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Quick Look: Sunless Skies

I'd love to go on your space-train journey, but I'm currently looking for my cat, Monsieur Francois.

Sit back and enjoy as the Giant Bomb team takes an unedited look at the latest video games.

Mar. 10 2019

Cast: Vinny, Alex, Abby

Posted by: Abby

In This Episode:

Sunless Skies

27 Comments

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Pilgrimm1981

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Put about 47 hours into this, it's a cool game, finished it yesterday. A bigger budget (voice acting, more imagery, maybe even a 3d world) and this would have been amazing.

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Genessee

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Edited By Genessee • 

Alex: As someone who beat it last month:

1. Explore all ports even if it kills you as the map rolls over.

2. Buy Holds first for your train so you can do trading.

3. Leave one stat alone and max out others at first for guarenteed success at checks and equip better gear.

4. After a Hold, then upgrade your train to a better one (this will always carry over).

5. Then buy the Mines. They're great for enemies on your six and a parting shot after a broadside when you're on offense.

6. Then buy Armor (you'll need this and better engines to survive later Realms).

7. The Incognito Princess storyline GOES PLACES, MAN.

8. Lose your mind!

9. Eat your crew!

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Mupod

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Mupod • 

This game is incredible and way easier to get into than Sunless Sea was. It completely devoured my weekend the first time I started it.

The difficulty was frontloaded for me, I died a few times early on but once I got rolling and upgraded my locomotive it's been quite manageable. Granted outside of one quick trip to buy advanced gear, I've only been to Reach/Albion and I play like an absolute chickenshit. But if you don't like the idea of restarting you can simply play it in the mode that doesn't have permadeath.

Also there's no limit on how many officers you can carry but you can only assign one at a time per role. It becomes important to swap them around based on certain skill checks you're trying to pass, since they buff your stats. Gotta remember to actually assign them though...I died 3 times before I even noticed you had to do that.

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LeraA

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Edited By LeraA  Online • 

I played some Fallen London back in the day but its free to play model with the timers and all turned me off and I drifted away. I didn't give Sunless Sea much time because of the bad taste left in my mouth from the first game. Or maybe because I died a lot. I really like the style and writing in these games, so maybe I should give this new one a shot.

The music in these games is great. I bought the soundtrack to Sunless Sea; it's so good.

Thank you for giving this type of game some coverage. It must be more difficult to showcase a text-heavy game, and you all do it quite well. I love these kinds of Quick Looks!

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Draugen

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Draugen • 

And the child of Fortunate Navigator and Incognito Princess grew up to be the most beautiful person in the universe.

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JonDo

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Edited By JonDo • 

Failbetter has always been better at writing, but the game part of this is considerably better... if not the complete iteration I was looking for.

I got a mine claim, upgraded my train, hold, guns, did a bunch of quests... then enjoyed this for hours of hauling and fell off, need to go back. Never made it to the second area because it was nice to not die immediately in the first.

I found the same with both Fallen London and Sunless Seas. When you reach the point where new storylets aren't coming as rapidly, I really peter off. Eventually I will go back and progress through a gate, likely.

It's an amazing game to turn down and listen to audiobooks/podcasts.

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Crippl3

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Crippl3 • 

Something important Alex didn't mention: YOU CAN TURN OFF THE PERMADEATH

When you start a new game, you can enable Merciful Mode, which allows you to instead load a previous save when you die. You can still choose to die and start with a new captain if you want, to progress quests or find new stuff or what have you.

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MagicBoots

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Edited By MagicBoots • 

Space is weird because the Judgments are dying. They enforce the laws of physics.

Fallen London, Sunless Seas and Sunless Skies all take place in the same universe just at different times (one following the next I believe). Also seconding the incognito princess story line, it gets bonkers.

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hassun

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hassun • 

Space choo choo!

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JonDo

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JonDo • 

@crippl3 said:

Crippl3

Something important Alex didn't mention: YOU CAN TURN OFF THE PERMADEATH

When you start a new game, you can enable Merciful Mode, which allows you to instead load a previous save when you die. You can still choose to die and start with a new captain if you want, to progress quests or find new stuff or what have you.

lmao so i got attached and have been savescumming my perma campaign by alt f4ing at the death screen

now i dont want to start a new campaign XD

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thainatos

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PorpoiseProblem

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matiaz_tapia

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Are you really a train if you don't have any carts attached ? or just a locomotive engine?

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schindigg

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schindigg • 

@matiaz_tapia: nope its not train, just a space engine putting through ....space.

This game could be cool if they stretched it out, got voice acting, maybe some on foot parts at ports. Its got a neat vibe to it

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Bill_McNeal

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cabbagered

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cabbagered • 

*twitch* Ten minutes of menus. "Just move the train. Just move the train. Just move the train!" :P

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jsake

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jsake • 

Linguist!? I barely know... Ist

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geirr

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geirr • 

I wish my navigator was that gorgeous.
Σ>―(〃°ω°〃)♡→

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KnockingNick

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This is a pretty cool looking game. All aboard!

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Chummy8

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Chummy8 • 

Space Train is my favorite Cat Stevens' song.

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WealthyAardvark

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The one thing I wish is that Alex had saved his leveling up/choosing facets of his captain's past for the Quick Look, but I understand that would likely mean not being in the middle of a quest like he was. For anyone curious, Alex's captain was:

A street urchin in London, before escaping to London in the skies. He ran with the Knotted Sock gang who were based in an abandoned rookery.

His character spent some time in an insane asylum, and did eventually recover from his affliction.

A previous captain in his lineage was held in good regard among academics, giving him contacts he could call upon there.

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ChaosOrdeal

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I failed EVERY SINGLE DICE ROLL I TOOK during this game. Didn't matter if I had no skill, or it was my highest skill. ALL FAILED. My crew got whittled away, I returned to New Whatever to recruit more, recruited the highest amount, RANDOMLY GOT THE LEAST I COULD GET. So, I tried to get around with five crew, and of course that leads to problems that often lead you to lose more crew members. The AI ships are so fucking dumb that they just ram into regularly. Have you ever played a game that made you feel like the devs didn't actually want you to play it? Writing: decent; gameplay: no fuckin way.

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DurMan667

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DurMan667 • 

Marzipan is Homestar Runner's girlfriend's name.

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matsemann08

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Edited By matsemann08 • 

@chaosordeal said:

ChaosOrdeal

I failed EVERY SINGLE DICE ROLL I TOOK during this game. Didn't matter if I had no skill, or it was my highest skill. ALL FAILED. My crew got whittled away, I returned to New Whatever to recruit more, recruited the highest amount, RANDOMLY GOT THE LEAST I COULD GET. So, I tried to get around with five crew, and of course that leads to problems that often lead you to lose more crew members. The AI ships are so fucking dumb that they just ram into regularly. Have you ever played a game that made you feel like the devs didn't actually want you to play it? Writing: decent; gameplay: no fuckin way.

Seems like something a pirated version would do. Not saying you did.

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Fram

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Fram • 

This looks super neat