After almost a year and a half in Early Access, the Victorian Era-inspired literary RPG sequel Sunless Skies will receive a full release on January 31, 2019.
The development team, Failbetter Games, announced the launch date of the project today, alongside the immediate availability of a free pen-and-paper RPG set in the same universe.
Sunless Skies is the sequel to 2014’s highly acclaimed Sunless Sea, which drew numerous plaudits for the quality of its writing and setting, though several reviewers found the gameplay to be a little lacking. For this latest effort, Failbetter Games will take players from the sea to the stars, casting them as captain of a steam locomotive capable of traversing the galaxy.
Users will enter a world where the stars are sentient, but being killed off by an unknown force, while the British Empire seeks to dominate. Sunless Skies tasks players with choosing between supporting the Empire or rebelling. While the full details of the final release have not yet been detailed, the next update—due on October 10—will overhaul one of the areas already implemented into the project and expand on some of the core survival mechanics.
Meanwhile, the tabletop game, called Skyfarer: A Sunless Skies RPG, will used a dice-based gameplay system. Designed by Rowan, Rook and Decard, this spin-off is created “with a focus on quick-form, rapid-fire play that leaves players wanting more.”
In OnlySP’s review of Sunless Sea, James Schumacher concluded that “there’s lots to appreciate here […] if you can get past the initial grind.” The sequel has already drawn praise for correcting some of the most prominent issues raised about its predecessor.
Sunless Skies will launch on Linux, Mac, and Windows.