Sunless Sea - Kickstarted! From the creators of Fallen London


40 hours in, there’s lots that’s wrong with it: It’s perma-death doesn’t fit the game at all, in-game record keeping and information presentation is sorely lacking, choices one the one hand often don’t telegraph potentially dire consequences well, but on the other do show many other, often superfluous “cards”, some of which confusingly share icons, it’s grindy, progress is too slow, sailing is too slow and the relation between engine power, actual speed and fuel use isn’t clear at all and some weather effects cause the game to stutter on my (admittedly old) laptop.

All that said, I’m loving it. The basic loop of going around the map, collecting reports and ticking items off my to-do list to ever so slowly advance individual stories for some reason really works for me. And I find the atmosphere, graphics, writing and even the music, which I rarely appreciate in games, all to be great. I’m positively reminded of Star Control II, one of my all-time favourites. I can’t yet imagine my reaction when this captain dies and all the stories reset, though. A good ending still seems to be a way off.


Get a townhouse and will ASAP so that you dont have to buy it again next run.

And get a scion if possible. With 2 legacy you can pick 2x 50% echo passdown and get a huge headstart when your cpatain dies.


Yeah, I already have a townhouse and a will from my previous captain, who even had a scion until

an unexpected event.

Salt’s curse, which I couldn’t even remember what I incurred it for, took it away from him, apparently without a chance of siring a second child in that life.

But this captain is already 4/5ths of the way to his scion, too, and also already has a couple of heirlooms stashed away. So I’m not that worried about money or early game survivability, but really about having to re-do stories that I already finished.

Also, I’m starting to worry if I have been shooting myself in the foot by passing on my Charts as that means getting less Fragments and thus less Secrets by exploration, which I don’t think is offset the potential Pages bonus (requiring less Fragments per Secret) from that Legacy at all.


Getting cursed is REALLY bad.

Passing the charts is not a good choice because with sufficient echoes, the map can be revealed very easily with little expenditure of supplies and fuel (relatively).
You get a general feel for where the various islands will spawn after a while.

And yes, no fragments from an already revealed map is bad.


The way the game mechanism is structured. It seems that the developers WANT you to accumulate enough echoes through multiple captains to amass enough for a full run where you can do all the quests without worrying about the supplies.


Considering how bad a god’s curse can be, it’s really annoying than it isn’t announced with more fanfare than, and even has the same icon as, that god’s mere attention. Speaking of icons, another minor gripe I have is that your officers’ portraits are in different, sometimes clashing styles, some cartoony and some semi-realisitic.

But it sure has some great moments to make up for it all, such as
a moment.

coming out of the darkness, completely unexpectedly, upon the shining jewel of an island that is Aestival.


Alexis Kennedy, co-founder of Failbetter and main designer/writer, is leaving the studio.

Goodbye, delicious friends.



I think the biggest single problem i had in excepting these games as the ‘must haves’ i would like them to be, was the very ‘gamey’ (game the player like a mobile/social/pay-2-win type thing) nature of them. That completely ruins my ability to become completely immersed in their incredible text worlds.

I understand you need to ‘gate’ content if your content is thin, but what i would love to see (as in pay full price for a game love to see) is these types of games done like King of Dragon Pass. As in make them proper full games with a lots of content and less of the ‘gate’ stuff. Drop the ‘for mobile’ mindset, drop the ‘pay for episodes’ mindset, drop ALL that stuff and just make a proper full traditional PC game with the typical Failbetter level of writing and story-telling. Instant buy in my book.

Good luck to Alexis for any future stuff, we need the creativity of your stories in more games imho.


There’s a front page article too, but the Zubmariner DLC is now out. Prompted me to dive back in for a little bit tonight. I don’t know if it’s updates that have happened in the meantime or what but my second outing into the Unterzee is feeling a lot more successful than my first already.



Ooh, this just came out on iOS.

Sunless Sea by Failbetter Games


Just got an email from Failbetter that says the Sunless Sea: Zubmarine Edition will be coming to PlayStation 4 in 2018.


I started Sunless Skies (briefly, I haven’t played more than 1 hour) one week ago, with the intention of playing it directly and skipping Sunless Sea, which I own but remain unplayed, however a post in another forum opened my yes to another options: play it with mods that make it much easier, and just enjoy the writing. I think I’m going to try to do that, before jumping ship (heh) to Skies.


So far, don’t know why, I liked Sea better than Sky.


I actually started playing Seas again and I’m having a pretty good time. Maybe I’m in the right mood this time around.

I think there is something inherently more appealing about sailing a boat through an underground sea versus flying a locomotive through some sort of weird space. The boat provides a foundation of something resembling normal. So when weird shit happens you’re like, “Man that’s creepy and weird.” When you’re flying a train through space… well what the fuck is even going on? There isn’t anything resembling normal in that concept.


Totally agree. It’s a narrative I can get behind, whereas skies just feels like they looked for something similar to apply the concept to. Next up, Sunless Innerspace!


Because movement is all 2d (meaning, there’s no such thing as altitude in things like combat), the whole “sky” thing never really enters into the picture at least for me. For all I care, I’m piloting a ship on the seas here, too. I honestly find myself largely forgetting about the entire sky aspect of the setting. It’s colonies in the Fallen London milieu to me, wherever they are.

And, this is a world where the sun has burnt out and artificial clockwork suns are deployed or are in development and bats have carried off the city of London. “But movement through the skies, that’s a bit much to ask me to swallow” seems kinda goofy. ;)


But it’s not just movement through the skies, it’s flying locomotives. In outerspace. Sort of. It’s like an acid trip. So anything weird that you run into will just be like… well sure whatever I’m flying a train in outerspace whatever.


I’m thinking the same thing.

Whichever quote they found from a 19th century author about flying locomotives in outer space, it probably isn’t as good as Joseph Conrad’s quote about the sea.


The first Fallen London environment felt a little grounded. It’s a Victorian London, plus a whole bunch of Lovecraftian stuff. There has to be some grounding or nothing has any stakes or meaning. Once you’re in space… it puts the first setting to shame. I mean, who cares about being in London when the galaxy or something like that is being conquered? It strips the setting of all meaning – there’s no basis of comparison anymore. As you guys have mentioned, it’s just a random acid trip. Nothing means anything. It becomes the Family Guy of fiction universes.