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 (78 reviews) - 82% of the 78 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Very Positive (2,926 reviews) - 81% of the 2,926 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.)

6 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 (78 reviews)
Overall:
Very Positive (2,926 reviews)
Recently Posted
Remi
( 25.3 hrs on record )
Posted: June 27
Gorgeously eery. Love the music. Joy of exploring.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Haifisch
( 19.3 hrs on record )
Posted: June 26
I started playing Sunless Sea after playing a fair bit of Fallen London(a browser based game set in the same world), so many of the oddities of Sunless Sea were familiar to me(the heavy emphasis on story, the need to gather items for certain plot gates, etc). If you like the story or setting in one, I highly recommend playing the other for new insights into the lore.

With that out of the way: The writing in this game is stellar. It trends towards weirdness, sly comedy, and horror, but you usually don't feel like you're being beaten over the head with it.

The non-story gameplay feels tacked on, to put it nicely. Exploring the map and discovering new ports is fun, but your ship is slow(even after some improvements). Once you're at the point where you're mainly going through known waters, you'll be dying for a fast forward button. Managing fuel and supplies vs the rest of your cargo is okay at first, but gets tiresome as you venture further and further out to zee. Combat is awkward, and tends to be more trouble than it's worth unless you're after something specific.

There's no system to bookmark story options you're working towards(like Fallen London's Plan system), and the objectives section of your gazeteer often lacks helpful information(like directions) given at the time a quest was. I recommend making a text file for notes about what you're doing, where to go, and what you need.

The music is very atmospheric, and I love the art style. No complaints on either front.

The game does have some bugs in it - for instance, I had an event that was clearly intended to damage my hull, but completely restored my hull instead. I haven't seen any gamebreaking bugs, though.

tl;dr: If you love story-heavy games, try Sunless Sea. If you just want non-story gameplay, give this a pass. Think of it as a great CYOA game with a mediocre sailing/sea combat simulator stapled to it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
macxtc
( 0.5 hrs on record )
Posted: June 26
Needs Controller support... How hard could that be to code... but looks promissing... I will updatemy review later...
for now, Thumbs up!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Vanek
( 5.1 hrs on record )
Posted: June 26
its boring imo
Helpful? Yes No Funny
TheLogicalNerd
( 29.4 hrs on record )
Posted: June 25
Ship lived through endless bombardments by everything under the glim, everything's going great, making echos, rekt by one crab. 10/10 game of the year
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Bender Bending Rodriguez
( 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
Helpful? Yes No Funny
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
( 27.6 hrs on record )
Posted: June 24
As of writing, i bought this game 2 days ago, and have played it 27 hours so far. If that isn't enough to make you buy this game, i don't know what is.

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
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
25 of 25 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
24 of 36 people (67%) found this review helpful
12 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
9 of 10 people (90%) 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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6 of 6 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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5 of 5 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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4 of 4 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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3 of 3 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
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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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.
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2 of 2 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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