The Curious Expedition is a turn-based exploration roguelike where the player's explorer tries to discover the Golden Pyramid before he dies, goes insane, or starves. It's set in a 19th-century with tesla guns, dinosaurs, and undead abominations.
Choosing an Explorer
The player starts the game by choosing 1 of 16 different explorers. Each explorer has a different perk, starting companions & equipment, and dice pool for combat. More are unlocked as different achievements are completed.
At the start of each expedition, the player only sees part of the map. As the explorer travels and uncovers more of it, more sites are discovered and the compass pointing to the Golden Pyramid becomes more accurate. If the explorer discovers every site in a region, the expedition gains Region Points that are used to level up companions. The explorer visits sites to rest, trade, or even loot ancient shrines. There's also roaming packs of wild animals that might attack him if he crosses paths on the map, but the explorer's biggest enemy is Sanity.
Sanity is a broad measurement of how stable and well-fed the expedition is. If it hits 0, companions begin going mad, deserting in the middle of the forest, or even cannibalizing each other. Sanity slowly depletes as the expedition travels; the rate it depletes at depends on the terrain they're traveling through and what equipment they have to make traversing it easier. Sanity is replenished by eating, drinking, and resting at certain locales.
Standing is the expedition's reputation amongst the local natives. A decent standing lets them trade with the natives, recruit companions from them, and rest at their villages. A bad standing causes the natives to send war parties after the expeditions. There are very few ways to improve standing (trade and special events) and many ways to lower standing (hunting animals, recruiting, resting at their villages, looting their holy shrines).
There are several items the expedition can take to make the trek easier: machetes, rope, medical kits, and guns. There is also valuable loot that is worth a lot if they're brought back to civilization, such as golden idols and elephant tusks. Items take up inventory spaces; the number of inventory spaces the expedition has depends on companions' carrying capacity. On the longer expeditions, the expedition has to choose between practical gear and valuable loot.
Only one item is necessary to progress: moonstones are required to enter the Golden Pyramids from the 4th expedition onward. (Unless it's a buried pyramid that's uncovered by activating seals placed around the map.) However, it's difficult to finish the later expeditions without an ample supply of gear.
Combat uses a turn-based dice system where different dice combos cause Damage and generate Shields. Damage injures enemies, Shields prevent damage to the expedition. If companion drops to 0 HP, their dice are removed from the pool.
Combat dice can be rerolled three times per turn; dice can be held to avoid rerolling them with the others.
Companions contribute more and better dice to the pool as they level up. Guns, spears, and spare bullets contribute special dice that can be used in unique combos for higher damage.
Companions stay injured once combat's over. if the wound isn't treated with a Medical Kit, it can get infected and eventually kill them.
Fame or Funds
After each expedition, loot can be Kept, sold for Funds, or donated to the museum for Fame. Funds are used to buy supplies, while Fame determines the explorer's rank compared to his rivals.
Your explorer also gets a hefty Fame bonus if he finds the Golden Pyramid before any of his rivals do.
Stuff Not in the History Books
- Raptors and Triceratops
- Cannibalistic Abominations
- Ancient curses sucking entire region into an endless void