Renowned Explorers on Curious Expeditions

I had followed Curious Expeditions a little with a lot of interest. I like these weird exploration games. Emergent narratives are a pretty big hook for me. It’s while I’ll occasionally put up with Tales of the Arabian Nights even though there isn’t really a game there. By the way Tales would be a great tablet App for solo play. Age of Exploration is fun too and I would have been looking to Expeditions: Conquistador to help fill that niche on the PC. Conquistador sounded a little too scripted for me, even FTL gets a little linear.

So, how about these two games? Renowned Explorers is a little newer to me and is supposed to be a finished game while Curious Expedition is still in early alpha. Do we have players here that can help me pick?

Tom M

Unfortunately, I think you’re going to need both; they each have a distinct identity and they’re each quite lovely.

Fortunately, only one is finished at this point, so they don’t currently compete for your time/money. I’m not sure what the situation is with Curious Expeditions’ release date, but it’s still only in early access.


When I start my next game I’m going to have to pay non-Ironman. I’d like my party to survive past the 3rd expedition.

It was supposed to release last month, but the game sold well enough that the devs decided to keep adding more while they could afford it, given they had plenty of additional ideas.

The new goal is to release towards the end of the year.

I was looking at the progress of Curious Explorers the other day and found this Steam thread, which appears to have been started by El Guapo:

I looked at Renowned Ex too and they do look fairly different, with art styles and encounter mechanics. I think Renowned is going for that Strategy Vibe where you plan explorer combos and then execute them in an encounter, with hack n slash rarely being the right method. CE seems for direct in its encounters and the strength of your dice play makes it happen. CE has a retro feel both in art and design which attracts geezers. Main complaint I have seen about it is the expeditions get repetitive. There is a good Blitzkerieger Let’s Play that they have on their Steam page. I decided I would wait for CE’s ‘release’. Renowed Ex did not grab me - but I should watch a Let’s Play for that at some point.

Anyone actually playing either of these right now? These seem like they would be a good fit for my travel laptop but it doesn’t have a dedicated video card so I’m not sure how it would handle either of them. Are either of these the type of game you can drop 20-30 minutes into every once in a awhile and still enjoy or do they require more continuity?

I do not have CE, but looking at the Let’s Play on their Steam page, it does look like each Expedition could fit into the 20-30 time frame.

The actual game play is quite different on the two. RE is more tactical turn based combat, moving and fighting, etc. CE is more abstract with dice rolls and the like.

I find both quite enjoyable and quick to play a single expedition.

I’ve been firing RE up when I only have a couple of minutes or I want to take a break from a meatier game. You can finish the early expeditions in 15-20 minutes, and even if you don’t you can save the game when ready to quit.

Just read Tom’s review of Renowned Explorers, very nicely done. I’m definitely going to work it into my gaming schedule at some point. Also, “We succumb to the onslaught of nuns” may be the greatest combat description ever.

Just won on my second game and was only 116 behind the number 13 (last) global spot. I guess if you can reach that list, your score will have some permanence. So unfortunate that they didn’t add in a personal or Friends Score List, but maybe they will in some upcoming patch. Despite that disappointing aspect, the rest of the game really is great. Just like Reus, the devs stuffed this so full of interconnected intricacies.

After reading Tom’s review, I think I want…no, need this.

I love and knock the game for all the reasons Tom mentioned. It was an insta-buy for me after watching a LP video embedded in a Steam user review.

Oh yeah, they’re both great. If you don’t mind, I did a video of each this past weekend:

Curious Expedition
Renowned Explorers

Which I hope you find helpful.

Thanks Brian I’ll check those out, though I did go ahead and by RE after reading Toms review and discovering this was made by the same team that did Reus. I ran through the tutorial last night and it was a lot of fun! Looking forward to seeing what the rest of the game has to offer.

I must have put this in my cart half a dozen times and timed out the purchase - for those on the fence, there’s the 10% release discount and a 23% off voucher at GreenManGaming. Anyways, bit the bullet Monday morning. Reservedly happy about it - played a whole game to completion and came away with a couple notes:

  • I love the art - clean, colorful and beautifully animated, with lots of great evocative art for all the screens/maps/locations/characters

  • not much voice

  • it’s a fun little battle system, with some tactical positioning

  • not as much variety in the attacks as it originally seems - maybe it’s the mix I got but everyone had a couple basic melee and two hex ranged attacks, some with emotion changes. Usually they only have one, maybe two special attacks.

  • also, no special equipment it seems, and the things you buy aren’t equipped.

  • lots of information - almost everything is explained via mouseover tooltips somewhere on the interface.

  • sometimes the information is only in one place though - so you have to go to the main map or look in the character sheet to see who has what powers or how much each of the tokens is worth

  • there is a mode with save and restore, although I was terrible at remembering to save - I wish it would autosave at least when you finish expeditions. I’d usually spend a whole bunch of things, realise I made a mistake and then remember to save then.

  • writing could have used a pass through an editor - spelling errors (on the first couple screens no less!) and in general some of the writing is weak. The situations themselves are creative and fun, but the way they are described makes me cringe a bit sometimes.

A couple gameplay notes:

  • I played half the game until I realised I could tab through targets and see the hit percentage/raw damage indicator (although it seems to not take into effect some of the bonuses like extra attacks)
  • Took me along time to find out how to use the tool to improve some the odds of encounters - turns out it’s the little wrench in the bottom right of the encounter dialog toggles it (and it’s only used up if it succeeds)
  • my first crew was woefully outmatched for the final expedition, and got creamed by the final(?) boss - I was going to give up until I realised that you don’t have to do the hardest level each round, you can also just do some of the other easier levels you had seen so I loaded up an older save, chose an easier expedition and finished that one. Didn’t get the best ending but at least got a score!

All in all, a lighthearted romp that I want to go back and play again soon! Kinda the opposite of Invisible Inc, which was incredibly polished and also beautiful but so stressful I’ve been afraid to go back and play it again.

I’ve been in the same boat. It looks like a cute little game, but I feel the price is a big ask for the experience (especially when it goes up to the non-discounted price of $20). I might have been more willing to pull the trigger if I hadn’t picked up a few other recent fall releases. The GMG discount almost gets the price in line with an impulse purchase, almost.


I might be misunderstanding you here, but you must choose who equips which gear. Every character has a trinket, offense, and defense slot. Unless an item is equipped to one of those slots, it’s useless. Also, note that there are additional levels of gear you can unlock with stature, and even additional stores you can find if you beat certain adventures. You’ll find some very specific and some very cool gear in some of these places.


Oops - what I meant was that visually, you don’t see any difference in the characters based on the gear they put on.

Also - I only had access to the first store, and almost all the weapons and armour there was basic +X to Stat (sometimes big +X to one stat and smaller +x to another). I don’t remember anything that changed mechanics like flaming whips or electric gloves. The trinkets were a bit more interesting, but by and large it was still mostly passive bonuses.

Actually, I didn’t see many status effects - one enemy had poison, and another had a stun attack, but I never got any gear that added this to attacks. But maybe that’s in the epic store…I need more money for my next group ;)

Well, the artwork and gameplay mechanics don’t work that way. The more important factor is whether a character has some sort of mood effect, like being impressed, enraged, terrified, confident, etc. Those are all represented with artwork and even icons. As for gear effects, any stat modifiers are implemented into the tooltips. If you equip a machete that adds 20% to terrify attacks, a terrify attack this is normally 100% will now show as 120%. That’s a perfectly acceptable tradeoff for not showing your character wielding a machete. Besides, many of the characters have abilities based on the weapons in their artwork. Lefevre’s whip, for instance. Subbing in a new weapon or suit of armor just wouldn’t feel right. This isn’t a gear-based CRPG.

Suffice to say you should play a little deeper into the game before making any assumptions. :) For what it’s worth, one of the basic trade-offs you’ll make at the campaign level is whether to go for money or research. It’s not quite an either/or proposition, of course, but they’re two competing resource sinks. If you go after money and shops, and if you use your stature to unlock higher tiers at the shops, you’ll find some of the cooler equipment. It’s not really going to be stuff like “flaming whips” or “electric gloves” – again, this isn’t that sort of game – but it will let you tailor your characters in some very clever ways.