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Sunless Skies [GOG, Steam], the next game from the developer of Sunless Sea has released with day-1 Linux support. The title is still in-development, so it's not yet a complete game.

Disclosure: My key was provided by GOG directly. Thanks again to GOG for supporting us with keys so that we can cover games in a timely fashion, good show 'ol chap (I know, I need to work on my old fashioned Londoner lingo).

As always, a full review will be reserved for when the game leaves development. For now, I've given it a few thoughts to ensure it works correctly.

The game currently only has one of the four planned game regions, named the Reach. Each region will have new stories, game mechanics, enemies and so on you get the idea.

GOG include both a 32bit and 64bit version of the game, so no need to hunt down various 32bit libs thankfully! The game also loads and runs just fine! It does revert my fullscreen setting on each run though, making me put it back into fullscreen each time, but that's a minor niggle.

Since the game isn't finished, they give you a starting gift of supplies to get you started, as they claim it's harder to earn money right now than it will be when it's finished. Likely due to the game not having as many ways to actually earn money as it will in future.

I have to admit, the idea of a steam-powered spaceship sent from 20th century London has totally blown my mind. I'm a massive science fiction nerd, I love everything to do with space and the totally unknown! Sunless Sea didn't really speak to me in the way I was hoping it would, but replace the Sea with Space and suddenly a new world has opened up for me. I think what really helps, is that the pace of the game seems quite a lot faster when compared with the previous game, so it doesn't feel so gruelling to play.

The game is an absolute joy to play already, seeing your little ship blast out steam as you chug along, it's really quite beautiful. I often enjoy the simple things, but seeing steam burst out of your sides when turning — magnificent.

I've already had a pretty close shave with an asteroid that could have resulted in an early death. There I was, casually eating a chocolate muffin, powering away with one hand (whilst forgetting Cruise Control exist) and this little number appeared rather suddenly:

Some slick manoeuvring and a keyboard covered in muffin and I was safe.

Honestly, for a game that has just released, which isn't finished, I was surprised by how well it runs. I only saw one real issue, which was were some sort of fog/smog just appeared instead of fading it. Another minor niggle, but it didn't really affect my enjoyment.

As expected, the writing is fantastic and engrossing. Lots of little stories to find and passengers to chat to (if you decide to chat, that is). The only thing I haven't engaged in yet is the combat, as I've only come across two other ships. I'm not too eager to try out the combat yet either, as I'm already rather fond of my steamy friend. I have just had a chat with a gentleman over a brandy and agreed to hunt down some lowlifes, so we will see what happens.

Try not to run out of fuel and please don't keep crashing into everything. Remember to keep those logs up to date, or no one will believe a bloody thing you've seen. Now go and stake your claim!

Space Trains, beautiful style and presentation, what's not to love?

9 Likes, Who?
Comments
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Cheeseness 30 August 2017 at 9:18 pm UTC
QuoteIt does revert my fullscreen setting on each run though, making me put it back into fullscreen each time, but that's a minor niggle.
This was done as a workaround for the fullscreen input bug.

I'd been talking with Failbetter about getting this resolved, but it didn't end up happening before Early Access launched. From what I understand, they're on track to upgrade to a Unity version that contains that fix as soon as they can, and the forcing of windowed mode at launch on Linux will go away.
razing32 30 August 2017 at 9:26 pm UTC
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Is the perma death still in place ?
Do they offer the option to disable it as they did in Sunless sea ?
shelloflight 30 August 2017 at 10:41 pm UTC
I'm hoping this ends up being a refined, less grindy Sunless Sea. I'm planning to dive in as soon as it leaves early access. Can't wait!
ziabice 31 August 2017 at 7:45 am UTC
Sunless Sea needed badly translations in languages other than english to be enjoyed by a non-english speaker, let's hope that with this game they let at least the users translate the game...
AlveKatt 31 August 2017 at 8:37 am UTC
razing32Is the perma death still in place ?
Do they offer the option to disable it as they did in Sunless sea ?

It's to early to tell. There is no save option yet, but there is nothing saying it won't be added as the game is a while away from being feature complete.

Maybe the answer can be found on their steam forums, or their own forums at failbetter games.
AlveKatt 31 August 2017 at 8:44 am UTC
shelloflightI'm hoping this ends up being a refined, less grindy Sunless Sea. I'm planning to dive in as soon as it leaves early access. Can't wait!

There was nothing grindy about Sunless Sea, was there? Sure, it took forever before you could afford to buy a new boat, but the game was more about the stories than levelling and fighting, so it didn't feel like it mattered. Maybe there were more of that further on in the game than I got though, there were a lot of monsters and other weirdness that I just avoided because they would have kicked my ass. Point is, it never felt grindy to me. I felt it had a relaxing pace, although the terror mechanic and stories did keep me just a bit tense anyway.
buenaventura 31 August 2017 at 9:51 am UTC
I sure felt Sunless Sea was kinda grindy, especially when you died and started over, and visited the same places over and over. I am so happy to read this:

"I think what really helps, is that the pace of the game seems quite a lot faster when compared with the previous game, so it doesn't feel so gruelling to play."

The pace of the boat was quite enervating to me. This is one of the few games I am really looking forwards to, especially since my computer will probably run it well!

(I hope! Anything about system reqs revealed?)
khalismur 31 August 2017 at 10:36 am UTC
Didn't really enjoy Sunless Sea and this one looks exactly the same! Guess I will try to replay the first one but wish they'd been more creative...
theghost 31 August 2017 at 12:58 pm UTC
Sunless Sea looked really great but when I tried it, questing and tutorial (if one can call that thing so) was buggy. Maybe it's working better now and I should give it a try again.
JudasIscariot 31 August 2017 at 2:33 pm UTC
buenaventuraI sure felt Sunless Sea was kinda grindy, especially when you died and started over, and visited the same places over and over. I am so happy to read this:

"I think what really helps, is that the pace of the game seems quite a lot faster when compared with the previous game, so it doesn't feel so gruelling to play."

The pace of the boat was quite enervating to me. This is one of the few games I am really looking forwards to, especially since my computer will probably run it well!

(I hope! Anything about system reqs revealed?)

The system requirements are out on both the GOG and Steam pages for the game
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