Under the Zee: 90 Hours into Failbetter Games’s Sunless Sea

About a month ago, Failbetter Games launched Sunless Sea, a full-scale companion to its browser-based text adventure, Fallen London (send me a calling card there! I’m Schlomo!) I’m not entirely sure that I’ve done anything else since.

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Web Crush Wednesdays: Fallen London

Facebook games: they’re repetitive, uninspired, and mindless, but somehow they’re still hideously addicting and I’ve played them all (or, at least a good chunk of them).

However, after a while I got bored of their calls for actually spending money and swore myself from ever playing such games again. That is until this game was brought to my attention… again.

A while ago, it was discussed between the writers at this blog that we should all give the game, Fallen London a shot and with the increased popularity on neo-Victorian literature and subcultures like steampunk, it seemed like a fair idea. However, it is blatantly a Facebook game, only not on Facebook. As such, I took a polite look at it, tipped my hat, and ollied out, never to set eyes on it again. Except that didn’t happen. No, it took one of my other friends bringing it up again for me to really try it out, and now I’m addicted.

Fallen London is set in a somewhat post-apocalyptic setting where the characters live in the desolate, dirty, and corrupt rubble of London. It starts by having the player character escape from jail and from there the way one builds their character is up to them. You can be a pious protector of the discriminated groups or a violent, rowdy sort that lives a hedonistic lifestyle. There’s no real coherent plot, but there are plot-lines that affect which events you run into later on in the game. For instance, my character just lost her soul because she got in too deep with the devils—who, strangely enough, run the government… actually, maybe that’s not so strange.

As I said, though, this game is definitely a Facebook game. It has the annoying restriction of only so many actions being able to be used until you run out and must wait several minutes for more. It also has a system where you can pay for certain perks, but unlike other Facebook games, it doesn’t really shove it down your throat. It’s usually possible to ignore the fact that it is so similar because of the game engine it’s programmed through; the StoryNexus engine allows for more depth in plot and different routes of story, so it seems more like you’re playing a game rather than just clicking on something to waste time.

If it sounds like something you’d be interested it, give Fallen London a shot! And if you join, let me know your screen-name and we can team-up and solve the mysteries of this place.