Expeditions Conquistador is a story-driven tactical roleplaying game with a pinch of strategic resource management and handful of good times. It allows you to navigate and survive the harsh and vastly undiscovered landscape of the new world; from the comfort of your chair.
Heart filled with promise of an adventure
Developer: Logic Artists
Publisher: Logic Artists
Release Date: May 30, 2013
You start the game with character creation where you create the story of your character. You’re a conquistador, the leader of an expedition to the new world charged by no other than King of Spain himself.
I named my character and allocated points like in the roleplaying games of old. The way you allocate your attribute points will dictate which options are beneficial for you to pursue throughout your campaign. Is it through steel peaceful missionary work or somewhere inbetween? It is up to you to decide.
A part of the character creation process is also a section where you choose your crew. There are many options available ranging from doctors and scholars to soldiers and more. While the game does try to tell you about the roles of the characters, an auto-assign button is a viable option for beginners since you might later feel that maybe you should have recruited a different group of professionals to accompany you. Once done, you’re greeted with a promise of an adventure and few quick tutorials to get familiar with the controls of the map where the actual roleplaying and encountering people happens.
Resource management and roleplaying with text-boxes
The game has been divided into two different kinds of elements: The free-roaming map view, where you move your conquistador and troops and an action phase, where the battles take place. The actual roleplaying aspect happens in the roaming view, where you’re able to buy and sell food and equipment for your crew, learn about new quests and all that.
It is not that you’re pushing one button to survive on the map view, but the fact that by good leadership, you can better survive longer trips into the wild.
The safe places to do so are the cities that are being protected. Move outside of that protection, and the nature of the game changes significantly as things suddenly get dangerous and you have your crew to take care off.
Outside the city borders, you have a limit to your movement before you must make camp and administer all the tasks of your crew. Who is patrolling, who is trying to gather herbs and so on… This adds another layer of depth to the game. It is not that you’re pushing one button to survive on the map view, but the fact that by good leadership, you can better survive longer trips into the wild.
That said, Expeditions Conquistador emphasizes exploration and resource management. When you leave the shelter of the settlements to explore the New World, it has the tendency to diminish your crew’s provisions. That is why trading goods with the natives is important to survive. You’d do well to make the right choices.
Now, the roleplaying part is basically a set of character portraits and text-boxes of people you meet along your journey. Simple as it sounds, the depth of the characters is a feat worthy of mentioning. With minimal animation the portraits manage to show you that with excellent writing you can create a truly engaging gameplay experience. The prose is good enough to make New World feel believably real.
Strategic (and challenging) combat
The New World is never peaceful.
The New World is never peaceful. Sooner or later you’ll find yourself in a battle which takes place on a hexagon grid. Once the actual battle begins, you’re free to place equipment like barricades (if you have such equipment) onto the battlefield before the actual fight begins.
Battles are turn-based. Each character participates by taking turns attacking and defending against their enemies. Now, the key to each battle is strategy and you cannot survive simply by moving forward and attacking. The enemy’s AI is clever and executes well thought strategies. Do not expect epic and gory battles. Expect tactical turn-based strategic battles that challenge you.
The doctor is a good example of the important roles each crew member has. If the doctor gets killed, you’ll be facing problems later on because there are none to treat wounds and diseases. So a good beating will get you in trouble for a longer period than just that single battle as injured crew members might not be able to participate in future battles at all. This is why most casual gamers might find the game a little too much for their taste, but for a player that enjoys tactical games, the well-executed combat of Expeditions Conquistador is a blessing. It is a struggle, but a rewarding one.
With pleasant visuals and a lot of strategic depth, Expedition Conquistador is a game I enjoyed a lot. Expeditions Conquistador successfully merges roleplaying elements combined with immersive strategy and depth. If you want to manage people, resources and enjoy roleplaying and challenging combat, Expeditions Conquistador is a safe bet.
Expeditions: Conquistador Review Score
|8.0||Why so high?
A great mixture of roleplaying, resource management and strategic combat.
|Why so low?
Steep learning curve even with tutorials that could go more indepth, occasionally unresponsive controls