Try getting lost in the underworld with Sunless Sea


This game has been my latest obssession. Although slow-paced, it beautifully recreates an Age of Exploration experience in a remarkable atmosphere that nobody delivers quite like the crew at Failbetter Games. However - unlike traditional roguelikes, don’t expect to go in with deck cannons ablazing collecting loot from sea monsters to buy a larger ship a few hours later or you’ll bounce off of it. The primary goal is to explore both the map and the stories available to you, and for my money Failbetter Games has the most lovingly-crafted narratives of any game on the market. Think ‘China Miéville presents Downton Abbey’ and you’ll have a good handle on the vibe.

Alexis Kennedy’s postmortem at gamasutra is also worthwhile, if you’re interested to see what the development process looked like from Kickstarter to completion.

I’ve stopped playing Fallen London (formerly Echo Bazaar) a long time ago, but I remember it fondly. The writing and sense of a coherent, living alien-but-recognizable world was so good. Since this is the same setting, I guess I’ll have to try it sometime.

Tried Fallen London for a bit, but it just wasn’t for me. I have looked at Sunless Sea, but I’ll give a pass for now.

I really want to love this, but it’s just too slow. As someone with a lot of games on their plate, it takes too long to get anywhere that I feel like alt-tabbing in between islands to play something else.

The slowness is good, I promise. It always feels like you want to be doing more when you first start out, but the combination, especially on long trips, of random or terror-induced events, needing to oh-my-god-just-please-get-to-frostfound-so-they’ll-give-me-a-supply, or other nail-biters, is enough to keep me going out and out and out again. I’ve lost five captains so far, some to terror and some to monsters I had no business picking a fight with.

Hire the chef. HIRE THE CHEF.

My only real complaint is that the music isn’t continuous… but it is exhilarating when it comes back in!

Was not going to buy. Will now buy.

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If you’ve played Fallen London, you’ll may have an unexpected nostalgia boost when you pick up Sunless Sea. It was one thing to court scandal by hanging out with devils at the Brass Embassy in Fallen London, it’s another thing entirely to be able to dock in the Iron Republic itself. The in-game for writing a port report on the Iron Republic is so good it gave me chills. So much so it even pulled me back into Fallen London after a one-year hiatus.

Where I found that if you link your Fallen London account to Sunless Sea, your captain can receive a little care package from your Fallen London character…

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It doesn’t run very well on my terrible laptop, but I’ve found Sunless Sea quite enjoyable. So far, it’s a more atmospheric Sid Meier’s Pirates!

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