Because I would have died at an early age, setting science back several dozen years and making computers the most modern thing of the 2050’s, all because I thought Tesla was better off in the amazonian rainforest than in New York. Good for him. The Curious Expedition is a game still in the early stages of its early access, but if you were to guess just from playing as it is you wouldn’t know.
You play as one of several explorers, who go from Ada Lovelace to Richard Burton, and get to set humanity several steps back in the realms of science and history by having them prematurely killed by angry natives, eaten by famished tigers or having a Eureka! moment as they discover dinosaurs aren’t extinct before getting their heads chomped off.
The Curious Expedition has you setting toward the farther reaches of planet Earth, meeting suspicious natives, greedy tradesmen and finding out that everyone’s a cannibal in potential. You’ll prepare an expedition beforehand by purchasing equipment that can be traded or make your journey easier – such as machetes to cut down trees, climbing gear to go over hills and dynamite to go through, not around, mountains – and recruiting other avid explorers, such as cooks and translators, before venturing into the unknown. Expeditions have you scouring uncharted lands in search of relic-containing golden pyramids, with other treasures and secret knowledge to be found as well… although taking one too many offerings from the natives’ shrines might have them figuring you’re better in their belly than desecrating their land.
Each explorer has particular abilities and loadouts, such as Darwin carrying his trusty shotgun and recovering sanity from finding butterflies, and expeditions will have to be tackled in different manners according to which explorer you chose. You’ll have to manage three separate resources, basically: your crew, which will define how many active parts you have in combat and encounters, and how much you can carry; your sanity, which goes down the more time you spend on an expedition (the world reacts badly when you’re insane); and time, as you’re racing other notorious explorers in search of relics and treasure in a competition for fame. Anthropology be damned, thought Huizinga as he was told he was one of six people who were being chosen to have a statue made in their honor.
The Curious Expedition already is a fun romp into the unknown, but what I really enjoyed was pondering on how we’d be in a sad state of affairs if wanderlust was a common thing and thinking about jokes I could use here and on my review about the game. “Origin of species? When he’s up against a T-Rex, Darwin’s more likely to write the end of species.” Really, I have several of them. It’s on Steam for $14.99, and it’s still in Alpha so you can expect it to take a while to release and for there to be many new additions and extra content. The trailer really conveys the game’s ominous feeling with its song and gravely narration, something you’ll also feel in the game’s soundtrack and eery events, as crew members are cannibalized by other crew members and others die with indication that the culprit might be amongst you. Check it out:
Early Evaluation segments ponder on the state of a game while it’s in Early Access. For this segment, The Curious Expedition was played for 2.5h, version Alpha 17.1.
The Curious Expedition was played on retail code provided by the developers.