Sunless Sea for PC and iOS is a steampunk strategy with RPG elements. The game has been developed by Failbetter Games studio.
The plot is set in a fantastic version of Victorian England, which we could also visit in the developer’s previous game, Fallen London. The players assume the role of a steamboat captain sent with a mission to explore an underground ocean. The game doesn’t force the players to follow a predetermined path – we receive complete freedom to explore, and many occasions to make difficult moral choices. The world presented by the authors is very different from the historical truth – the game’s universe makes use of advanced technology, powered by steam engines, and during the journey, we have to face, among others, sea monsters, ruthless pirates, and conscious coral reef. As with the previous titles from Failbetter Games, the game focuses on telling appealing stories. Each crew member has its own personality, a rich biography, and numerous secrets, while the relations with underlings are shaped through our decisions.
Sunless Sea for PC and iOS is a hybrid of genres, mixing elements of strategy, rougelike, RPG and adventure games. During the gameplay, we explore new territories, gather resources, engage in diplomacy and conduct warfare. The structure of the game is basically nonlinear – for example, a journey can end with a success, with heaps of treasure brought home, but at the same time, an ineffectual food management will cause the malnourished crew to become canibals. We also decide whether to liberate the underground colonies, or to subject them permanently to the British Empire.
The early locations of the game, including London and the closest trade routes, are always the same. The majority of the underground ocean is generated randomly, which is why we visit familiar locations in different places. It is also worth mentioning that all discovered stories always play out in the same way, only our answers can be different. The game world is full of various factions, with every decision tipping the balance of power in some way. The battles take place in real time, and their result depends not only on undertaken maneuvers, but also on the ship’s equipment and the chosen crew. Light plays a major role, as many elements of the environment are obsured by darkness. Using the headlights allows keeping a sense of direction and targeting, but reveals our position to enemy ships and monsters.
PC / Windows
Minimum: Core 2 Duo 2.0 GHz, 1 GB RAM (2 GB RAM - Vista/7/8), graphic card 512 MB (GeForce 9600 GT or better), 700 MB HDD, Windows XP(SP3)/Vista/7/8
Requirements (iOS): iPad