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 (51 reviews) - 82% of the 51 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Very Positive (2,957 reviews) - 82% of the 2,957 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Feb 6, 2015

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Recent updates View all (58)

September 22

Zubmariner comes out in 18 days! | Sunless Sea text and UI resizing now available

It’s only 18 days until Zubmariner comes out! That’s not long at all.

Between now and then we’ll be releasing the zee-plumbing, heart-pounding launch trailer, and discussing Zubmariner live from EGX. You can watch live on their twitch stream at 4pm BST on Saturday 24th September: www.twitch.tv/egx

(We’ll also be announcing our next game! We’re slightly beside ourselves even thinking about that!)

UI and Text Resizing

Sunless Sea was made in Unity 4, which had some limitations particularly around the way it handled text. As a pretty text-heavy game, we ended up with many players finding the game unplayable due to their screen resolution. Text was tiny or fuzzy. Not ideal!

Happily, in Unity 5 we’ve been able to do a lot more with the user interface, and have fixed the fuzzy/tiny text problems (with the help of everyone who opted into the Unity 5 beta - thanks!). Please enjoy fiddling with the size of your text and the gazetteer to your heart’s content.

31 comments Read more

September 8

Sunless Sea: Unity 5 beta!

What does this mean?

Sunless Sea was made in Unity 4, which had some limitations particularly around the way it handled text. As a pretty text-heavy game, we ended up with many users finding the game unplayable due to their screen resolution. Text was tiny or fuzzy. Not ideal!

Happily, in Unity 5 we’ve been able to do a lot more with the user interface, and have fixed the fuzzy/tiny text problems.

How can I get the Unity 5 version?

Today we’ve launched an open Unity 5 beta branch that you can opt in to:
  • Right click Sunless Sea in your library
  • Select Properties
  • Go to the Betas tab
  • Select ‘Unity 5’
  • Close the pop-up and Sunless Sea will update to the Unity 5 version

Note: It’s a beta, so you may experience trouble with your game if you opt in. We recommend backing up any saves you are fond of in a separate folder.

In the beta branch you’ll find that you’re able to resize the gazetteer, and the game font, independently.

Where do I send Unity 5 beta reports?

We hope you’ll have a good play with it! Let us know via email if anything seems strange: sunlesssea@failbettergames.com. Please include an output log: https://www.failbettergames.com/output-log/

Thanks everyone!

Oh and PS, a reminder: Zubmariner comes out in a month. Come 11 October, you’ll be called beneath the Zee.

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 350,000+ 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
    • Storage: 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
    • Storage: 700 MB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c compatible
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated Sept. 2016! Learn more
Very Positive (51 reviews)
Very Positive (2,957 reviews)
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2,438 reviews match the filters above ( Very Positive)
Recently Posted
An Annoyed Dog
51.5 hrs
Posted: September 25
Probably in the Top 5 games I've ever played. My hours in it aren't the highest in any game by any means, and I bet you could get at least 10 times the amount that I put into the game and still find it fun, but I just got hooked on other games. The story is awesome and so is the art and music. Never will there be a game that surpasses Sunless Sea as a great story driven game
Helpful? Yes No Funny
23.2 hrs
Posted: September 25
I really enjoy this game. The only thing I would say is bad about it is that it is built around multiple playthroughts through your "heirs" as you achieve campaign goals and grind of stats to beat missions you can't beat with low stats. However, from "campaign to campaign" there's really no change in the quests or stories, and only small changes in the location of individual islands.

The game does also not do a good job of explaining that many resources are actually quite limited and not at all adviseablee to sell, as you need them to complete quests.

I would reccommend you just read a guide to get yourself set up with some money and save yourself some wandering in the dark. They've patched out the best money routes (mirrorcatch boxes), but its still not that difficult to make a proffit per voyage.

All in all the music is great, the story is intriguing, and you really can't beat the atmosphere.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
7.2 hrs
Posted: September 25
Highly recommended game. You will need to persevere, though, as initially the game is not forgiving!

Part of the game which I found most enjoyable was discovering the lore of the world and backstories of the many characters.

The trading aspects are well-handled as is the system of docking at ports. The sea monsters are exciting and the people you will meet are very strange.

Give it a go.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
52.7 hrs
Posted: September 25
This game is great
Helpful? Yes No Funny
4.2 hrs
Posted: September 25
Seas offers an interesting world with decent exploration but fails to offer sufficient trading opportunites or even vaguely rewarding combat. Seas really does appear to be half complete, offering little more than good writing and narrow, repetitive, shallow gameplay.

Ideally, Seas should have trimmed the thoughtless busywork leading to such tedium and offered a quicker, slimmer experience. Instead we have a game that is glacially slow and unrewarding.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
11.6 hrs
Posted: September 25
Compelling, haunting, obsessive... not necessarily an action-packed game but certainly a richly detailed and incredibly satisfying one, which I eminently prefer. Love it! To Zee!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
377.8 hrs
Posted: September 24
Sunless Sea came out of the blue last year and dominated my gaming time for months. 300+ hours and a dozen or so captains later, I've finished the game in every way possible, done every sidequest, went down every story branch I could find, fought off not one but two mutinies, and escorted hundreds of hapless zailors to hundreds of gristly deaths. The world is dark and wonderful. The writing is, without hyperbole, some of the best I've ever seen in games. Never in a hundred years would I have thought that a game consisting almost exclusively of fetch quests could be this engrossing.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
234.9 hrs
Posted: September 24
Sunless Sea is everything I've always wanted in a Victorian Lovecraftian Pirate Cannabalism Story Simulator but never knew to ask.

There are more wonderfully horror-filled gems of writing and gameplay than I had any right to expect. And yet they are balanced with the possibility of eventally learning enough to soften the edges - just a bit - sometimes - to reach a place of comfort and jouyous accomplishment. All with the ever present threat of one wrong move (or even just a lack of planning and bad luck) ruining everything.

It is one of the very few games which have utterly compelled me to seek out every possible nook and cranny - not for the 100% achievements, but because I want to wring every ounce of story and gameplay out of it.

Helpful? Yes No Funny
5.5 hrs
Posted: September 23
Didn't really like it. This is the first time a rougelike game wasn't enjoyable to me. The story, art, and ambiance are amazing. The game play is slow, tedious and boring. The first time you discover something its pretty neat but discoveries and random events seem few and far between. Combat is pretty bad and there are long gaps when you are doing nothing.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
29.0 hrs
Posted: September 23
Marvelous game from a great indie studio. Only recommended if you like reading copious amounts of well written text between bursts of lonesome sailing in the terrifying Unterzee.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
35.4 hrs on record
Posted: September 15
Wait to play this game until you have quiet time where you can turn your headphones up and ignore life around you and you will feel the full effect of The Sunless Sea.
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
176.5 hrs on record
Posted: September 14
Is there a sea more sunless? This game is marketed as an immersive, story-driven, almost roguelike, nautically themed romp through alternate history London, circa 1890s. The people at Failbetter Games have created something both motivating and meaningful in their games surrounding Fallen London, utilizing hundreds of storylets that drive the player toward various choices and options.

At first playthrough, especially if you didn't play the precursor game Fallen London, you will find yourself immersed in a world that follows many of the rules and expectations of our own, but with many questions and concepts left unanswered. I went in without having played Fallen London (though I did go back and play it once I was hooked on Sunless Sea) and my mind immediately was grabbed by the implications of what was going on in the game world around me. I loved the content and the lore that the world seemed to be steeped in, and loved it even more for the fact that it didn't give up its secrets without its due. This game is primarily an exploration game with the pretense of combat and economics, though those are not the primary focus. That said, I very much enjoy the combat and trading aspect, but it does come easier as you get more established. It is the process of becoming established that I think turns so many initial players away.

The game starts you off with very blessed little to begin with, other than a book of tips that you can sell for some much needed cash. I very much felt like a struggling captain attempting to eke out a living and a place in an uncaring and darkened void. Again, this can easily be a turn off to players who are wanting a power play game or one in which the story is driven forward regardless of choices and actions. From the get-go, Sunless Sea made me work for what I wanted. To be honest, I wondered about whether I was doing the right thing or if I should start over from scratch. It was these hardships and questions that truly began to build my utter appreciation for the game. To reiterate: I felt like a helpless captain, questioning his choice to set sail. I struggled with how far to venture, especially as resources were scarce early on (a pivotal point of the game being resource management). I kept to certain routes and ports which I knew were safe. Eventually however, I came to a crossroads in which I had to choose to stagnate or press outwards. Obviously, I pressed on, and came to many new ports, stories, and struggles, each one a new opportunity for something engaging, thrilling, or even dangerous. It was this story-driven, choice-balancing, and ultimately life-imitating work of art that got its nets over me, hooks in me, and dragged me down to the depths.

This is all to say that I loved and continue to love this game. I eagerly await new stories and the expansion pack due out soon. That also said, this game isn't for everyone, and eventually, as with all things, it can get stale. I myself took a break from it for a few months, but eventually returned to continue on for some reason or another. The magical part is that, while I have seen what I would call the vast majority of the story content, upon my return to the game, I found myself experiencing just a few storylets I had *never* seen before.

If you are feeling particulary narrative hungry, while still challenging yourself to a harder-than-average starting learning curve, this game is most assuredly for you. Just be aware that this game is very much what you make of it. Put yourself into the game as the captain. Don't just play, experience.

*Edited for spelling.
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7 of 11 people (64%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
16.9 hrs on record
Posted: September 15
I really liked this game at first and kept playing it for quite some time. Sadly the more I played it it started to feel more and more like a time waster. The game simply does just not deliver enough to satisfy many hours of playing.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
12.0 hrs on record
Posted: September 17
This is a GREAT game. If you're ok with reading a bunch of text, and if you're a sucker for mysteries, this game is definitely for you.

Start with reading through the tutorial book. It might seem long after a couple pages, but keep reading and you'll want more. Way more. That's your ticket to Sunless Sea.

The game has a horror theme to it, and while it might generally not be scary (with a possible few exeptions, depending on the player), there's suspense, places that send chills down your spine, a generall creepiness and most importantly: the unknown.

There is a "Merciful" mode that lets you save and load manually, (the normal mode relies solely on auto-saves) but I would STRONGLY RECOMMEND AGAINST IT! It might be tempting, but ultimately it is a bad thing, in more ways than one. You might be thinking "If I mess up, that's a good thing, right?". NO! Because if you mess up (especially if it's your first couple of captains) you've probably messed up WAY before you noticed it, maybe even from the start.

The best way of playing this game is definitely in the standard mode. When (yes, when) your captain dies, your next captain inherits something from you previous one (you can choose what that is) and most importantly, even if the game seemingly starts over, the sea layout is re-randomized, and such, you still have a very important thing: Knowledge. Knowledge of what happend to your previous captain, what you discovered with him/her and how they perished, to name a few things. All of which are very important for making your next captain have a better journey, and get closer to his/her goal (the goal you set for your captain determines what you have to do to "win" the game and are exclusive to each captain, meaning new captain, start over). You may think that starting over like this would simply be like staring over any other game, such as making an alt character, but it's not. The game continues, in a sece, because of the above stated reasons.

Now, may you have fortune in your voyage at the unterzee.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
18.1 hrs on record
Posted: September 17
Excellent story telling, and you begin utterly rubbish at staying alive but soon learn how to keep yourself and your crew from going utterly mad and eating one another. It is always a tight thing to survive and earn enough by gathering intelligence, and it is so atmospheric travelling around sunken london. The sound track is also brilliant.
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4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
4.6 hrs on record
Posted: August 27
I joined Steam for this game. As a player of Fallen London since the days when it was ~Echo Bazaar, I was really interested in seeing the universe expanded and being able to interact with it on a more complex level than FL currently permits.

I am not disappointed. There are ravenous monsters roaming, crazed prophets to the gods who suicide off your ship regularly, and an underlying tone of menace to every city and township you dock in. And yes, cannibalism. Lots and lots of it.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
133.3 hrs on record
Posted: September 19
Sunless Sea is the game you play specifically for the adventure along the way, not for the end-goal. At least in my perspective, anyway. The stories that create this world as you expand it in your quest for new trading, jobs and what-not fill this world with the strange, mysterious and compelling depth that makes up the Unterzee. Whether it's bolstering my chosen side in the Pygmie/Rat war or climbing an ice tower full of pure horror to search for my character's True Name, I know that each zailor in my line will have a unique and satisfying outing until Mt. Nomad kills me... again.
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3 of 5 people (60%) found this review helpful
8.7 hrs on record
Posted: September 5
Rogue-like. We hear it all the time. This game is truly of the genre and not "I make a decision and hope the next room is better", which isn't Rogue-like, but simply moving from one random encounter to another.

This game feels like a breath of fresh air to an old-school gamer like myself. It goes back to the days of 16-bit computing when saves were few, death was a real thing to try to not have happen, and the story and theme were at the forefront of the experience, because graphics were not the focus. It reminds me of games like Escape Velocity, Angband, Star Control 2, and many other classic games of that era. This game feels like there is an entire MMO or RPG setting behind it, and the onine community is great. What you get is a compelling and unique story that feels like it has real characters and a unique and dark atmosphere befitting a roguelike game. More than one time I've jumped in my seat or had those stressful moments of trying to figure out how to work out a solution. Not in a chess-like fashion, but more of a "it's going to eat me if I undock now..." Quite literally in a few cases. This is an odd and grim world and the Zee is vast and dark...

Yes, resources are hard to get at first. You will die. Quite a few times. There is no manual/training mode, so you have to figure things out yourself. You can play for hours and still not see the entire map or know half of the stories. And more keep being added, all slightly eery and definitely the result of a warped mind. But like all good games, it is very rewarding once you start to figure it out.

This is my #1 recommended game of the year on Steam. It says that I've played 9 hours online, but the game works better/syncs with the company's sever much better if you run it outside of Steam, where I have several hundred hours of play.

If you are running XP or Vista and can't get it to connect or start up, I wrote a FAQ as well on getting it to run. Check the forums.

Dark and creepy
Huge depth of play. A truly unique setting.
Experiment and die. Experiment some more. And die.
And eat your crew. But that's a secret you tell no one...
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9 of 18 people (50%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
6.9 hrs on record
Posted: August 27
I set sail on the Unterzee expecting adventure and tales to be told. Instead, all I found was a dreadfully boring boat ride. Procedurally generated, this game is not. The most important places will always be in the same place, and the quests you encounter will always be the same from captain to helpless captain. There's only so many times you can visit the same locations until you realize this game is dreadfully boring. To make matters worse, the text is utterly squintworthy. I regret paying full price for this game, and had I not truly believed this game could maybe, hopefully, become more enjoyable as time went on, I would have most certainly requested a refund.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
5.5 hrs on record
Posted: September 15
A flawed but still one of the best written games I've had the pleasure to dive into. I would've played it more but my backlog is ever growing. I used to play a good lot of Fallen London, so I'm well acquainted with the setting of the Neath a web-based text game that is more or less a less cruddy Facebook game, but it was a fun timekiller and interesting story, albeit with a macabre sense of humor. Sunless Sea is much the same way, dark at its darkest, and macabre and goofy elsewhere.

Pick it up on a sale, still good to see the devs have not abandoned it.
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