Percentile Rank

Sunless Sea is ranked in the 86th percentile of games scored on OpenCritic.

Rating Summary

Based on 27 critic reviews
Strong Man

OpenCritic Rating

82

Top Critic Average

79%

Critics Recommend

Based on 27 critic reviews

Score Distribution

Unscored Reviews

Rock, Paper, Shotgun
Unscored
Unscored
Feb 6, 2015

Look, Sunless Sea isn't for everyone. It requires patience, and it requires no small amount of imagination. For those who have those qualities, or are prepared to try and acquire them, I would say that Sunless Sea is an uncommonly rewarding roleplaying game, and an essential one.

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Paste Magazine
Unscored
Unscored
Feb 27, 2015

Sunless Sea's contemplative pace and reams of text won't appeal to every player, but if you have a little patience, and an appreciation for atmospheric story telling, then it'll be hard to pass this one up.

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TotalBiscuit, The Cynical Brit
Unscored
Unscored
Feb 6, 2015
► WTF Is... - Sunless Sea ? video thumbnail

Scored Reviews

Eurogamer
10 / 10
10 / 10
Feb 5, 2015

'The sacred river ran, through caverns measureless to man, down to a sunless sea,' reads Coleridge's poem, Kubla Khan, from which the game takes its name and setting. It already knows that you will take up the challenge and bravely attempt to measure these caverns. The better question, and the one that Sunless Sea asks in countless ways is: how?

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PCGamesN
10 / 10
10 / 10
Feb 9, 2015

Sunless Sea does demand a lot from its captains, though. Patience, mainly. It's a slow, deliberate game, where a journey across the map can take an age, and where secrets are unfurled without haste. But the sea offers up a veritable bounty of rewards, and absolutely the best writing in any video game since, well, as long as I can remember.

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High-Def Digest
Feb 11, 2015

'Sunless Sea' is the perfect game for someone who's been waiting for a subterranean, steampunk, nautical, difficult, heavily text-based adventure. I highly recommend it for everyone else as well, especially those who appreciate deliciously whimsical, macabre prose and don't mind a bit of backtracking and dying.

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Softpedia
9 / 10.0
9 / 10.0
Feb 11, 2015

Sunless Sea is a great video game and the team at Failbetter Games has clearly invested a lot of love and attention into its development.

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Destructoid
9 / 10.0
9 / 10.0
Feb 8, 2015

There are still many mysteries of the Unterzee that I have yet to discover, and maybe I never will see everything there is to see. But that just makes Sunless Sea even more exciting for me. The realm of possibilities seems endless, and every time I set sail I find something new. The sea is calling to me. Perhaps it's calling to you, too.

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GameCrate
8.5 / 10.0
8.5 / 10.0
Feb 18, 2015

Fantastically weird and powerfully written, Sunless Sea is sure to satisfy genre fans and could very well make some new converts into the world of Weird fiction.

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Geeks Under Grace
8.5 / 10.0
Geeks Under Grace
Andrew Borck
8.5 / 10.0
Nov 14, 2018

A unique setting makes this survival/exploration game stand apart from the pack, along with it's RPG elements. If the sound of well-written stories of captains facing the horrors of the sea piques your interest, look no further. Sunless Sea is a standout in a well-saturated genre.

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IGN
8.3 / 10.0
IGN

Top Critic

8.3 / 10.0
Feb 19, 2015

Sunless Sea gives you a wonderful world to explore that's packed with memorable written vignettes and danger.

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PC Gamer
80 / 100
80 / 100
Feb 11, 2015

Wonderful writing resting on top of infirm foundations. Almost a classic, Sunless Sea falls a few leagues short of its final destination.

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Gameplanet
8 / 10.0
8 / 10.0
Feb 11, 2015

The static narratives and roguelike gameplay in Sunless Sea don't always gel together harmoniously, but Failbetter Games has succeeded in delivering a tense and engaging experience and a rich and atmospheric setting.

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Dealspwn
Feb 12, 2015

Sunless Sea is a masterpiece of interactive storytelling, atmosphere and exploration that spins a unique, tense and frequently tragic new yarn every time you play. It's a shame that the spiteful economy and repetitive early game gradually forces you to focus on the systems, not the stories, but the quality of the writing elevates Sunless Sea into something rather special indeed.

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Game Rant
Apr 20, 2015

A blend of horror, humor, and deep-sea exploration, Sunless Sea surpasses a few shortcomings to deliver an engaging, inventive, and challenging indie experience.

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Digital Chumps
8 / 10.0
8 / 10.0
Feb 19, 2015

Sunless Sea stresses a fondness for resource management, vaguely turn-based combat, roguelike principles of calculated disposability, and basic role-playing. All of this builds to a confident level of intimidation – it can require an exceptional amount of time to procure the particular nature of Sunless Sea's identity and intentions – but not without a certain indelible magnetism. Making sense of Sunless Sea's complexity just seems to be one of its underlying challenges.

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Hardcore Gamer
4 / 5.0
4 / 5.0
Mar 3, 2015

Sunless Sea is a little darker and less cheerful than its already morbid sister Fallen London, but it's no less delightful. The Unterzee is awash with clever, well-written stories, and you're sure to find something new every time you set sail – even if actually finding it can take a while.

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Game Informer
8 / 10.0
8 / 10.0
Feb 10, 2015

It's a rich, story-driven game of moving from island to island like some sort of Lovecraftian Odysseus. It's engaging, but loads of screens to push through and lackluster combat detract from the experience

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Gamestyle
8 / 10
8 / 10
Mar 9, 2015

An extremely good game which just doesn't feel properly finished. It's not quite a final draft. It's still damned good fun though.

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Metro GameCentral
8 / 10
8 / 10
Feb 10, 2015

The action may not be up to quite the same standards as the writing, but the bizarre world of the Underzee is more interesting to explore than almost any other recent game world.

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Guardian
Feb 8, 2015

Indeed, one of the best things about Sunless Sea, apart from its beautifully crafted elder-horror stories, fantastically drawn artwork and generally creepy atmosphere, is the feeling that the decisions you make within the game are shaping the narrative, and that by playing, you are writing yourself into that story.

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FingerGuns
8 / 10
8 / 10
Sep 16, 2018

Explanations of the lore, the world, and your place in it are in short supply but over time, you live, die and learn, rewarding those that stick with it with some of the slickest, well implemented writing in gaming.

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Kill Screen
77 / 100
77 / 100
Feb 19, 2015

Sunless Sea is ultimately a chronicle of tragedies. Success is dependent upon you building up achievements, stacking your legacy high enough that the next captain can set sail with a proper cannon and better rig, which is in turn entirely in service of exploring whatever remains in the vast darkness out East. As someone who played Skyrim and spent hours wandering every square inch of the underground kingdom in Blackreach, I found Sunless Sea's heady darkness appealing.

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PowerUp!
7.5 / 10.0
PowerUp!
Genna Maskell
7.5 / 10.0
Mar 15, 2017

Do I own the game or does the game own me? I can no longer tell, and truth be told I no longer care.

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The Escapist
Feb 11, 2015

Sunless Sea is a dark game combining Lovecraft-themed exploration with Victorian Gothic visual novels in exciting (and chilling) ways. The end result isn't perfect, but its sense of terror and wonder makes it a worthy follow-up to Failbetter's Fallen London.

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New Game Network
68 / 100
68 / 100
May 4, 2015

Sunless Sea truly does capture what it must feel like to be a ship's captain on a dark underground ocean - sometimes it feels exciting and wondrous, but usually it feels lethargic and dreary. I should've stayed in London and became a shopkeeper.

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GameSpot
6 / 10
6 / 10
Apr 2, 2015

Amazing writing and a good sense of discovery makes Sunless Sea's glacial pace and mismatched roguelike elements worth plodding through.

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