Why I’m backing Sunless Sea – and why you should too, even if you don’t know it yet

If you live on the internet like I do – and, let’s face it, you probably do – and you haven’t heard of Fallen London yet, well, you have a treat in store. Its recent feature on Autostraddle introduced me to what is now my favourite browser game of all time. (Move over, Neopets.) Created by Failbetter Games, Fallen London is set in an alternate Victorian London, stolen by bats and dragged beneath the earth, mostly intact, to an enormous cavern, to sit beside a fathomless underground sea. Londoners, typically, adapt, despite not having any weather to complain about.

Your first introduction to this brave new world comes when you find yourself an inmate in New Newgate Prison, a stalactite-turned-gaol hanging above the city – and you progess, in a fashion giddyingly reminiscent of choose-your-own-adventure books, from there. If, like me, you can’t get enough of sandbox games and choice-dependent gameplay, this game is for you. (Just don’t come back and kick me when you discover you only get ten turns at a time.)

What’s Fallen London got to do with this Sunless Sea business? I hear you cry. Well, do you remember that fathomless underground sea I mentioned earlier? That’s the Unterzee, around which the game Sunless Sea will centre. In a similarly choice-oriented style, you’ll buy a ship, hire a crew, and set off into the wide black yonder for exciting and horrifying adventures. (Black? Why, there’s no light underground, of course, except that which you take with you.) Out on the briny main, you’ll meet corsairs, other nations’ hostile ships, and more hideous sea monsters than you could make into fishcakes. The unexplored areas of the map change every time you play, so no two games will be exactly alike.

As yet, Sunless Sea is only a game in potentia, but its original goal on Kickstarter, running for the month of September, has already been met. This means that by the first quarter of 2014, the release date ballpark, we backers who donated £10 or more should have virtual copies in our sweaty little virtual hands.

So, if the goal’s already been met, why do I think you should still back the game? One word, my friends: zubmarines.

Don’t just take my wide-eyed, desperate urging for it; check out the Kickstarter and the blog. I dare you not to thrill at the idea of open world, choose-your-own-adventure-style sea voyaging. And hurry – you’ve only two days left before the Kickstarter closes.

2 thoughts on “Why I’m backing Sunless Sea – and why you should too, even if you don’t know it yet

  1. While its map is refreshingly icon-free, its journal and some of its conversations are effectively long lists of icons. Sometimes this shatters the illusion, reveals a certainly utilitarianism at the game’s heart, and I can almost see the parts Sunless Sea was made out of.

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