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:
Recent:
Very Positive (109 reviews) - 84% of the 109 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Very Positive (2,961 reviews) - 81% of the 2,961 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Feb 6, 2015

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Recent updates View all (53)

June 23

Zubmariner News for June: We're in beta!

Sunless Sea is in the Steam Summer Sale!

Welcome to those of you who’ve joined us in the sale. You’ve made a wise decision to avoid all of that dreadful sunlight outside in favour of long and lonely journeys on a dark and unforgiving sea, dying repeatedly in the pursuit of (for example) a crate of human souls.

ZUBMARINER IS IN BETA!

Hooray! The first expansion for Sunless Sea, Zubmariner, is now in beta. Thank you to the hundreds of you who signed up to test! We’ll re-open signups further down the line, quite likely - watch here and in the Steam discussion forums for news.

Zubmariner is an expansion to the base game which will enable you to travel beneath the zee in a creaking, groaning Zubmarine. More stories, more pressure, more terrible things in the dark.

Zubmariner: Flora

A look at some of the procedurally placed plants and corals of the Unterzee, including our favourite, the brain coral.

We’re coming to Twitchcon!

We’ll be in the Indie area at Twitchcon in San Diego, from 30 Sept to 2 Oct! This is our first ever consumer event in the US! We can't help but use a lot of exclamation marks when considering the possibilities! Ack!

We will bring Sunless Sea and Zubmariner goodies. These will include special, limited edition and not commonly available goodies for anyone who comes to see us in any form of Neathy costume, or who brings art/made things for us to take to our office (flat things which go nicely in a suitcase). We handed out a few of these at London Comic Con and it was lovely. We can't wait to do it again. Let us know if you’re coming! (If you're not coming, it will all - of course - be broadcast on twitch.)

11 comments Read more

May 12

Zubmariner News for May

Hello and welcome to your update for May! We’re working on a new zee-beast, looking at the different ways the environment will help or hinder you beneath the Zee, and offering a taste of the Zumbarine acquisition story. Plus, if you’re in London, come and meet team FBG at MCM Comic Con!

View this post with pictures on our blog

Text resizing will be introduced for Zubmariner (and in Sunless Sea)

If you’ve been following Sunless Sea, you’ll know that we had some real trouble working with text in Unity 4. We’ve been beavering away behind the scenes to move Sunless Sea into Unity 5, which has enabled us to work on a new user interface.

This new UI, which will be applied to both the base game and the Zubmariner expansion, will allow you to resize both the text itself and the Gazetteer. You won’t need to own Zubmariner to get the update, it’ll apply to Sunless Sea too.

An Agreement About Nothing Of Consequence

London, the Presbyterate, the Khanate, Khan's Shadow, the New Sequence and even the Iron Republic have all concluded that there's nothing of any importance under the Zee, and they've all agreed to leave it well alone. That means the places below the waves are off limits to you, too.

A benefactor approaches you with an urgent request to help her find something she’s lost. She has the resources to help you build a Zubmarine shell in secret, if you can find the parts.

There is nothing of any importance under the Zee, says The Agreement. If that’s true, why is it enforced so vigorously? Could it hurt to find out for yourself?

Breathe any easier?

Oxygen is precious, under the Zee. You’ll have a limited supply, but passing over an oasis will halt the depletion, and give you some supplies.

An oasis

Some oases will be surrounded by snarls of witherweed - which will cause damage to your hull. How much do you need the oxygen?

A New Zee-Beast: The Neither

A swift, dark, serpentine thing with wriggling cilia. A moray-millipede.

The Neither

Meet Team FBG at MCM Comic Con in London

If you’re planning to come to MCM Comic Con London at the end of the month, some of Failbetter will be there in the indie game area, showing the iOS version of Fallen London and giving away event-exclusive goodies (badges, t-shirts and playing cards!).

11 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
    • Storage: 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
    • Storage: 700 MB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c compatible
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Recent:
Very Positive (109 reviews)
Overall:
Very Positive (2,961 reviews)
Recently Posted
Fluffy Gray Fox
( 1.2 hrs on record )
Posted: July 1
A very story driven game that has good role-play elements to it. Right from the start you're emerged into old London and the terror that befell it. As a Captain of your own ship, it's up to you to decide the fate of your crew and yourself. Smuggle goods, or play it stright? Fight off sea monsters and salvage there corpes or turn tail and run? What nightmares away you in the darkness? Risk everything to exlpore the dark, or try to stay safe in lit waters? This game runs deep with story, and every moment could be your last. The sea may not be for man, but the real question is will you survive the darkness?
Helpful? Yes No Funny
DrexelDooley
( 132.0 hrs on record )
Posted: July 1
Dark, but fun. For those out there that don't need friends, they just need to pass time and enjoy a good read.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Talon
( 248.0 hrs on record )
Posted: July 1
Tip of the Day: Mysteries are Fire! Truth Burns!

An excellent atmosphere of a Cthulhu Mythos Friendly Rogue-lite setting set within Victorian Age London.

London has been swallowed by the Sunless Sea and Fallen beneath the Waves into an eldritch subterranean world where eldritch dieties named Salt, Stone, and Storm are worshipped by strange alien denizens. Londen has Fallen over a generation ago into this Sunless Eldritch underworld far from the light of the sun. Time flows strangely here and Death is a kindness oft sought but seldom found everywhere in this subterranean world over a mile beneath the ground.


You are a Zee Captain who has chosen to explore this rich, diverse alien world in pursuit of your own Ambitions. You have appropriated by means fair or foul a servicable if cramped steam-punk powered by a rickety but functional engine and recruited a few hardy crew members to your cause. Together you will brave the eldritch waters of a living darkness that slowly devours your sanity, the secret uncaring interference of alien gods which lie deep beneath the waves, above the cavern roof or far to the south beyond where mortals are allowed to tread. The story unfolds as you explore further and deeper from Fallen London but to Fallen Londen you will carry seeds of forbidden knowledge, eldritch horror, and many strange artifacts and secrets. You may lay the foundation for a child scion who if sufficiently inspired by your exploits will carry on the family tradition should the unthinkable happen to you.

Writing: The Writing in Sunless Sea is concise, brilliant, and rich with imagery and alliteration that would make H.P. Lovecraft himself proud. There are elements of eldritch mystery, supernatural horror, and comical if dark and moribund humor sprinked over every inhabited island floating upon this Sunless Sea. Easily the best part of this game lies in the small stories that bring Sunless Sea to life within your mind imbuing every tiny port lit by artificial light with its own unique little stories and stitch the atmosphere of the game into a complete and comprehensive whole.

Grind: There is a learning curve to this game but I did not find it that terribly difficult to overcome. If you want some tips and advice there are numerous guides in the community guide forum on Steam to help you short-circuit where you should go if you want to make a sustainable early income. The community is friendly if not overly given to poetry or alliteration themselves. They will be more than happy to help you get over the "Grind" of learning the do's and don'ts of this game.

The world of Sunless Sea is replete with many things for your Captain to do in the Neath before he dies to some pirate coursier or the casual cruelty of the alien denezins that inhabit this alien world. The Atmosphere of the game is as immersive and deep and strange as the Setting itself.

The only real CON to Sunless Sea is that they do not update this game with fresh stories as frequently as they once were wont to do so eventually you will find yourself running through all the variations of the stories implemented in stunning richness within the vault of your imagination. Add to that, the relatively difficult learning curve coupled to the slowness of your boat's initial engine will make this a game that requires patience and foresight if you are to have your Captain to survive long enough to pass his Legacies on to the next generation but the rewards are great for those who perserve with this rogue-lite narrative game.

Gameplay: You have Stats that correspond to skills and abilities that are utilized in stories to determine the outcome of various adventures. Unlike most games, Sunless Sea encourages you to play through even your failures since sometimes a lesson not learned may be as important to your Captain's long-term survival as succeeding at everything.

Summary: The writing stays fluid through all potential outcomes failure and success alike. There is so much richness in the feedom of choices on offer here that it puts to shame anything you will find in any Telltale Studio game. Through it all the Setting, Atmosphere, and Quality of the Writing within this game make it an absolute must buy for any bookophile looking to experience life within a very alien world filled with Lovecraftian horrors and stories that range across a broad range of Mythos-related themes. This is supernatural horror at its finest set within a Victorian Sunless Sea Steam-Punk world filled with strange, mysterious, and terrible creatures that may help you, hurt you, or eat you for their own inscrutable purposes. There are many ways to survive and there are many ways to die. It is a rogue-LITE narrative driven game so be mindful of that as one Captain's death may be another Captain's salvation.

Bottom Line: Sunless Sea is definitely a buy if you prize Lovecraftian horror games with high-quality writing, expansive setting, and a deeply immersive atmosphere from start to finish. If you were interested enough to come to this store page, then you really should consider giving this game a try. Your first Captain will die...others may yet survive this...Sunless Sea.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
TheFightingFish
( 6.3 hrs on record )
Posted: July 1
I hate to be a negative voice against a game which is so unique. But this game just did not work for me. I love the setting, the writing was often very clever, and the art of the environments was super unique and appealing. The issue for me was that the game was very slow, both in navigating menus and in combat and sailing. These would be issues for any game, but it's bad in particular for a roguelike where one is expected to die and retry multiple times. After a death even clicking through things quickly there is like 20+ minutes of boilerplate actions that need to be taken to start off into the ocean. It's just too much repetition of slow menu navigation and exploring around your home base that you need to do before actually progressing further into the interesting bits. I only played a few lives and I was already bored with the same text and actions that I had to take. I never got that "just one more life, I gotta try that again" that I get from games like Rogue Legacy or Risk of Rain. More just a feeling of "do I have to do all that again?"

I'm not sure if it would really fix the issues that I had with it, but it is a game that I feel would actually be better not as a Roguelike. Just let me keep my experience so that I can slowly build up my ship and actually explore the world and read all the interesting stories and see the beautiful art.

Helpful? Yes No Funny
Aramax
( 4.0 hrs on record )
Posted: July 1
If the trailer does not convince you of the uniqueness of this game then let me add this: The price they ask for the game is well justified.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Malacandra
( 23.4 hrs on record )
Posted: July 1
Awesome atmosphere.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Aekerman
( 6.7 hrs on record )
Posted: July 1
An interesting concept, but do not play this if you like action. This game is very repetative and sooo -SLOW-!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
decook
( 35.2 hrs on record )
Posted: June 30
Funless Zee

The definition of:
Teadious
[ˈtiːdɪəs]
ADJECTIVE
Too long, slow, or dull; tiresome or monotonous:
"a tedious journey"
synonyms: boring · monotonous · dull · deadly dull · uninteresting · unexciting · unvaried · unvarying · lacking variety · mind-numbing · mindless · soul-destroying

I want to like this but it's so damn dull. My large play time is down to how many times I fell asleep at the keyboard.

It's has very nicely written stories, unfortunately due to the way the game is balanced don't expect to see anything but the first few stories over and over and over and over and over again.


A big ZzZzZzZzZzZz on the Zee.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
canhero
( 59.4 hrs on record )
Posted: June 30
Very atmospheric haunting game. A bit repetitive but to be expected in this type of play, like FTL. The music score is well suited to the game, and you feel a sense of loss when your captain and crew finally perish beneath the Zee.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
blastercaster525
( 13.7 hrs on record )
Posted: June 30
Richer lore than Star Wars best universe Ive seen pretty damn good rather difficult you should buy.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
37 of 37 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
57.5 hrs on record
Posted: June 11
I'm recommending this game, but it should be said that this game is not for everyone. This game is, at its core, an interactive story. Explore, discover stories, and start pursuing or advancing stories that you find interesting. You earn the most money not by trading, but by exploring and seeing stories through to their end. You will die, but the next captain in your lineage will be in a better place. Don't be alarmed. All shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.

I've played this through a number of iterations, from Early Access to Release, and coming back to it again recently, I'm very pleased to discover how much more forgiving (within reason) the game is. Its much easier to get on your feet, and more stories have been added throughout the game. It is still not an easy game, be warned.

The writing is excellent, as one would expect from the Fallen London team. The world they've built is fantastic, and the payoff as you slowly piece together the mysteries is one of the best aspects of both Sunless Sea and Fallen London. It can sometimes be overwhelming, but the moments of clarity when the pieces fall together are worth it.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
15 of 16 people (94%) found this review helpful
Recommended
180.9 hrs on record
Posted: June 18
I poured a solid 200 hours into this game before I finally started to feel bored with it, which is a lot for a $20 indie game (which I bought for $10 in the humble bundle).

This is mostly a sort of choose your own adventure story, with a couple other elements thrown in to make it more like a "video game," such as combat and the roguelike inheritance system. The important thing to note is that this game is 100% as fully realized as a choose your own adventure game could possibly be. The music, art, and writing all create a really wonderful atmosphere, and above all, there are SO MANY story lines and achievments to explore, all interacting with one another.

It isn't like a lot of other games, but if you enjoy getting sucked into the world of a fantasy novel, you'll definitely be able to enjoy this. The only thing I *might* wish for is more "cheats." Gathering sufficient resources to make any headway into a lot of the story lines is a pretty arduous tasks, and I would definitely enjoy a way to play through on an easier mode, to get access to more of the game.
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29 of 45 people (64%) found this review helpful
17 people found this review funny
Recommended
10.9 hrs on record
Posted: June 23
The zee is a harsh mistress
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
6.8 hrs on record
Posted: June 23
London, late 1800s. Bats have stolen the city, taking it to deep and eldritch caverns far below the earth. Socialites rub shoulders with devils, and death is often an inconvenience at worst.

This is the setting for Sunless Sea, a roguelike from Failbetter Games. If you've played Uncharted Waters, it is a lot like that series - you sail from place to place, looking for opportunity for trade and new land. Where this game truly shines, however, is the story and writing. Fallen London, the game that inspired this one, is text-based - and it shows. The writing is witty, atmospheric and clever.

The gameplay is clearly not the main focus of the game, but it feels solid and fun - if slow and, at times, overreliant on opportunities the writing gives you. If you simply want a sailing/economy simulator, you may be better served looking elsewhere. However, those who take to zailing the Zee for stories and atmosphere will not be disappointed.

All in all, I would wholeheartedly recommend Sunless Sea to anyone looking for a little more substance in the writing, as well as anyone who wants to experience a truly unique setting. You're bound to come back with an interesting Zee-Ztory or two.
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7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
11 people found this review funny
Recommended
39.4 hrs on record
Posted: June 28
- Oh look a shiny crab. How cute is that!
*dies*

- What are those, bats?
*dies*

- Accepted a poor traveler. Day 1: cool, he´s really hard working. Day 2: I guess, for the sake of religious diversity, I should let him keep that salt shrine. Day 3: a zailor suicides. Day 4: Mutiny.
*dies*

- Runs out of fuel after crossing entire zee right before being able to reach London´s dock. Also no echo to pay for someone to haul me in.
*dies*

- Agrees to take a dozen of tomb-colonist too early on in the game. Those bummers steal all the food.
*dies*

- Mother of crabs! Humongous mother of crabs! Better turn off the lights and stay out of her way. Why is she following me?
*dies*

- Used up all the mob´s money for something really cool. Unfortunately, mob doesn't agree
*dies*

- Let my office train my zee captain. Gets hurt. Something I cant recall happens. Gets hurt again.
*dies*

I started to name captains with numbers to help me keep track of my unwilling serial killing of them visible in the upper right corner of the screen.

20/10 would serial kill them again.
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6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
109.5 hrs on record
Posted: June 24
Sunless Sea, while certainly not for everyone, is a wonderful game if you are into exploration, gothic horror, H.P Lovecraft, or games with deep and hidden pieces of lore. It is extremely well-written, and the world it takes place in is fascinating (at least it was for me). However, the game has pacing issues, and can feel very slow at times, to the point where it can feel like progress is almost impossible.

8.5/10
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
27.7 hrs on record
Posted: June 13
~This is one of the most amazing, ruthless, unforgiving yet amazing and i would say a piece of art. But before I can say anything about this game, make sure to have an open mind and forget about any prejudice with games that uses this kind of camera / gameplay

Sunless Sea was created by a small gaming studio called Failbetter Games from London, they also created Fallen London, a browse game using the same universe but in alot simpler way, it also was a free game. It has a lot of good points, and some bad points that I´ll be listing below:

Pros:

Extremelly deep and complex history, lore, characters, enemies and quests
Totally creative in its approach (where I say approach, read gameplay, gamestyle yara yara yara)
Dynamic combat system (It is good to add that the dev are always changing and making the game better. They completely changed the combat sistem after a lot of feedbacks from the community)
AMAZING AND WONDERFULL locations and atmosphere
The map is randomly spread out, its always the same islands but spread in different locations on each gameplay
A lot of end possibilities
RPG elements, that mixed with different endings and starts, give the game a LOT of replayability
Dev are quick to answer and care a lot about bugs and how to improve the game
Unique and AWESOME soundtrack

Cons

Only in English
Difficult english for those who are not used to it
The game is very very difficult, even for hardcore players
The lore and objectives, although might seem explicit on the start, are vague and cand lead to a wrong interpratation

Having these Pros and Cons I´ve reached the followuing conclusion: Sunless Sea it´s a great game, but not for everybody. If you are a casual gamer, who only plays little hours a week and doesn´t have a lot of time to put into reading and looking on the internet how to solve some quests, this game is not for you. But if you´re like me, who can love a game and see it like a work of art and can really dedicate yourself to understanding, this is tha game for you. As a first glimpse you can find the game boring and without any leads, but if you take your time to read the details of your crew, of the wolfstack docks and even to look on the internet, you´ll find the game to be brilliant and amazing!

Hope to have helped you guys decide what decision to make! See ya!


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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
64.9 hrs on record
Posted: June 6
This game is magic, in that it will make hour upon hours of your life disappear. The writing is great and the hand drawn back grounds are very aesthetically pleasing. The ship controls are a little clunky and the gui gets in the way at times but, I stopped caring about that after a while as I immersed myself in the gloomy darkness, and atmospheric ( at times) music. if you like simple games with great writing then definitely get this game.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
109.2 hrs on record
Posted: June 11
For those who like exploration and strange creepy mysterious stories, this is a great game, and I highly recommend it. Its atmosphere is incredible, too.

However, it is not one of the traditional naval simulation games that are focused on trading and fighting. You cannot fetch much profit through trading, and the naval battle part is too easy and boring.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
32.0 hrs on record
Posted: June 21
I am not going to sit here and write the 4 page review this game deserves. I will say few games have gripped me in the past few years like Sunless Sea has. It is more of an interective story for your to explore and discover than a game, although it does have a simple battle system and strategy elements. I can't think of a game I could accurately compare this to, so I all I will say is that I highly encourage anyone and everyone to give it a try and see if the under zea grips you like it did me.
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