NOTE: At the time of this review The Curious Expedition is still on early-release, so the game is still incomplete.
The Curious Expedition is a game about exploration, survival, and most importantly fame! Set in the 19th Century, the game plays like a expedition simulator where there is endless replay-ability and great lands to explore. Made by Maschinen-Mensch the game is described as a rogue-like where death is a commodity for experience and the exploration can go south at any time.
HOW TO PLAY
The game can be played primarily with a mouse, making everything very simplistic and easy to interact with. Much of the game is played on a tiled map, where only a portion of the screen is uncovered in the beginning and can be enlarged by traveling around.
The player takes control of a group of adventurers that take up one tile at a time, and by using a mouse can travel around by clicking where to go then hitting the travel button or double-clicking on the destination. There are also other screens that will require either clicking text boxes for choices or interacting with action buttons.
Find the Golden Pyramid that hides in every exploration and beat your rivals to it first to get your name forever engraved in history!
True, the game sounds simple enough. You as the player travels from point A (the start) to point B (the pyramid) as fast as possible. However, there are a few catches.
Wait, what catches?
The Curious Expedition has many different features that spice up the exploration, this includes, but is not limited to, different personalities and companions to travel around with, items galore, villages, mission homes, temples, and the crucial game element of sanity.
In the game of The Curious Expedition there is a sanity bar that must be kept in check lest you become insane. It is like a health bar as it starts out being full but decreases as you travel. So as you move your crew around a randomly generated map there is a base amount of sanity used plus a terrain cost depending on where you go.
There are grasslands, jungles, swamps, deserts, mountain regions, dry-lands and fantastic prehistoric regions to explore in the game that cause the player to buy different supplies for the journey. And as you travel across the land there are enemies like wild animals and even natives that will be encountered on the journey that cause a combat sequence to occur.
With a unique dice mechanic each of your companions will have a separate group of dice that will have different attributes depending on what kind of character they are from your normal gunman to odd occultists and photographers. Interact with natives, missionaries, slave holders, and more as you travel to discover temples,caves, graveyards, and the abandoned camps of the unfortunate for treasures and wealth!
Once the pyramid is found there is rejoice heard all across the land!
At this point your journey seems to be over...but wait, you must choose a perk? Well in the game of the Curious Expedition the journey doesn't just comprise of one adventure but many! Thus, at the end of each voyage you are allowed to pick one perk and subsequently be shown a chart to see where your fame ranks with your opponents (oh did I mention there are NPCs' that you're going against?). At this point whatever you found on your journey is shown, and you are given a choice of whether to keep it, sell it for gold, or donate it for fame.
Afterwards it's off to more adventures!
There are many famous people that you can choose to play as like Charles Darwin, Harriet Tubman, and even H.P Lovecraft. Each have their own unique skills and items along with a different crew to begin your travels with!
With a unique and detailed 8-bit style, the graphics of the game are slick and polished with different character sprites and animations for any situation. For any retro gamer the graphics will be a nice aesthetic and give an atmosphere of 19th Century adventure.
While there isn't much, each sound matches well with each situation and sets an atmosphere of adventure.
While the game is on early-release on Steam, it is well worth the $15 USD. The game already feels fleshed out, and with constant updates and much more to come completely free I highly recommend checking The Curious Expedition out!