Few games manage to capture the feeling of claustrophobia, the fear of the dark, of the open waters or of death better than Sunless Sea: Zubmariner Edition, and you'll be up surprised at how a seemingly unimpressive 2D game can send chills down your spine. While the horror may not come in the form of gore or jump scares, sometimes the ever-present feeling of dread and fear of the unknown can be the thing to keep you on the edge of your seat the most. If that doesn't impress you, then the fear of losing a few hours' worth of progress will surely do.
An intimidating and slow burning prospect, for those who can look behind its challenging facade Sunless Sea: Zubmariner Edition soon reveals itself to be a masterly work that deftly marries great writing with fine tuned roguelike mechanics.
If you like endless death served up with a generous helping of moody Victorian horror, then Sunless Sea: Zubmariner Edition should definitely be on your radar. If that doesn’t grab you from its description, however, be warned that you’re probably not going to find the game itself any easier to pick up.
Sunless Sea is a unique title. A rogue-like set in a Lovecraftian nightmare with table-top RPG elements backed up by some truly excellent writing. The slow pace, and narrative delivery may well put some players off though.
When it comes down to it, Sunless Sea: Zubmariner Edition is an ambitious game that failed to ultimately capture me. Early on it discouraged me from continuous play, and while I eventually got into a rhythm, the barriers of entry still gated off levels of enjoyment. The lack of a tutorial is a major flaw, as a game with this much original language needs to provide a strong opening to capture attention. The spots that shine bright really stand out, and for those looking for a detailed and captivating story-based game, you could do worse. If you’re ready to read a lot, this is an adventure I can recommend you to embark on. If you aren’t, you’ll find yourself drowning in this zee of words.
SummaryTake the helm of your steamship and set sail for the unknown! Sunless Sea is a literary roleplaying game of discovery, loneliness and frequent death, set in the award-winning Victorian Gothic universe of Fallen London.