Hello everybody, Shaun Meyers (Kyo Akiara) here to bring you our latest review of turn based strategy/tactical RPG Expeditions Conquistador.
Expeditions Conquistador, created by Logic Artists and published by bit Composer, is an indie turn based strategy game combined with a tactical RPG and I’ll say early on that it’s one of the most difficult games I’ve played in its genre and it’s equally aggravating. The game takes place in the 16th century when spain landed in the new world and is exploring central america. The game follows the player character on an expedition to the new world to discover riches and glory by exploring the mainland. This goal is hampered on his arrival by the governor of the new settlement who confiscated the player characters goods, ship and crew and forces you to work for him battling the native Aztec tribes and rebel factions that have splintered from the spanish settlements.
The game features 2 game modes, the first is single player which will take you through the games campaigns and multiplayer which you can play the game against other players in hotseat mode or over a LAN. Single player is where much of the game will be played however and features 2 different campaign’s to play through. The first campaign puts you in the shoes of Hispaniola or the spanish conquistadors as they try to conquer the new world for spain. The second campaign which is locked until you beat the Hispaniola campaign allows you to take on the role of the native tribes in the new world, most notably the Aztecs where they defend their lands against the foreign invaders. Once you’ve chosen your campaign you will be taken to the character creation screen. This is where you can choose your character’s name, gender and allocate skill points to dictate your overall abilities. Once you’ve allocated your points you’ll be taken to a new window where you can choose the members of your expedition from a range of different classes including doctors, soldiers, hunters, scholars, scouts and a range of other classes and your choice will have a big consequence on your journey as each person has their own unique traits and abilities.
When you’ve selected your expedition team you will be taken to one last menu where it tallies together all your talents granted to you by your expedition choices and then gives you your final attribute stats. It’s finally time to jump into the game and control your expedition on its journey through the new world but don’t expect the game to be incredibly simple even on the lowest of difficulty settings as the games AI is incredibly smart and powerful and can easily decimate your squad of people during battle. You begin the game in a small settlement where the spanish conquistadors have setup a living and you can travel around the town freely without using movement points. Each turn is governed by a certain amount of movement points and these points are depleted as you move around outside the safe zone of a town. Once you run out of movement points you will need to make camp and rest for the night, camping is a major part of the game as well and allows you to hunt for meat in your immediate surroundings, collect valuables and herbs as well as craft items that will aid you in battle. Each person in your expedition can be given a certain job in the camp such as hunting for meat, healing units using medicine and patrolling the roads or guarding the camp.
There are a variety of different resources that you will need to collect in the game the first is valuables, these are the games main currency and are used to purchase the other resources that you will need in the game. The second resource is rations and this governs the amount of food you can provide your expedition with and this is one of the crucial resources as keeping your expedition well fed will keep morale high and they will be less likely to to conduct a mutiny. Medicine is another crucial requirement and having a lot of medicine to heal your wounded troops will be key to their survival if they fall in battle. The final main resource is equipment, this allows you to level up the skills of your party by equipping them with equipment in various stat pools like melee combat, ranged and armor and equipment will be key to your expeidtions survival in battle, having low equipment and stats is sure death for your units.
Conversations within the game are done in an RPG like format where you are able to pick from a variety of choices and each choice you make governs the direction of the conversation allowing you a bit of freedom in how conversations play out. When you receive quests from NPC’s the location of the area you will need to go is labeled on the map to guide you where you will need to go. Exploration is a huge part of the game as well and there are a lot of hidden objects, chests and artifacts within the game world to find and your exploration is rewarded with various items. Many quests will lead you into the heart of battle with an enemy force and mny battles may even leave you at a disadvantage of being outnumbered and out powered, this can end very badly for you in the long run.
Once a battle is initiated you will be taken to the tactical battle screen where battles play out with you moving enemies into position to attack. This game does tactical battle quite differently than normal tactical RPG’s and requires skill and an excellent use of strategy to win. You can use the environment in the battle map you your advantage to cover yourself from enemy fire or you can create barricades from items that you craft in order to block off enemy advancement. You also cannot attack an enemy with a ranged unit if they are behind cover requiring you to move into position to mount an attack. After the characters turn is finish you can move them into a covered position to hide them from enemy fire. Moving to hide is recommended to use with great caution, especially if you’re surrounded by enemies. Unlike other tactical battle systems when you move while enemies are nearby they will attack you as you move making your character take damage and this could cost you the battle. Your units will do the same if an enemy moves into their line of sight, this adds greatly to the difficulty of a battle and can make or break your victory.
Each unit type has a unique ability that can be used once every 2 turns and can greatly aid you in the battle. Soldiers have the ability to increase their defence while hunters can knick an enemy unit backwards and doctors can heal your units during a battle by using bandages on them. In order to use bandages on a unit you have to move your doctor close to the damaged unit to be able to heal them making them have to head into enemy lines often making them easy targets. Once a battle is completed you will be given a report on the battle and what units have been injured or killed. In many battles your units will surely perish and many units can take some time to take down so ganging up on one units is recommended, especially if your units are relatively weak. The enemy will also use this tactic but their attack are quite powerful even in the beginning of the game so giving your units equipment is recommended to keep your expedition in fighting shape or you will lose many battles.
Overall, Expeditions Conquistador is an excellent game that isn’t without its own foibles but it’s a game that feels like a lot of work has gone into crafting the experience and is not only well written but incredibly in-depth and well thought out. It’s a game that may not appeal to some people and it’s incredibly high difficulty and somewhat steep learning curve may deter a few people but it’s a fun game overall and while it may be aggravating losing battles often the game gives you a lot of customization in the difficulty of the game and it’s a game that I can gladly recommend giving a shot, especially if you like historical turn based strategy games or tactical RPG’s with a twist.
If you happen to be interested in picking this game up, you can get it from our friends at gog.com DRM free for only $19.99 and you’ll receive a couple of bonuses with your purchase including the game manual, 5 wallpapers, 11 avatars, 60 artworks, and a poster for the game. You can find it’s store page here: http://www.gog.com/gamecard/expeditions_conquistador
Thanks for reading our review of the game folks and I hope this has shown some insight on the game. I’ll be back with my next review soon, until then, happy gaming everyone!
Shaun Meyers (Kyo Akiara) out!
Minimum system requirements: Windows XP / Vista / 7 / 8, Intel Dual Core 2.6 GHz or AMD64X2 2.6 GHz or better processor, 2 GB RAM or higher, video card: nVidia GeForce 8600 or ATI Radeon X1800 or higher with 256 MB VRAM or better (must support Shader Model 3.0 and DirectX 9.0c), DirectX 9.0c-compatible sound card, mouse, keyboard.
Minimum system requirements (Mac): OS X 10.7.5 or later. Processor: Intel Core i5 or higher Memory: 4 GB or higher Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GT650M or ATI Radeon 6770M with 2 GB VRAM or higher, Recommended two-button mouse, or Apple mouse with Secondary Button / Secondary Click enabled.Patched to version 1.1.0