Back It This Weekend: Sunless Sea, A Steampunk Naval Roguelike Inspired By FTL
There are practically hundreds Indie game Kickstarters making the rounds at any given time, but this month something truly special surfaced. Failbetter Games' Sunless Sea might seem like little more than an offbeat and borderline-Lovecraftian roguelike, until you realize that this is the same team that developed Fallen London. Fallen London is easily the most unique and intriguing browser-based game I've ever experienced, and it's a must-play for anyone with an interest in twisted and tangled Victorian settings.
Better yet, Sunless Sea and Fallen London will go hand in hand, with Failbetter's newest game taking place in (and expanding upon) the strange world of its predecessor.
In case you've never played Fallen London yourself, it's a game that drops you into the middle of a rather unfamiliar version of London, England. It's a place of intrigue, exploration, and not a single ray of sunlight. It marries Victorian flair with demons, devils, dames, dandies, and more dry wit than you can shake your ornamental walking-stick at. There's romance, danger, bohemian sensibilities and brutish aggression all swirled together, letting players choose paths that appeal to the exact kind of character and style of play they enjoy most.
Meanwhile, in Sunless Sea you will be navigating the vast and dangerous underground sea, the shore of which London now rests on. There will be monsters, unusual characters, and tough predicaments for your Victorian captain to face, and each one can shape your journey or seal your fate. You will have to balance your resources with your crew's needs, and things will almost invitably go wrong.
Knowing that Sunless Sea intends to fit snugly within the world established by Fallen London makes the proposed game that much more appealing. It's one of those fictional worlds you never really want to leave; there are just so many layers to expose that it feels endlessly deep, making it the perfect setting for a steampunk roguelike inspired by the likes of FTL and Don't Starve.
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Iris Ophelia (@bleatingheart, Janine Hawkins IRL) has been featured in the New York Times and has spoken about SL-based design at the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan and with pop culture/fashion maven Johanna Blakley.