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 (94 reviews) - 85% of the 94 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Very Positive (2,911 reviews) - 81% of the 2,911 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.)

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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 (94 reviews)
Overall:
Very Positive (2,911 reviews)
Recently Posted
Wisp
( 2.2 hrs on record )
Posted: June 24
The game concept is interesting and was highly recommended, but after just 2 hours of gameplay the sheer amound of bugs trew me off. Weapons stuck making you unable to fight, lots of quests with script bugs and wrong requirements, and the wait ... oh, that boat is so slow, and you are just going to either get stuck in a battle with your weapons locked in "no target" for no reason and you have to run away to "clear" it so you can try again (meanwhile getting poinded bby a lowly crab), or you will find innumerable quests that will tell you things like this "you just have earned '' something (new total '')" where '' is a blank space because, you know, people can't code.

For a game over a year old and so praised, I expected really, REALLY less bugs. Refunded
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Kola2
( 6.3 hrs on record )
Posted: June 24
I cannot reccomend this game enough!
I normally don't like Rouge-like games like this, but this is an exception. The amazing setting, the absoloutley fantastic writing and the long voyages on dark seas contribute to one of the most immersive and enjoyable gaming experiences i've had in years! The game is a mixture of Victorian-england, Lovecraft and Steampunk and they all blend beautifully together to form a masterpiece of a game.
The characthers, the choices i have to make, makes you have to chose between what is morally right, what you gain the most out of, and the feelings for your officers and ship, and contributes to a thrilling experience, especially if you happen to screw up.

Definetly worth picking up, again i cannot say enough how much i enjoy this game!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
-T|R- Webster
( 6.8 hrs on record )
Posted: June 24
Product received for free
Full Disclosure, I do not own this game, I played it during the free weekend a while back.

First off, this game presents itself well, and you get a decent idea of what kind of game it is, Think FTL with better graphics, a better soundtrack, and a much more Lovecraftian vibe. You are the captain of your own ship, and you must explore and survive, all to accomplish a goal of your choice (Chosen at game start).

The gameplay is fun and rewarding, but after a few hours (Around 7) I grew bored, and quite confused, the gameplay gets repetitive, and the story is quite complicated. Taking it all in to account, the game is decent for something that is a casual play, I can't help but feel like the game would be right at home on tablets and phones rather than a PC.

If you can get it for less than $10, it's worth it, otherwise - I wouldn't recommend it, unless it was on a mobile device.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
DankMemer420
( 17.5 hrs on record )
Posted: June 24
If you like great storytelling you will love this game!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Zorander
( 76.3 hrs on record )
Posted: June 24
#Discussions_QuoteBlock_Author
The Venturer's passage
The Gate does not open in the way of other gates - nothing moves - but its surface blazes bright as the skin of a star. The light is like the savage radiance from the Dawn Machine's ruptures. The Venturer and his machine shine like glass - their bones illuminated within - a sight so beautiful that sailors cry out and fall to their knees.

Brighter still
The light grows brighter still, and now all the colours in all the ice around you are visibile. Brighter, and you can see nothing at all.

A place above
You are through! All around you, the blistering, wonderful night of the High Wilderness. The stars watch you balefully. The winds of nowhere tear at your hair, strip away your skin. The Venturer is laughing, Your cargo unfolds like a map. "First," the Venturer says, "the Forge of Souls. Let's see who they'll make for us."

Your 'Crew' Quality has gone!

Quoted from an amazing game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
ColonelLazers
( 88.5 hrs on record )
Posted: June 24
My dad left my mom and I to go sleep with a tentacle man and eat human flesh.
The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
ptr1ck
( 0.7 hrs on record )
Posted: June 24
Not quite what I expected. Atmosphere and story is cool but wasn't a fan of more tedious aspects of the game. I barely left London port it seems and didn't compete much for missions and was running out of fuel too quickly for my enjoyment.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
ltruesdell
( 36.3 hrs on record )
Posted: June 24
I played this months ago as a free weekend game and immediately put it on my wishlist. Now, it's half off and I am seriously debating buying it. It is slow. But so interesting and gripping, and addictive that I am afraid it will slowly, hauntingly, and enjoyably suck my life away.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Maya 'Romy' Kazumi
( 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.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Premier Bromanov
( 11.5 hrs on record )
Posted: June 23
There are few games out there with as much to explore in story as Sunless Sea. If you're interested in worldbuilding in story, this is your game. The game tells you mostly nothing, save how to play it, which is pretty simple. The real draw here is exploring the various islands throughout the sunless sea.

The game is littered with hints here and there of what this world might be. You'll quickly figure out from context clues that you're actually underground and that there is an above world sea. You're comepelled to figure out more about this world because it is legitimately interesting. The world is populated by various races of sentient and non-sentient creatures, as well as different cultures of humans: from intelligent apes to the decaying mummified elders. And while many might make the lovecraftian parallels, and indeed it is part of the game's tags on steam, the parallels run deeper than "tentacled monsters exist". The atmosphere is dreary, almost nihilistic. It paints a picture of a picture of an uncaring universe marred by insanity and violence. If you've read Lovecraft or Poe, you'll be right at home reading through the various text within Sunless sea. This isn't the pop-culture Lovecraft you might know, this is the actual Lovecraft.

Fair warning This game is one part reading one part resource management. If you aren't interested in reading, this isn't your game.

The gameplay itself will challenge you to make wise decisions every step of the way. As with life, you'll get no rewards without risking something. Sometimes it's a chance motigated by your attributes, other times it's a decision like "Should I try and visit this island with this much fuel in my tanks?". After some time, you get into the groove of visiting islands to get the local news and then returning to London to cash in. This is your real bread and butter and there's some semblance of a main quest you're trying to accomplish. Each time you die, you play as an heir with potentially new goals. Along the way, you'll also have a miraid of side quests to accomplish, though no quest can really truly be done alone; you must be efficient with your fuel and supplies and this usually means plotting a course to hit as many islands as possible.

If you want to sit back and relax and enjoy a story, this is your game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
14 of 14 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
120.0 hrs on record
Posted: May 25
Holy crap this game is so well written. its really easy to lose yourself in this one.
its also a relaxing game to play if your used to something more fast paced
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
11 of 11 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
9 of 11 people (82%) found this review helpful
3 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
4 of 4 people (100%) 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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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
72.6 hrs on record
Posted: May 24
A beautifully written choose-your-own adventure with a serious sense of forboding that will have you second-guessing everything you do. There are so many stories to stumble upon in the Unterzee, the only reason I don't have hundreds of hours played is that I had to stop myself from losing more of my life to this game. My 73 hours were logged over the course of 5 days.

I... I think I pushed a zailor overboard. Maybe she jumped. Maybe she was taken... but I think I pushed her. I definitely ate the other one, though. No mistaking that...

What would the wife and kid think? Oh well, I made it back, so at least Junior will have a nice inheritence...
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
71.5 hrs on record
Posted: May 27
It took me a few tries but I finally got into this game and now I'm hooked. It really does take a while to get started and the pace really is slow so I understand that some people might be turned off by it. But I stuck with it and allowed myself to get immeresed in all the little stories you start weaving together once you start exploring more and now I can't stop playing.

I'm also not a fan of Rogue-like games in general but since this is more Rogue-lite I find it more forgiving that other games like FTL. I feel like the rogue-like aspect of the game is just enough to keep the tension up during your long travels but not so hard that it feels frustrating. Plus, as long as you live long enough to have a will, it also ensures that you'll be better equipped when you start a new game.

All in all it's a nice little game that I play if I want something atmospheric and not too intense too play.
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2 of 2 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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2 of 2 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.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 2 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.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
28.5 hrs on record
Posted: May 27
A haiku summing up my feels on Sunless Sea:

Waves upon the bow;
False stars fall from the ceiling;
The Zee claims all things.

-----------

Prior to finding this game on Steam, I've never heard of Sunless Sea, Fallen London, or its creators Failbetter Games. But as someone who really enjoys writing and good storytelling, along with the whole Victorian-era steampunk aesthetic, Sunless Sea quickly became one of my favorite games. At first, the writing might be a little overwhelming to those more accustomed to faster-paced roguelike/survival games, but it's the writing and quests you find yourself immersed in that keep you coming back for more. While the game thrives as an interactive story told over the lifetimes of numerous captains you create and play as (with more chapters and content added post-release regularly for free), it's still decently fun when it comes to combat and exploration. Albeit, your safer bet is on the latter if you intend on making money and surviving early on, but there's nothing wrong with wanting to hunt some of the more dreadful monsters lurking in the deeps.

Be careful though: much like the dastardly Zeebeasties, you'll soon find yourself swallowed up by this game.

See what I did there? Now go try this game.
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