My first few moments with The Curious Expedition were almost misleadingly delightful. Set in the 19th century, I was told to pick from a selection of charming pixel renderings of historical figures and dropped into the world, with the only stated goal of exploring the strange new randomly generated land I had found myself in. It was welcoming, colourful, and hiding a whole host of things that wanted to kill me.
After almost two years of development, The Curious Expedition is entering paid alpha on November 27th at $12 (£7.50). Developers Maschinen-Mensch gave me a little early look, so I’m going to tell you how I felt about my first trek through the jungle as Marie Curie.
The Curious Expedition is all about exploring a randomly generated set of hex tiles, finding villages, caves, people and roaming animals to interact with. It’s the sort of instanced encounters you’d see in something like The Oregon Trail. This person wants payment if you’re going to stay the night, but do I want to stay in the cave full of human remains? Is it safe to eat these strange fruits?
That stuff is all pretty standard fare for this kind of game, but a lot of the initial charm in the experience seems to come from the well written dialogue and resource management aspects. Missionaries who have been alone for years and are happy to see you, but want to extort you for all they can regardless. Explorers in the jungle reminding you that while they appreciate the chocolate you gave them, they’d have preferred dark to milk.
Oh, and Marie Curie apparently really does not like the idea of eating raw hyena meat.