Sunless Sea: Zubmariner Edition is our first foray into console games, and as you can imagine, porting our text-heavy RPG from PC to PS4 had some distinct UI and controls challenges. First and foremost, we wanted to make sure clarity is always favoured over subtlety in any changes we made to the UI and controls […]
Praise for Sunless Sea
“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
“Without pages to turn, Failbetter have managed to reinvent the pageturner.”
Rock, Paper, Shotgun’s Bestest Best Words of 2014
Take to the dark waters
Welcome to the dark and hilarious Victorian-Gothic underworld of Fallen London, where every choice has a consequence, from the style of your hat to the price of your soul. Except this time around, the Unterzee is your oyster.
Choose your ship, name your captain, and leave the bustle of the docks for the wild and lightless depths of the Unterzee. The map changes every time you play, and every officer in your crew has their own story.
Encounter a corsairs’ village in a forest of stalagmites, come face to face with the vicious war trimarans of the New Khanate or the golden agents of the Dawn Machine. Grow strong and wise and rich and feared. With luck and skill you may achieve your ambitions: find your father’s bones, found a pirate princedom or sail beyond the Unterzee into the strangeness at time’s heart.
Cast off. Don't look back.
“Soon,” she says, and the piano music falters and stops. “We’ll go hungry, and then the end will come, for me but not for you.”
“We broke into the galley today and found appalling things: corpse-candles, graven images, and the mortal remains of Able Seaman Ayrton, rendered partially to stock. The wretched cook would only cackle: You liked him better salted…”
Auroral Megalops roam the waters – large enough to consume a pony with messy and clattering glee, or to pose a menace to ill-prepared ships.
“Oh yes” the University’s Maritime Liaison whispers breathily. “Oh yes. This is quite a tasty one. Let me explain it to you.” She (he?) explains, teeth glinting.
“We sighted Mt Nomad again today, still afloat but listing, her dark glass flanks scored and pitted from the cannon-fire in our previous encounter. This will be the last battle. This monster has harrowed the seas too long.”
Build a fine crew
Find and recruit officers on your travels. These perhaps unsavoury folks are treasure troves of stories.
Get to know your First Officer and she might share the co-ordinates of a secret smugglers’ cove stuffed with drowning-pearls. Feed your ship’s cat a moonish sprat and it may begin to glow in the dark. Invite your surgeon to dinner in your cabin and… well, who knows?
Keep your crew’s Hunger and Terror at bay, or face quarrels, despair, nightmares, madness, cannibalism and mutiny. Too much and you’ll lose everything.
Ships, monsters & the terrible darkness
The Unterzee is a realm of sombre beauty. It is always night – where that light off your starboard bow might be a friendly port or the glowing teeth of a zee-beast. Turn up your lights to see farthest, let them sink low to escape detection… or to become the hunter.
Like everything else in Sunless Sea, light has its cost, and not just in the fuel it takes to power your glim-lamps. If you can see your enemy, they can see you, and you’ll risk leaving yourself adrift at the mercy of the tideless black.
Improve and customise your ship as you increase your prowess on the black waters. Begin with a Splinter-Salvo and Evasive Manoeuvres: aspire to the Rarefaction Cannon and the terrifying Unclear Bomb…
Sunless Sea is a nautical roguelike in glorious 2D, presenting a non-linear, choice-heavy, personalised experience.
It’ll take dozens of games to explore all the sub-plots, grand arcs, alternatives, mysteries, relationships and romances in the game. Your character will die (or disappear, or lose her mind, or be hollowed out and filled with candle-wax and haunt a cliff-top chapel), but their legacy may survive. You’ll build up your own story across generations of zailors who braved the Unterzee and lost – or won…
Our influences! FTL; Don’t Starve; Strange Adventures in Infinite Space; Sid Meier’s Pirates; Taipan; Elite; roguelikes; the Crimson Permanent Assurance; the Irish immrama myths.
Enter Sunless Sea
Steady your zee-legs, Captain. Sunless Sea is coming to PlayStation 4 in 2018! Our debut console launch will also include its extensive expansion, combining the two into Sunless Sea: Zubmariner Edition. Enjoy the same deep, compelling world packed with 350,000+ words of stories and secrets, whether you’re above the waves or below them. We’ve partnered […]
Failbetter Update: Weathering a Storm
Feb 7, 12:00am
2017 was a mixed bag for us. We’ve come out of it a changed company, and we have some things to update you on. Sunless Skies After the remarkable high of the Kickstarter, the response to Sunless Skies in Early Access hasn’t met the level of Sunless Sea in terms of sales. It sold about […]