Roguelite expedition sim Curious Expedition from Thunderful and Maschinen Mensch is one you should play on Nintendo Switch. Find out why in our Curious Expedition review!
Curious Expedition is a roguelite expedition sim set in the 19th Century that is a lot of fun on Nintendo’s hybrid console. In this adventure, you will take on an extraordinary journey around the world as a member of the Explorers Club as you race against colleagues and rivals alike to try and loot the greatest riches ever seen. You will select from the initially available explorers – with more for you to unlock. Each explorer will start with different items, as well as have special abilities that will be of great use. You might be able to select more perks if you go with Marie Curie, or could have a healer that can help party members if you go with Grigori Rasputin.
Your adventure will start on a map from which you’ll set a waypoint for your explorer to travel to. You can drag the mal around with the right analog stick, zooming in and out by pressing in on the left one. At the top of the screen will be your sanity bar. Every step you take will take its toll on you, draining down some of your sanity. To be more efficient you must, therefore, travel longer distances for every time you move, so that you can make the most of your sanity bar. Sanity is a very important value, so you should make sure you recover some of it by resting or by using items that can aid you – such as a delicious chocolate bar.
As you explore, you will start to find question marks around the map, which indicate a location you should visit to take a closer look. Once you’re within two fields from the question mark, you will be able to uncover that location’s type. You might find an abandoned campsite with a corpse or two, or a native village where you can get some much-needed rest, trade some items with the locals, or even hire villagers to join your group and aid you on your adventure.
Speaking of native villages, you should always be aware of your general standing with the locals. Depending on how well your trek is perceived by the natives, you could end up facing a rather hostile group of folks if you allow your standing to dip a bit too low. Your actions will affect your overall standing, so you should be careful with what you say or do! Trading with the locals and offering items of more value than what you will end up getting is a good way of boosting your standing.
The villagers you can add to your group will have different stats, so be sure to check their level, toughness, capacity, loyalty, and the dice they have – more on this in a bit – so that you can hopefully make the right call. Dice will play a big part during combat sequences since what the combat system will require you to do is roll the dice to add up the values to combine then for your attacks. If you don’t get a good combination, you can select the rolled dice you want to keep and re-roll up to two times. Every valid combo that you roll will have a different effect in battle, which you’ll learn more about as you play the game. If you haven’t rolled the dice for your turn, you can also try your luck and decide to flee the fight… but you need to be careful because if you fail, your group will be left wide open for a world of hurt.
You need to be careful with how many items you carry with you because if you’re packing too many things, you will be overburdened. While in this state, you will lose even more sanity as you travel, which is definitely a big no-no in Curious Expedition! If this happens, press the L button to open your inventory so that you can discard any items – that you think you won’t be needing – by pressing and holding down the X button. You could also see if you have any items on you that can raise your sanity when used, killing two birds with one stone.
Once you find all locations within a region, you will earn a region point. With it, you can select one of the members of your group so that it can increase its rank. By promoting a party member, it will become more useful to the expedition while also increasing its loyalty towards you. While playing, you will end up finding sacred shrines that are very important to the locals. Exploring them and looting any treasure inside will not only affect your standing with the natives, but it will also unleash an ancient curse that could prove to be deadly for your plans.
Curious Expedition features an in-game achievements system that will keep you busy for a while as you try to unlock every single one on your path towards seeing everything this release has to offer. You will get these achievements by completing objectives such as collecting 50 butterflies, blowing up an active volcano with dynamite, recruiting 20 natives, killing 20 crocodiles, finding and digging up 10 treasures, killing 20 giant spiders, or having at least three members of your trek who are alcoholics, to name a few examples.
Curious Expedition is a wild ride, and I was not expecting to have as much fun as I did when I took on this expedition sim on Nintendo Switch for this Curious Expedition review. The charming pixel art, bizarre situations you will find yourself in, and the many riches you will find do a great job of keeping you playing for a while. This is an easy recommendation at only $14.99 since you’re definitely getting your money’s worth.
This Curious Expedition review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Thunderful.