early access only two endings are available. There's also a plentiful supply of side quests, will you assist the admiralty in trying to ressurect the empire? Will you become a smuggler on your road to riches? Will you sell your soul to the devil or help the mysterious curator of Venderblight?
As it is a Roguelike game the high zee is a dangerous place to travel even without other humans around to step on your toes. Strange creatures such as Bound-Sharks, Living Icebergs, Giant Crabs and jellyfish roam the unter-zee. As well as this there are pirates and Khanites who generally have better ships than you, do you avoid them or try and win by out-manoeuvering them. But did you bring enough fuel to keep the engines churing? Do you have enough supplies to keep whatever crew you brought with you fed well, or will you tunr into a cannibal to keep alive? Or will terror consume your crew and will you be plagued by the nightmares?
Even death offers choices: will your chart of the Unterzee make it back to your inheritor, or did one of your crew survive whatever fate befell your ship, or did you teach your inheritor some of the workings or running a ship on the zee? (mechanically speaking the last option lets you pass on progress of one of your 5 five skills) And did you leave a solid enough will to leave behind your home and some of your property or will it be whisked away before your heir can take to the high zee?

The only thing I feel really needs tweaked is that the economy needs some work as quite a few missions aren't worth doing once you take into account the cost of fuel of supplies involved in transporting the goods, that and the other ships available to purchase are prohibitly expensive.
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15.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 3
Early Access Review
The game started out rough, but as the updates occur it is evolving into a very fun and addicting game. They are on the right track.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
22.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 4
Early Access Review
Sunless Sea is a good Adventure Game, it's a bit hard to describe and best experenced. For sure with the money
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16.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 2
Early Access Review
So far, I really enjoy the game. Different story-line choices make the game quite different.

You get quite a pounding in the early stages of the game if you're reckless, so this forces you to be stealthy. After gaining enough currency and experience in the game, it becomes easier though.

Of course it has minor bugs here and there and not all of the content is in the game either. It's in early access after all. The price is well worth it, considering the overall experience in-game (plus, you'll get the DLC for free after release).

If you like fancy dialogues and rogue-like genre, this game might be for you. I highly recommend it.
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