by Marko Susimetsä
previewed on PC
Age of Exploration
Conquistadors – the explorers, soldiers and adventurers in the service of the Spanish Empire – were the conquerors of new lands during the Age of Exploration and became famous enough to carve their name into the English language. And they well deserved to, as they conquered much of the Americas and other regions to the Spanish and Portuguese Empires of the time. The fact that they accomplished this feat because they belonged to a more advanced civilization than those that they conquered and sometimes destroyed, may make them somewhat infamous in modern history books, but it does not remove the importance that they have in history.
Expeditions: Conquistador is an upcoming game that returns us to that time in our history when much of the world was unknown and a well-armed and decisive man could make his fortune exploring new and mysterious lands. The Danish indie developer Logic Artists turned to Kickstarter to be able to finish the game and they passed their Basic goal with flying colours only a couple of days ago.
I was lucky enough to get my hands on the press trial copy of the game and was able to spend some hours exploring the game.
Simple basic mechanics
Even though a bit rough around the edges, the press build shows that the gameplay of Expeditions: Conquistador is pretty simple. First, you create a character and hire a group of followers to accompany you on your road to fame and fortune. The game begins as your ship lands on the New Land and you start moving along a hex map, first getting to know the town and to receive some missions and training from the locals. After this, you can start exploring the wilderness to find humongous floating quest markers and chests filled with treasure, as well as some random encounters.
When you enter a hex with a quest marker floating above it, you are usually faced with a dialogue screen with a picture of the person you meet and a scrolling body of text on the left where you can pick your responses in the dialogue. The dialogue options are very clear on the direction that they will take you and you can easily choose to become the most obnoxious, murderous and greedy bastard in history, or adopt the more humanistic principles of the day and try to understand the natives and find the diplomatic solutions to the problems that you encounter.
In cases where the encounters turn out to be battles, you are presented with a zoomed-in section of the map, where you can maneuver your individual followers to take your enemy down. The mechanics are again simple: you spend movement points to move around and perform actions including ranged and melee attacks as well as healing wounded warriors if you possess the necessary skills.