Following on the considerable success of their first game, Sunless Sea, Failbetter Games have just launched the sequel Sunless Skies onto Steam’s Early Access and GOG’s Games in Development platforms.
In Sunless Skies you get to leave behind the murky depths of the Unterzee for the High Wilderness and a life of adventure and intrigue. Empress Victoria has declared that we explore the stars, for science! Perhaps. Either way, the stars are not quite what you would expect and some of them are disappearing. It will take a brave new Captain and their crew to uncover the mystery from the Empire’s base in the heavens, Albion.
The game will have the similar top-down Gothic art style as its predecessor and takes place in the same alt-Victorian universe as both Sunless Sea and the original browser game that started it all, Fallen London. All three games are essentially visual novels (though the developers prefer the term literary RPGs) with the deep and rich narratives for which Failbetter have become famous. Sunless Skies will be no different with the dark, delicious narrative making up the backbone of the game. Bizarre characters and engaging story lines will drive your desire to explore deeper into the game world, greatly increasing the risk of death and much more likely the cannibalism of your innocent crew as you go.
The traditional mechanics of Terror and Hunger that drive good men to do terrible deeds will once again be in place. In place of a steam boat (or a Zubmarine if you played the Sunless Sea expansion Zubmariner) you will instead pilot a steam engine locomotive through the clouds. How, remains to be seen. For now you will only need to fear about your vessel plunging headfirst from the stars rather than being swallowed by the inky deep when it runs out of fuel.
Currently the game is priced at £18.99 and, if early reviews are to be believed, is still in a very early state. But Failbetter have already proven themselves to be a cut above the rest so far when it comes to delivering on Early Access games. Sunless Sea had a long and successful run through its alpha stages with regular updates and good communication from the development team. So, you should expect nothing less from this release.
If you are keen to start exploring the skies and seeking new adventure among the clouds then the way is open delicious friends.