The Curious Expedition – Crushingly Difficult, but Worth It.
You are a great explorer trying to add your name to the history books. You must complete six expeditions, sailing all across the globe while competing against other famous explorers. To win against your opponents you must traverse jungle, desert and snow, interact with natives, discover treasures, fight creatures, find the golden pyramids and do it all without you and your party going insane. If you’re old enough to remember and to have loved the Oregon Trail, The Curious Expedition by German indie studio Maschinen-Mensch may be right up your alley.
The Curious Expedition is a roguelike role-playing exploration adventure game. You start by picking which historical figure you’d like to play. Each explorer has their own specific starting parties and equipment that give them both advantages and disadvantages. You then embark on your first expedition.
Each expedition is procedurally generated, and you may choose from a few options which part of the world they would like to explore. Once you disembark from your ship you point and click your way through the map, using your sanity, displayed at the top of the screen, to discover new areas of the map. You can regain your sanity to keep exploring by resting in a scenic location, creating enough goodwill with the locals to have them welcome you to their village, or by bartering with missionaries to let you stay the night at the monastery.
In order to become the ultimate explorer and win the game, you must gain more fame than the other explorers competing for the same honor. You gain fame by finding the golden pyramid first, and completing your expeditions before the other explorers. This is kept track of on the left hand side of the map. You also can donate the treasures you find in your journeys to the museum for additional fame.
Treasure can be found in shrines and temples, and you can also trade villagers and local shamans for them. However, stealing from the local holy places can result in some pretty nasty changes to your surroundings and also anger the native people. Spend too much time on your expeditions, can tax your other party members turning them against you, and each other.
You also encounter a variety of creatures on your expeditions. Crocodiles, tigers, giant scorpions, and even dinosaurs are just a few of the many creatures that think you and your party look like tasty snacks. Fighting them can reward you with meat you can cook or trade, and treasures that you can sell or turn in for fame. Killing too much of the local fauna will decrease your standing with the native people, unless of course you trade them the spoils.
Completing all six expeditions, and winning the title of ultimate explorer turns your figure golden, and unlocks additional explorers for you to test your luck. The challenges of each explorer and the procedurally generated expeditions give this game great replay-ability. The Curious Expedition is $14.99 and is available on Steam, GOG and Humble.