Top Critic Average
Wonderful writing resting on top of infirm foundations. Almost a classic, Sunless Sea falls a few leagues short of its final destination.
'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?
Sunless Sea gives you a wonderful world to explore that's packed with memorable written vignettes and danger.
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.
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
Amazing writing and a good sense of discovery makes Sunless Sea's glacial pace and mismatched roguelike elements worth plodding through.
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.
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.
A blend of horror, humor, and deep-sea exploration, Sunless Sea surpasses a few shortcomings to deliver an engaging, inventive, and challenging indie experience.