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 (2,507 reviews) - 81% of the 2,507 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Feb 6, 2015

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January 28

Sunless Sea: Free weekend and new content

Hello to those of you who've joined us for the free weekend! And welcome, returning zailors - we have some treats for you.

Oh the Londoners flock to see the Unterzee...

The immensely talented Dan Bull has created a rap about Sunless Sea, and the video has just been released. Complete with zailor costumes. It's amazing. Watch it here!

New in Sunless Sea: The Rose-Market

Collectors and eccentrics gather on Roser's Wharf, eager to buy curiosities from returning zee-captains. Can you navigate the market's archaic customs and turn a profit?

The Rose-Market appears irregularly in London, and offers an unpredictable opportunity to earn a good price for many less-used items.

In addition, after your captain has some zeefaring experience, new options will open on ten islands, allowing you to explore some of the stranger customs of the unterzee and exchange lesser items for more valuable ones. The items you can earn are - coincidentally! - popular among Rose-Market collectors.

Steam trading cards and badges

By popular demand, Sunless Sea now has Steam trading cards and badges! Scholars of the Correspondence will be very interested to discover the badges, as each is a sigil with a corresponding definition. We look forward to seeing you all discover them together!

52 comments Read more

January 26

First footage from Zubmariner!

Happy new year, zailors!

We've just released the first video from Zubmariner's alpha!

Developer Mac talks through your zubmarine, and the look and feel of the zee floor.

We've also released some new merchandise in the Fallen London store including a Sunless Sea poster and Dawn Machine hoodies and t-shirts!

With Sunless Sea's first birthday coming up, we have a few more things in the pipeline which we hope will amuse you.

Until then,

Your friends,
Failbetter Games

20 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
Helpful customer reviews
332 of 354 people (94%) found this review helpful
8 people found this review funny
17.9 hrs on record
Posted: September 16, 2015
This is a bit of a challenging review to write. While I love the concept behind Sunless Sea a lot, and it definitely nails it when it comes to tone and atmosphere, but the game itself has some fundamental flaws that erode its fun factor a lot.

The good: Graphically, it is a rather beautiful game, depicting its underground sea in an almost painterly way. It captures the rich, dark, almost Lovecraftian tone of it's world perfectly; and the artwork it uses to represent the characters and creatures populating that world are great too. It's writing its fantastic, fo rthe most part, and make me wish there was a straightup novel I could buy that would let me dive more deeply into its mythos. The gameplay itself is a rather simple top-down view of your ship, but it is effective, fun, and evocative of older sailing titles from the 90's like Sid Meyer's Pirates.

The bad: The game is designed around perma-death, and while that is actually a feature that drew me to the title in the first place, it doesn't really work here. You are going to die... a lot... and unless you managed to advance to the point in the game where you can pass things along to an heir, which is NOT an easy task, that means you have to start all over again. By the fifth or sixth attempt, it grows really repetitive to have to re-find the same officers, have the same conversations, re-encounter at the same obstacles at the same ports, and re-read the same blocks of text (no matter how brilliantly written). In the end, after my ninth captain went down with his beautiful customized ship, I just didn't have it in me to start in a crappy little boat all over again.

The bottom line: I'm still recommending you buy this game, if you can get it on sale, so that you can experience the good stuff it does have to offer... but be aware that it does have some flaws that will become increasingly hard to overlook. 3 out of 5.
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658 of 750 people (88%) found this review helpful
199 people found this review funny
287.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 15, 2015
You can grind if you want to
You can leave your friends behind
'Cause your friends don't grind and if they don't grind
Well they're...actually playing the game how it's supposed to be played...

Despite what every other negative review says, grinding is the absolute worst way to go about making money and upgrading your ship. The best way to actually upgrade your ship is to explore and complete stories (missions)...seriously, explore *everything*, take chances, complete stories, and you will end up with more money than you actually know what to do with.

Already been someplace? Good, go there again (and again); every time you dock somewhere, you have a chance of encountering a different story that you haven't encountered yet. If you are relying on grinding, then you are making a chore out of something in the most unnecessary manner possible.

TLDR (you probably have ADHD) - Do stories, make money, upgrade you ship, don't bother grinding.
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117 of 132 people (89%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
12.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 11, 2015
If you're looking at this and thinking oh my God it's H.P. Lovecraft's Pirates!, don't. Turn right around and go play Pirates! or Sea Dogs or something free-form and piratey. If instead you want a mysterious, story-rich world to explore and never fully master, keep reading. Much like the people and creatures you'll meet in this game, Sunless Sea is not at all what it seems.

The game sets you up as a zee captain in the unique and storied Fallen London setting, a Victorian-era underground sea full of cosmic horrors. In creating your character you choose a background and a goal, and then prepare for your first journey. Every port is presented as a series of journal pages, with you choosing actions based on the resources and stats available to you. Everything is abstracted as cards, from cargo to terror to snippets of news, which makes it clear to see what you need to access or complete a story, but hard to tell what is actually valuable before you find a use for it. It's a strange system held up by the quality of the writing, which never becomes tiresome in its quirky melancholy and ominous reveals.

Between ports you sail the sunless seas in real time from a bird-eye view. Your ship has three major resources to manage during voyages. Fuel powers your engines and your deck lights, supplies feed your crew, and terror measures how stable your crew actually is. There's a lot of interplay between these resources that will affect how you sail, which livens up the trips. Running your deck lights burns almost three times more fuel, but sailing in the dark ramps up your terror faster. You can sail past natural lights and coastlines instead, but your crew will be consuming supplies at a constant rate, making long trips costly.

Odds are that mismanaging one of these resources is going to be what kills you, because you burn through fuel at an alarming rate, and terror mounts quickly and is hard to reduce unless you know the game well. It'll be that or one of the sea's monstrous inhabitants, which are almost all more than a match for your sad little starter ship. And when you die, you lose pretty much all of your progress. There's an heir system where you can pass on one item or a bit of money, and once you start an estate you can create a will to pass on more resources. As far as stories and quests go, however, it's back to the beginning, and this is where the game starts to really come apart.

At some point playing Sunless Sea, you're going to realize you're not really making any progress. You're learning the systems and uncovering stories and accumulating... things, but every time you die, and you WILL die, most of that gets wiped out. You can do things faster on the next captain, but the goals in the game are so long-term and require so much work that they come to appear almost impossible. It might be that you need seven of something from the opposite side of the world that you can only get once per trip, or you need one of something that you had and then lost and have no idea how to get again. And the sailing is so slow and the resources so strained, that soon the oppressive and mysterious atmosphere will turn to tedium.

You're not going to beat Sunless Sea, I'd wager, and frustration or boredom will claim you far before that's even a possibility. So why do I recommend it? Because despite all that, I keep coming back to it. Part of me still wants to puzzle out the stories, find new ports, and maybe someday mark down a victory, even if it takes liberal use of the wiki to do it. The stories don't get old, and a dozen hours in there are still more to discover. As long as you understand that you're getting a nigh-endless choose your own adventure book where you sail (and very possibly die) instead of turning pages, there's a good chance you'll get your money's worth.
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539 of 778 people (69%) found this review helpful
22 people found this review funny
21.3 hrs on record
Posted: September 1, 2015
tl,dr: its a free weekend right now (jan 29th, 16) go play it and form your own opinion


I want to recommended this game. I want to, but I can't.

Sunless Sea is a very original and interesting game with a unique setting. In it, you choose who you are from a select few backgrounds and victory conditions, then you embark into the titular sea to explore and achieve whatever goal you set for yourself. Think FTL, but instead of jumping from event to event you actually steer your ship there and can sail around the map at your leisure.

All of this sounds good on paper, until you have to start managing your resources most of which cost money. the early game will see experienced players shooting back and forth between the main hub (London) and various select locations that can be farmed for money. Money will get you new ships and improvements like any other game, but the problem comes when this money farming grind starts to spill over into the mid game and even the end game. next thing you know ten hours have gone by and your still running sunlit mirror boxes back and forth for cash because your nice new ship consumes more fuel and supply. Only on occasion do you find the time to explore other parts of the map or continue a story line for one of your officers.

And then, when on your 20th journey to the money farm, you die. Why? No idea, because after 20 times you stop actually reading the text for the event.

Sunless Sea is a game I want to recommend, but the grind is pushing past the level of most japanese games. What I can say is that it's a game that needs a sequel, because there's a lot of great stuff going for it, and even more stuff that needs improvement.

EDIT (adding comments from below)

Hey guys, thanks for the comments, but I do know about port reports and exploration. In fact I definitely enjoyed the game a lot more after just going into the save file's code and giving myself all the money (I cheated, sorry).

After doing that I was free to enjoy the stories and encounters and fill out my entire map. And I will admit I enjoyed the game a lot more then, after a few more hours I just got bored of having to travel through the sea, remember which ports have what, and so on.

I'm afraid the game is just not for me. But thank you for the suggestions

Maybe if steam had more than just its current binary scoring system I would consider something closer to a neutral score. But, since I'm forced to choose, "not recommended" is closer to how I feel.
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184 of 259 people (71%) found this review helpful
7 people found this review funny
11.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 23, 2015
Sunless sea is a gorgeous and story rich game, but unfortunately that is all it has going for it. Combat is very basic and rare in the game. The game relies more around discovery and resource management, which is initially fun, but then you die. Once you die only a bit of progress from your previous game carries over. This results in a repetitive feel after your first life at zee. The zee is truely gorgeous, but loses its excitement after rediscovering the same islands and ports every playthrough. It all turns in to a big grind after a while. If you want a better ship expect to wait hours sometimes days. This aspect of the game then conflicts with the lore. It takes me several generations to afford anything cool, and by that point I have read the same stories several times and am just mindlessly clicking most of the time.
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