Developer Maschinen-Mensch has just released a demo for its excellent pulpy, rogue-like exploration sim Curious Expedition, and you can play it for free in your browser.
Curious Expedition is a brilliant little exploration adventure, which sees you stepping into the shoes of a legendary explorer (or, at least, a famous figure with an inquisitive mind, ranging from Charles Darwin and Amelia Earhart to Aleister Crowley and HP Lovecraft) then setting out to undiscovered lands in search of fame and fortune.
Your ultimate goal each game is to become the most successful explorer in all the world, amassing wealth and renown with every perilous expedition you embark on. Each mini adventure unfolds on a hex-based grid, representing a new, unexplored corner of the world, and your basic goal each time is to amass treasure and find the Golden Pyramid on each map, before hunger, or insanity – or worse – brings your journey to a premature end.
To reach your objective, you’ll need to traverse sun-scorched planes, swamps, thick jungles, and perilous mountains, with each arduous step slowly draining your – and your party’s – sanity. Success requires you to managing your limited inventory and state of mind, pushing as far into the unknown as you dare, while ensuring you’ve ample food and rest.
On your travels, you’ll encounter cursed shrines that can rend the landscape once disturbed, mysterious ruins, exotic locales, even villages where the locals might choose to help or hinder your progress, depending on your reputation. And confounding your carefully laid plans are the limited resources, the hostile wildlife – which you’ll occasionally fight using a board-game-like dice-throwing system – and your own party, whose positive and negative traits, ranging from strong-mindedness to unfettered racism, will dramatically affect your chances of survival.
All these moving parts add up to a great little adventure which, thanks to the procedurally generated map, with its different layouts, landmarks, and events, is excellent at generating fun new stories, and strategic challenges. The demo version, which you can find online, limits play to two expeditions, but the full game strings together many more, with a much greater variety.
And if you’re suitably inspired, Curious Expeditions’ full version (which also offers mod support, if you like that kind of thing) costs £10.99 on Steam or direct from the developer.