Curious Expedition

Genre: Pixelgame / Strategy / Exploration
Developer: Maschinen-Mensch
Gamemode: Singleplayer

This game has a demo now and we recommend to play that one before you buy it: demo.curious-expedition.com

The game takes place at the colonial times, you are an explorer and have to find pyramids and artefacts in ruins for gaining fame, money and for science of course. The game is rather hard and each round has a series of 6 expeditions, each being larger and more difficult than the last one. To unveil the ruins on the map you need to find a stone circle and to rest you need to find villages or spots like an oasis or waterfall. Additionally you can accept a quest before you start in London. That one will give you a decent amount of additional money. The goal is to stay alive, bring home trophies to raise your fame and be the most famous explorer. Carry restrictions can bother you though and you might want to get pets to carry stuff.

The game looks like a a browser game, but it is hardcore and extremely difficult to win. In the beginning when you start to play the game only very few explorers are available. Each of them has different abilities and it effects the game a lot which one you choose. But you'll be able to hire additional people for your expeditions and buy equipment before you start your tour by ship. First of all you want to have a good supply of food and drink items to restore sanity. If your sanity drops to zero catastrophic events start to occur. Killing wildlife and having a cook in the party seems to be the best possibility to avoid that, it allows you to eat raw meat. Weapons can improve your fighting abilities and add dices to your fights. Try dynamite for fighting. The tent, abacus and binoculars are also useful items. At your first mission you can even recruit someone in a village, preferebly you should take a mount.

Loot you'll find at shrines, temples can give any of your crew members a buff. The items the museum isn't interested into you might want to trade with natives or missionaries, the others you can gift or sell at London. Mousing over the flag that marks your destination on the map, when you choose between two of them, will show the infos about the biome you are heading to. There is jungle and dry land and arctic area. If you go to a desert you'll need water. It will also show if the pyramid you are looking for will be buried, then you need to activate the golden seals or need enough moonstones.

Your travel line will show how much sanity it takes to move over a certain terrain. Avoid to spend too much and feed your people in time. Question marks on your map are your points of interest and will be shrines, villages or missions or in the ice area stations, as well as other places to rest or trade, other places to find loot, stone circles, as well as the pyramid you are looking for. Discovering them will give you region points. You use those to level your team members in loyalty. The compass in the upper left corner of your screen will more or less accurate tell you into which direction the pyramid will be. Sometimes magnetic mountains can mess the compass up. You can avoid fights and flee, but you can also try to kill the enemy, but you should never rest too seldom or forget to heal your companions.

The graphic is a pixel graphic and the music is acceptable, but not really very enjoyable. I never finished the last expedition in this game and it gets kinda frustrating to never finish a round. Probably it takes pretty long to learn everything about the game, but the sudden disasters, that can happen are going to reduce your team and failure can not be avoided. Either you gain fame or you sell all items to get more food. That gets a choice that'll ruin your success. Most of the times a chain reaction will cause that you also loose relics and the expedition will get useless. I can't get rid of the impression that the developers have some sadistic tendency to let the player fail by too many bad events during your travel, which is no fun on a long term, because playing it all over a hundred times doesn't make a game fun. Don't get me wrong, I like the game, but it is not well balanced. Before you can win you'll die or all your crew members die or you loose the fame, that you would need to win. Most people seem to give the game a good review on steam, but did not play it longer than about 10-15 hours, because most people probably won't have the nerve to go on if they loose all the time. Unfortunately the game is also very short, far too short except you'll play the same all over a hundred times and for that reason we recommend to buy it only on sale. In my opinion an endless mode would have solved that problem, but the lazy developers prefered to let the users create such mods on steam.

We recommend: If you like hard strategy games this one is one for you!