China’s emperor challenges those Renowned Explorers

Colourful and mostly non-violent adventure Renowned Explorers [official site] is off to Indonesia from today at the behest of the Chinese emperor Guāngxù. The Emperor’s Challenge expansion adds the land to the game along with a new mode where you have to race against a team of rival explorer peeps. You’ve got to win. Wouldn’t want to be the No-longer-all-that-renowned Explorers, would we?

We’ve already seen some of the details of this but to remind y’all, it has a new expedition and introduces four new characters to the ranks of the International Society.

Joining you on this newest expansion is; Suh Min-Jeong, a child prodigy in the fields of diplomacy and archaeology; Wang Yu, with a knack for fireworks and a penchant for trouble; Phailin Boonyasak, whose charm is only shadowed by her hidden past and unknown motivations; and Hojo Fumiaki, a champion explorer, who is using his travels (and love of cleaning) as a way to temper his anger management issues.

Adam says the charm of the cartoony choose-your-own-travels won him over at once. That’ll be partly down to the combat system, which doesn’t involve much real fighting. I’ll let him explain.

That’s because encounters don’t actually involve combat all that often. They can, if you so choose, but if you prefer to win the day using your guile or a friendly, welcoming nature, that’s an option as well. Every encounter has a mood, which changes as you choose various interactions and as your opponents react with skills of their own.

It feels like a combination of the best of Tintin and 19th century adventure fiction rolled into a smart tactical package… a splendid antidote to the ever rolling waves of grimdark.

It’s good to see that a year and half from release the mood-altering explore-em-up is still getting additional stuff nailed on. This latest stuff is £5.29/$7.49 on Steam, Humble and GOG.


  1. X_kot says:

    So glad to see Abbey Games still supporting this game!

  2. Levity says:

    This looks really fun, might have to get it.

    I like to believe we are heading towards some kind of revolution where games and narratives don’t have to be all violence and combat and grimdark; but eh, maybe I’m dreaming.

    A few recent-ish articles on here come to mind: someone in the industry calling for less Dystopic Power Fantasy settings; the backlash to that AAA hacking game (that I can’t remember the name of) having shooting in.

    I’m also a bit tired of reading contemporary Fantasy and every other word being WHORE, or WENCH etc… I’d like to try out Tyranny as I hear it tries out some new things with gender. Unfortunately, I am dirt poor; so buying either of those games I’m interested in is a serious consideration.

    And, on the other hand; I do enjoy a bit of bloodsport myself, and the thought of trying to diverge away from that trend, especially in gaming, is a frightening one.

    • CMaster says:

      Well, if it makes you feel better/worse, for all the cheery graphics, “best friends go camping” theme etc, RE:IS is pretty grim the moment you stop to think about it.

      You’re basically victorian treasure hunters, with all the moral dodginess that implies. Your party travels the world, tricking or stabbing them in to giving up cultural artefacts, that they can display and gloat over to be better known.

      • Levity says:

        Well, they may be travelling the world and exploiting the gullible natives, but at least they’re doing it multiculturally.

        • CMaster says:

          Oh yes, you can absolutely be an african raiding the treasures of Scotland, or a chinese person nicking the cultural secrets of Romania.

          It’s not racist colonialist exploitation.

    • Rainshine says:

      Stardew Valley? Subnautica?

  3. CMaster says:

    Sounds good. Interesting to see them adding some new characters this time around, as opposed to just new adventures.

    The last DLC though, I thought the new 5* adventure was a little too silly. This one might be better.

  4. LW says:

    Man, I keep wanting to love this game, but I get to around expedition 3 or 4 in a run and my interest tank just empties. Combat encounters don’t get more interesting, they just get longer and tougher, with enemies that have more health and sturdier defences.

  5. caff says:

    I maintain that this is a game best enjoyed on its easiest setting. Just crank it right down and you’ll have more fun.

    I think the sense of adventure and exploration gives it a better feel with walkover combat encounters.