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About Sunless Sea

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Genre: Adventure | Publisher: Failbetter Games | Platform: PC
Available on Steam, Sunless Sea is a roguelike game about sea exploration set in the same universe as Failbetter Games’ online release, Fallen London. In Sunless Sea, gothic London is underground on the shores of a large, subterranean sea, known as the Unterzee

Players take the role of a ship captain exploring the Unterzee. Those who enjoy open-ended adventures with strong storytelling, as well as those who like management games, would potentially enjoy Sunless Sea. Because of the range of options for how to play the game, it can be daunting for new players, although there are some general Sunless Sea tips and strategies for how to navigate the game below.

Sunless Sea: What We Like The Most

Although there are a lot of things in Sunless Sea that are enjoyable, here are a few things that really stood out:

Immersive storytelling
Failbetter continues its tradition of quirky and in-depth universe building and storytelling. The amount of backstory and lore in this game, plus the sheer number of possible stories and outcomes available will mean that you can play Sunless Sea multiple times and not get bored with it. There’s a lot of text to get through, all of which helps to make the world of Fallen London a rich and far-reaching one.

An aesthetic experience
As we all know, sound and graphics are important parts of the game. Sunless Sea has a very unique, story-like aesthetic, with journal pages describing your quests, and the gloomy lighting from the underground cities, along with the vastness in between them, really go far to make the world an isolating one. The original soundtrack also reflects the seafaring game well, with a range of shanties and haunting songs.  

A balanced challenge
The game requires you to keep an eye on your fuel, supplies, and your crew’s terror level, while trading off on how far you can explore. From a game design point-of-view, this is done quite well with the rate of terror slowly increasing the further you travel, while your fuel and supplies diminish. The changes are gradual and expected. 

The Basics of Sunless Sea

Sunless Sea is a roguelike game, which means that the world is procedurally generated and will be different each time you play it. As zee-captain, it is up to you to stock your ship, acquire crew and officers (who can change the health, strength, morale and stealth of your ship), and complete quests

When you start the game, your map will be blank, and as you discover more of the Unterzee the map will fill in automatically. When in ports, you can also trade, accept new quests, or turn in (or advance) existing quests.  

Sunless Sea Strategy: Core Challenges

Because Sunless Sea has so many options, it can be tricky to know what to if you’re just starting the game. However you decide to play the game, here are three general Sunless Sea tips that should be especially useful to new players:

1. Patience is a virtue
Sunless Sea is designed to be slow. There is a lot to explore, and when you start out, your ship’s maximum speed is not very fast. Take time to understand the game mechanics and read the in game text, as this will be important when you decide which quests to accept.

2. Keep an eye on your supplies
Always have enough food and fuel to get home. If you run out of fuel in the middle of the Unterzee, you will be stranded unless you can afford a tow back, and even then it can be extremely costly. You will also be vulnerable to monsters and pirates. If you run out of supplies, your crew will starve (and may even resort to cannibalism). Check on your supplies constantly, and turn back when you don’t think you’d otherwise be able to make it home.

3. There’s no shame in running away
Sunless Sea has a steep learning curve, and the game even tells you that your first captain will most likely die. Permadeath is the standard, so if you encounter enemies you’re not ready to fight, it’s better to run away and live to fight another day, rather than have to restart the game because you lost all of your progress when your crew got killed.

Top User Questions About Sunless Sea

Where can I get some new quests? 
Quests will show up in the bottom left corner of the screen as they become available in your location. Some quests have multiple stages in different locations, so it’s important to check your quest progress as you go. Be sure to revisit old ports as well, as new quests may have popped up.

How can I track what I am doing? 
You will get multiple quest lines, and the journal layout can make it hard to see which quests you have, or which places you need to visit. Making a note of these things in a word document or on paper can help keep you up to date with what you have to do, and make sure you also check your map frequently to see which locations are close together.

How do I end the game?
How the game ends will depend on what ambition you selected at the beginning. Once you’ve fulfilled it, you will have the option to complete the game when you check into your lodgings. However, if you don’t want to finish just yet, you are still free to travel around and explore.

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