SAIL THE STARS. BETRAY YOUR QUEEN. MURDER A SUN. Set a course for the heavens in your steam locomotive! Lose yourself in a changing universe where even time can be bought. A Victorian Gothic adventure for PC, Mac and Linux.
All Reviews:
Very Positive (54) - 81% of the 54 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date:
Aug 30, 2017

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Early Access Game

Get instant access and start playing; get involved with this game as it develops.

Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“The feedback we received in Early Access for Sunless Sea was pivotal to its development, and we would like to work with players once again to shape Sunless Skies.

Opening the game to players in Early Access will provide us with crucial feedback to help us create a game that's delicious, delightful, and dangerous. With Sunless Sea, you helped us discover what type of combat worked, what accessibility features were necessary and how much cannibalism truly meant to you.

We still feel there’s plenty of lessons to learn, and hope you’re excited to help us craft the most exhilarating way to propel through space in a locomotive, kill a sun and much much more. Though to be absolutely clear, we’re looking for those people who don’t mind playing a game at an early state to help us sort out bugs and mechanics. If you’re looking for a fully polished, bug-free game, we wholly recommend you wait until our full release.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“We currently expect to release a finished version in September 2018.

To see how Early Access feedback from players has improved the game and impacted our delivery window, take a look back through our development updates.”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

“Our initial version for the Early Access release will only include one of the four game regions: the Reach. As development continues, other regions will be added to the game. Regions consists of a host of new places to explore, including a large number of new stories, art, music, enemies and mechanics.

Gameplay-wise, a basic, though broad, mechanical basis for the final game will be available from the start of Early Access: a lot of our design will be in, though there will be much to iterate on. You’ll be able to explore the skies, dock at ports, interact with stories, fight and die.

Throughout development we will release updates that add polish and add more complexity to the mechanics you see at launch. We’ll also of course be adding more locomotives, ports, sky-beasts, loot, equipment, discoveries, wrecks, characters, and stories.

We also expect to add more accessibility features as we get closer to the final release.”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“Players currently have access to the two biggest regions of the game: Albion and the Reach, which make up a little over half of the finished game. Two further regions, Eleutheria and the Blue Kingdom, will come later.

Players can experience a variety of base mechanics they’d expect to find in a Failbetter Game, such as Hunger, Terror, character creation, combat, exploration, trade, a legacy system and many, many stories. As we continue to develop the game these systems will be added to and improved upon. As the game is in Early Access it’s possible releases will contain bugs, although we QA each build thoroughly and the game is in a good state.”

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“Our current plan is to keep the price the same for both Early Access and full-release.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“We cannot wait to let you loose amongst the stars! The feedback we received during the Early Access period of Sunless Sea absolutely made the game what it is today and we look forward to hearing your thoughts on Sunless Skies. Through development we will be looking for your feedback on all aspects of the game.

We have a dedicated Sunless Skies bug report/feedback email ( and will of course be listening to players on our Steam forum, GOG forum, our own Failbetter forum, and all our other social channels (Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, and Tumblr). We’ll also be continuing to share our progress through development blogs and our FBG podcasts on Twitch.”
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Recent updates View all (41)

April 4

Welcome to Albion

A new region—Albion—is now available!

Welcome to Albion, skyfarers. Albion is the heart of the British Empire and home to Her Majesty Queen Victoria. Explore the empire's civilised stronghold and dig into the engines of industry, where manners must be minded and secrets are necessary.

“The excited shriek of train-whistles.
The hiss of steam.
The clamour of countless voices.

In celebration of this momentous occasion, we’ve created a new trailer to give you a sneak peek of Albion!

Those looking to discover Albion should head towards Port Prosper to find the transit relay. Transit permits will be free during Early Access, though to make sure captains are seasoned enough for the journey, you'll still need to pay for either a Ministry-Stamped Permit or 2 Barrels of Hours before you travel.

The addition of a second region brings Sunless Skies closer to our final vision of the game, with two more regions to come before full release. This update also brings:

Nine new ports, including its hub city London

Visit the seaside at Worlebury-juxta-Mare. Pay your respects to Her Majesty's sacrifice at Albert's tomb at The Most Serene Mausoleum. Or witness the Brabazon Workworld, where time moves more quickly as labourers refine the empire's hours.

Our Kickstarter social reward port,The Royal Society, is also housed in Albion!

Twelve new Discoveries, some more troublesome than others

Set your locomotive's course for the sprawling Well of the Wolf and hear its celestial gales howl like its namesake. Dare to tread on a Weft of Unravelled Time, or steel yourself to investigate Exceptional Squirmings.

Six new Spectacles, a few of which won’t terrify you

Those brave captains who have zailed the sunless zee may uncover some eerily familiar sights. Some will inspire dread, others awe.

New agents, some who have felt the effects of artificial light

Albion brings a few new locomotive agents such as Glorious Dreadnoughts, Deranged Dreadnoughts and Sky-Maddened Explorers. Both Dreadnoughts are wrathful, one is slightly more rabid.

The skies of Albion also feature new beasties, such as leathery Curators and spiny Scorn Flukes!

For a more detailed idea of what’s new, check out the extensive list in our Patch Notes!

Our next build in May will focus on the feeling of 'threat' in the High Wilderness. Expect to see more weather and also some more hazardous Discoveries. We'll also be making improvements to the Chart, tweaking survival mechanics, and creating new Nightmares!

We’ll be holding a FBG podcast this Friday the 6th of April on Twitch at 16:00 BST. We can’t wait to discuss all the lovely bits of Albion with you and answer any questions you may have about the new region!

And those in London coming to Rezzed next week, do stop by the Sunless Skies booth and say hello! We will have something special for anyone who speaks the special codeword: bees.
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April 4

Patch Notes - (4th April 2018)

Build Version:
Release Date: 04/04/2018
Known Issues

What’s New
The High Wilderness’ Second Region: Albion
Albion is finally here. A whole new region for you to discover, exploit and (mostly likely) meet your untimely end in! Albion is beautiful but deadly, survival here is harder than in the Reach. Do you have what it takes to make it, or will you crawl back to the verdant green landscapes of the Reach with your smoke trail between your legs?

To access Albion you will need to travel through the Reach-Albion Transit Gate which is located not far from Port Prosper. Head in a clockwise direction from Prosper around the rim of the Reach. Once there grab yourself a travel permit at which is free during Early Access. You’ll then need a Ministry-Stamped Permit for first class travel or two Barrels of Unseasoned Hours for second class (available at various ports around the Reach including Port Prosper).

We don’t want to spoil too much as we’re keen for you to explore and let us know what you think, but in brief Albion contains:

  • Nine new ports.
  • Five new agents (Scorn-Flukes, Curators, Star-Maddened Explorers, Glorious and Deranged Dreadnoughts).
  • Six new Spectacles (have fun finding out if they are Horrors or Wonders).
  • New transient Discoveries (Weft of Unravelled Time, Squirmings, Pardoner Eels, Grim Inscriptions and many others).
  • New persistent Discoveries: Wreck of the Boatman and Well of the Wolf (which like Old Tom’s Well has a Spectacle-like Terror effect).
  • The Altani-class Outrider available at the London engineyard.
  • New equipment to boost your Quarters, Hold and Hull.
  • Equipment which grants the Assaying quality (which you’ll need for all the eels and squirmings).
  • Albion Prospects and Bargains.

  • New Discoveries in the Reach: Fragments of the past, large Bronzewood pieces and fungal infested meteoroids.
  • New quality and focus icons throughout the Reach (be aware there are still a number of placeholder quality icons in game).

Bug Fixes
  • You can now interact with persistent discoveries more than once without having to leave and re-enter the segment.
  • Homesteads now spawn correctly in Magdalene’s and Polmear & Plenty’s segments.
  • Collision damage has now been applied to asteroids in the Magdalene's area.
  • Qualities are now removed from the Journal once they are reset (as opposed to when they are completed).
  • We made a change so that the in-game messages near Lustrum are easier to read.
  • The venting animation on the Parzifal-class locomotives is now aligned correctly.
  • We've fixed the scroll on the Hold section of the bank interface.
  • The auto-docking system no longer puts a player's locomotive at an angle.
  • You will no longer receive Hull damage when entering docks at angles.
  • The camera no longer shakes when entering docks at angles.
  • The level-up animation on locomotives is once again correctly aligned.
  • Lustrum: The Mountain Beckons now shows in the journal.
  • We’ve standardised the spelling of Dreadnought across the game.
  • The avatar tooltip no longer appears on the Character Progression screen if opened while it is displayed.
  • Crew can no longer be exceeded on the Homestead storylets.
  • We've cleared up the confusion with the Amenable Host when speaking to him after the death of your previous captain.
  • Hidden looting qualities now randomise correctly so you’ll see more looting opportunities for mechanical agents.
  • The Headstrong Strongwoman's dialogue is now accurate according to whether or not her flyers need posting.
  • The Phlegmatic Researcher's now continues to pay you for bringing him items for his private research.
  • Handing in Hybras Pus to the Phlegmatic Researchers for private research no longer moves you out of the storylet.
  • Damage to buildings at Titania from the Chorister Hive is now reported correctly.
  • We’ve corrected some typos at the Leadbeater and Stainrod Nature Reserve.

Albion Known Issues
Below is a list of known Albion issues. For a full list of game issue see our Known Issues page.
  • The Interact prompt appears over the top of the transit gates once activated.
  • Prospects are available at the Avid Horizon rather than bargains.
  • Worlebury label can be partly obscured with fog (depending on the segment it spawns in).
  • There’s some z-fighting near Tuxeed Point.
  • Blocking is missing on a few assets in Brabazon.
  • The headlight passes over the port/dock asset at The Royal Society (Airy House) and two asteroids in the Mausoleum segment.
  • The transit gate activation audio repeats on arrival in a new region.
  • The transit gate arrival audio is not yet in place.
  • Scorn-flukes are not muted when SFX volume is 0%.
  • The chart text does not update to say Albion when you move to that region.

As always, if you find a bug that's not on the Known Issues page then send us a quick Bug Report
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About This Game

Set a course for the heavens in your steam locomotive! Lose yourself in a changing universe where even time can be bought.

It is the dawn of the 20th century, and the British Empire has taken to the stars! As the captain of a spacefaring locomotive you'll behold wonders and battle cosmic abominations in the heavens.

The stars are alive. They are the Judgements: vast intelligences that govern all things. But they are dying. One by one, something is snuffing them out, leaving their thrones empty.

Unfettered by trivial things like gravity, the Empire’s ambition is savage. They have built a new Sun. The Empress reigns from the Throne of Hours, which gives her control over time.

Your Captain and crew must carve out a life between the stars. Will you support her majesty and the establishment, or the working class rebels who yearn for freedom from the Workworlds?

Learn who you are, in the dark. Die, and leave the world the way you want it for your successor...

  • Explore space as you’ve never seen it before in a giant steam-powered locomotive engine.
  • Use a bat to navigate. Survive celestial horrors and your Inconvenient Aunt.
  • A world where cricket, tea and London exist at the wild edges of Victorian space colonisation. Quail in the face of the Clockwork Sun. Master the blistering language of the stars. Lead a revolution, or uphold the edicts of Queen Victoria. Trade in barrels of time, violently fertile seeds, or human souls.
  • It is not safe in the skies. Defend yourself against pirates, scorn-flukes, the Cyst of Faces, and worse.
  • Bathe your eyes in lush 2D art: giant fungal consciousnesses, creaking steam-driven cities, icy wastes and dizzying starfields.
  • Your every foray into space is as precarious as a Polar expedition. You’ll need to balance your resources carefully and keep an eye on your crew’s Terror to avoid an exciting array of deaths.
  • Build a lineage of space captains - roguish, honest, selfish, revolutionary, upstanding, cowardly - and let their actions shape the stories you discover. Die, and pass on some of your resources to your next captain.
  • Make terrible decisions. Live with their outcomes. Will you run guns for the Independents? Or spies for the Empire? Choose wisely – your decisions will affect the fate of the region; not just for yourself, but for your future captains as well.
  • Collect a crew of officers, each with their own stories, dreams and wants.
  • Choose your captain’s term of address and customise their appearance - your character’s gender is your business.
  • Unlock mascots and scouts for your vessel: bats, birds, squid, owls.
  • Customisable settings enable you to tweak your locomotive’s movement and refine combat difficulty to find the level of challenge you require.
  • Delight in the most delicious prose in all of gaming, from the award-winning team behind cult browser game Fallen London, indie hit Sunless Sea and Dragon Age: The Last Court
  • Featuring writing by Meg Jayanth, Cassandra Khaw, Harry Tuffs, Richard Cobbett and Emily Short.
  • Sunless Skies is set in the Fallen London Universe: a deep, dark and marvellous world that we’ve been creating for eight years. In our games, hand-crafted narrative and emergent gameplay create compelling stories for your character.

System Requirements

Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • OS: Windows XP SP2+
    • Processor: SSE2 instruction set support
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: DX9 (shader model 3.0) or DX11 with feature level 9.3 capabilities
    • Storage: 700 MB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c compatible
    • OS: Mac OS X 10.9+
    • Processor: SSE2 instruction set support
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: DX9 (shader model 3.0) or DX11 with feature level 9.3 capabilities
    • Storage: 700 MB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c compatible
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04+, SteamOS+
    • Processor: SSE2 instruction set support
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: DX9 (shader model 3.0) or DX11 with feature level 9.3 capabilities
    • Storage: 700 MB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c compatible
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